“Sex & Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll”, Ian Dury and the Blockheads

Ian Dury

I’ve never done drugs and I don’t let anyone get near my naughty bits anymore (except my gays, but they don’t count!), but I will always have rock and roll!  This song is pretty funny, but it’s also the truth.


Sex and drugs and rock and roll

Is all my brain and body need

Sex and drugs and rock and roll

Are very good indeed


Ian Dury has said that the song really isn’t about living a life of excess; rather, he was trying to express the idea that one can have a life that doesn’t require a traditional 9 to 5 work schedule and all the routine that goes along with that.  Okay, okay, I get that.  But I know that sex & drugs & rock and roll is a way of life for many people.  For me, booze was substituted for drugs for many years, and I really enjoyed being a drunken floozy who loved rock and roll!  That was a way of life for me.


When I first heard this song I was familiar with the phrase sex and drugs and rock and roll, and I was quite excited to know that there was a song devoted specifically to that concept.  I’m sure became aware of it through the punk episode of the PBS documentary about rock music.  That’s where I got a lot of my information about and interest in punk.  Not that this song actually is punk; the music itself actually has quite a funky disco beat to it.  But because it came out during the great punk explosion of the late 70s, was sung with an exaggerated Cockney accent, and was about sex and drugs and rock and roll, it has always been lumped in with punk music. 


I was in the early stages of my life of excess when I fell in love with this song.  I had a Rolling Stone Magazine CD collection that featured this song.  I recorded it, and other songs from the era I was obsessed with, onto a cassette tape (it was the 90s) so I could play it in my car, and I played the shit out of it!  I would drive around in the summer, windows down, blasting Ian Dury and shouting the lyrics in my ridiculous impression of his accent.  And I always had fun doing it.


That’s the point of this song, I think; to quote Spinal Tap, “Have a good time, all the time.”  You really shouldn’t do drugs, because drugs are bad, mmmkay?  But we should try to enjoy life as much as possible.  Have lots of great sex (but be safe!), listen to rock and roll all night and party every day! 


Here’s a little piece of advice

You’re quite welcome it is free

Don’t do nothing that is cut price

You know what that’ll make you be

They will try their tricky device

Trap you with the ordinary

Get your teeth into a small slice

The cake of liberty


Don’t be boring.  Don’t be ordinary.  Have fun.  Be cool.  Listen to music.  Rock and roll is the great liberator.  And don’t you ever forget it!

3 thoughts on ““Sex & Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll”, Ian Dury and the Blockheads

  1. Pingback: “Rock and Roll”, Led Zeppelin | What I Like Is Sounds

  2. Yep, great tune, haven’t heard in a while. And I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but the Blockheads have another great one, “Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3.” Who could argue with a song with a cheesy sax solo and lyrics like this?:

    Cheddar cheese and pickle, the Vincent motorsickle
    Slap and tickle
    Woody Allen, Dali, Dimitri and Pasquale
    Balabalabala and Volare

    Something nice to study, phoning up a buddy
    Being in my nuddy
    Saying okey-dokey, singalonga Smokey
    Coming out of Chokey

    Liked by 1 person

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