Tuesday, February 23, 2010


In November 1959, the Coasters (not to be confused with the Platters) released a single called “Run Red Run.” Like the group’s biggest hit, “Yakety Yak,” this track would be classified as a “novelty song,” which basically just means that it’s ghettoized in a special category for being funny as well as being good.

Which is a shame, because it stands out as quite possibly the most important rhythm-and-blues song about simian violence ever recorded.
Click here to listen to it for yourself on what would appear to be a Coasters MySpace page. If you can’t listen, take a look at the lyrics down below. If Craven Monkey and the Mountain of Fury were to be set in the late 1950s, this is almost exactly how the plot and the details would play out. It’s like Every Which Way But Loose gone horribly, horribly right.

Oh, Red went and bought himself a monkey

Got him from a pawn shop broker
Taught that monkey how to guzzle beer
And he taught him out to play stud poker
Last night when they were gambling in the kitchen
The monkey he was taking a beating
The monkey said, “Red, I'm going to shoot you dead
Because I know that well, you been a cheating."

Well, run Red run, because he's got your gun
And he's aiming it at your head.
Run Red run, because he's got your gun,
And he's aiming it at your head.
You better get up and wail,
You better move your tail before he fills it full of lead.

Oh, Red jumped up and started to move like a P80-Saber Jet.
He zoomed around the corner, and he disappeared
And everybody started to stare.
The race was on, you know the chase was on
And Red he was all shook up
But, let me tell you sport, don't sell that monkey short,
Because he's a travelling son of a gun.

Repeat Chorus

(Saxophone playing)

Monkey trapped Red in a parking alot.
Down along the Avenue,
Monkey said, "Red, you've made a man out of me,
Now I'm going to make a monkey out of you.
Give me your car keys, give me your wallet
Give it to me here, or I'll shoot
Going to put on your brand new Stetson hat
And go to town in your new brown suit."

Repeat Chorus

Craven Monkey and the Mountain of Fury opens this weekend - don't forget to buy your tickets soon, or we’ll sic Red on ya.


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