Song Lyric Sunday: John or Jack – ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’

Unusually, I was almost spoilt for choice this week in finding a song to fit Jim’s latest Song Lyric Sunday prompt. There are quite a few titles featuring ‘John’ or its diminutive ‘Jack’.

My first choice – ‘Jack straw’ by the Grateful Dead – had to be ruled out because I used it for another prompt a few (well, six, scarily enough) years ago. Other candidates included The Who’s ‘Happy Jack’ and ‘Sloop John B’, from The Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ – which I almost went with until I remembered this. Originally released as a ‘free-standing’ single (i.e. not taken from an album) it’s perhaps not one of Bowie’s best known works.

Well Annie’s pretty neat
She always eats her meat
Joey’s almost strong
Bet your life he’s putting us on
Oh lordy
Oh lordy
You know I need some loving
Move me, touch me

[Chorus:]
John, I’m only dancing
She turns me on
But I’m only dancing
She turns me on
Don’t get me wrong
I’m only dancing

Shadow love was quick and keen
Life’s a well thumbed machine
Saw you watching from the stairs
You’re everyone that ever cared
Oh lordy
Oh lordy
You know I need some loving
Move me, touch me

Written by David Bowie

Song Lyric Sunday 14 June 2020

8 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: John or Jack – ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’

  1. I remembered it as soon as it started playing. Looking to wikipedia it says, “… the original video directed by Mick Rock, featuring androgynous dancers from Lindsay Kemp’s mime troupe, was banned by Top of the Pops.” I had the Changes One album and this was on it, but, like you said, more than one version released. Good pop song and good choice for the prompt.

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