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The Police - De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da (1980)

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  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 1.89
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"De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" is a song by The Police, released as a single on 20 November 1980. Released as the British second ...

"De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" is a song by The Police, released as a single on 20 November 1980. Released as the British second single from the album Zenyatta Mondatta, the song was written by Sting as a comment on how people love simple-sounding songs. The song was re-recorded in 1986 as "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da '86" but not released until 1995.

Background

According to lead singer Sting, the song is about the attraction that people have to simple songs. Sting later criticised those who labelled the lyrics of the song as "baby talk," claiming that the song was grossly misunderstood. He evaluated, "The lyrics are about banality, about the abuse of words," saying that "the lyrics have an internal logic."

I was trying to make an intellectual point about how the simple can be so powerful. Why are our favourite songs 'Da Doo Ron Ron' and 'Do Wah Diddy Diddy'? In the song, I tried to address that issue. But everyone said, 'This is bullshit, child's play.' No one listened to the lyrics. Listen to the lyrics. I'm going to remake it again and put more emphasis on what I was talking about.

— Sting, Rolling Stone, 2/1988

The phrase "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" supposedly was made up by Sting's son. Sting said of this, "In fact, my son came up with it. I've never paid him – so that's another possible lawsuit. He writes songs himself these days. He's got a lot of self-confidence – I don't know where from."

Its B-side, "A Sermon," was originally written by Stewart Copeland in 1977 and is a parable about a band ruthlessly making it to the top. Copeland played most of the guitar as well, including the intro riff, while Andy Summers can be heard in the middle. Sting said of the song, "It's arrogant, but Stewart is good at being arrogant in a funny way – as in that Klark Kent line about 'If you don't like me, you can suck my socks'." In the US version of the single, "De Do Do Do De Da Da Da" was paired with "Friends", a composition by Andy Summers.

"De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" was released as the follow-up single to "Don't Stand So Close to Me" in Britain, and was released as the debut single from Zenyatta Mondatta in America. Upon its release, the single became a top ten hit in the United Kingdom and the United States (their first in said country), reaching No. 5 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. In addition to its English-language release, both a Spanish-language and Japanese-language version of the song were recorded and released in their respective markets in early 1981. Actual 45RPM copies are rare.

The cover was designed by Hipgnosis and use the title of the song to juxtapose an image of the band with one of a woman's hand reaching out to a telephone to call the police.

The song was prominently featured in the 1982 film The Last American Virgin and on its soundtrack. It also appeared in the pilot episode of the medical drama St. Elsewhere.

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