UNDER THE BOARDWALK
- When the sun beats down
- And burns the tar up on the roof
- And your shoes get so hot
- You wish your tired feet were fireproof
- Under the boardwalk
- Down by the sea
- On a blanket with my baby
- Is where I'll be
UNDER THE BOARDWALK- THE DRIFTERS ORIGINAL VIDEO
"Under the Boardwalk" is a hit pop song written by Kenny Young and Arthur Resnick and recorded by The Drifters in 1964.
The lyric describes a tryst between a man and his beloved in a seaside town, who plan to privately meet "out of the sun" and out of sight from everyone else under a boardwalk. The
instrumentation includes güiro, triangle and violins. The song's chorus is unusual in that it switches from a major to minor key. The opening line of the song references the Drifters' prior
hit "Up on the Roof", showing the occasional thermal weakness of the rooftop getaway and setting the stage for an alternate meeting location, under the boardwalk.
The song was set to be recorded on May 21, 1964, but the band's lead singer, Rudy Lewis, unexpectedly died of a suspected heroin overdose the night before. Lewis had sung lead on most of their hits since the 1960 departure of Ben E. King, including "Up on the Roof". Rather than reschedule the studio session to find a new frontman, former Drifters lead vocalist Johnny Moore was brought back to perform lead vocals for the recording. The last-minute move was a success, as the single, released on Atlantic Records, went to number four on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and number one for three non consecutive weeks on Cashbox Magazine's R&B chart.
There are two versions of the song. The mono 45 USA released version contains the line "We'll be falling in love." The stereo album version contains beneath the line "We'll be falling in love" also the line "We'll be making love". These are two entirely different recordings, not edits of one another, as the line "on a blanket with my baby is where I'll be" is sung differently in both versions.
The song ranked #487 on Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
"Under the Boardwalk" has since been covered by many artists, including The Beach Boys, The Lincolns, The Rolling Stones, John Mellencamp, Bad Boys Blue, The Undertones, Bette Midler, Rickie Lee Jones, and the Tom Tom Club (whose version reached #22 in the UK Top 40 in 1982, becoming the first version of the song to chart in Britain). Versions by Billy Joe Royal, Bruce Willis (a #2 success in the UK), and Lynn Anderson (#24 on the Country singles) all reached the Billboard charts. Huey Lewis frequently plays the song in his concerts.
The song was covered by Clifford and The Surf Rats for the 1993 Muppet album Muppet Beach Party.
A cajun-tinged swamp pop parody of the song, "(Holly Beach) Under the Boardwalk" by Kenny Tibbs (Kenny Thibodeaux) and the Jokers was released in 1991 and was a perennial Louisiana jukebox favorite until Hurricane Rita virtually wiped out the small seaside resort of Holly Beach, Louisiana in 2005.
Another parody cover version came from Germany by Lothar & die Trabanten in 1991. The song "Unter dem Wartburg" (Under the Wartburg) describes the technical problems a family father has with his Wartburg car, a car made in the German Democratic Republic, while travelling from Dresden to Rimini.
A Spanish version ("Bajo la rambla") was recorded by the Argentine group "Los Gatos Salvajes" in 1965.
A cover of this song by The Rolling Stones (whose 1964 version was released as a single only in Australia and peaked at #1) was included in the album Rhythms del Mundo Classics in 2007.
In August 2007, soul singer Guy Sebastian recorded a tribute version of "Under the Boardwalk" at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee for his album of soul classics The Memphis Album with many of the original Stax music band members including Steve Cropper, Donald Duck Dunn, Lester Snell, Steve Potts.
In 2001, Bill Harley recorded a version of the song with alternate lyrics for children, entitled "Down in the Backpack".