Song Lyric Sunday — Do It Again

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has given us the theme words “Did, Didn’t, Do, Don’t, Does, and Doesn’t.” And with that, the song I chose is “Do It Again” by Steely Dan.

“Do It Again” was written and composed by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen and performed by their group Steely Dan. The song was released as a single from their 1972 debut album Can’t Buy a Thrill. It reached number 6 on the US charts in 1973, making it Steely Dan’s second highest charting single, behind “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.”

Some critics claim that it’s hard to make sense of the lyrics of most Steely Dan songs. This songs seems to be about some combination of addiction, second chances, and the inevitability of fate. It’s another example of a Steely Dan song that doesn’t make literal sense, but creates a mood. The group’s sound has always been considered to be unusual, and when asked to explain it, they sometimes described it as “smart rock.” I enjoy Steely Dan’s music because I like new age/light jazz music as well as classic rock, and I consider Steely Dan’s sound to be a fusion of rock, jazz, and blues.

Unfortunately, Walter Becker died in September 2017 at the age 67. Donald Fagen is still performing under the name Steely Dan.

By the way, an interesting factoid: Steely Dan was named after a dildo in William Burroughs’ 1959 novel, “Naked Lunch.”

Here are the song’s lyrics.

In the mornin you go gunnin’
For the man who stole your water
And you fire till he is done in
But they catch you at the border
And the mourners are all sangin’
As they drag you by your feet
But the hangman isn’t hangin’
And they put you on the street

You go back, Jack, do it again
Wheel turnin’ ’round and ’round
You go back, Jack, do it again

When you know she’s no high climber
Then you find your only friend
In a room with your two timer
And you’re sure you’re near the end
Then you love a little wild one
And she brings you only sorrow
All the time you know she’s smilin’
You’ll be on your knees tomorrow

You go back, Jack, do it again
Wheel turnin’ ’round and ’round
You go back, Jack, do it again

Now you swear and kick and beg us
That you’re not a gamblin’ man
Then you find you’re back in Vegas
With a handle in your hand
Your black cards can make you money
So you hide them when you’re able
In the land of milk and honey
You must put them on the table

You go back, Jack, do it again
Wheel turnin’ ’round and ’round
You go back, Jack, do it again

19 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Do It Again

  1. pensitivity101 November 17, 2019 / 6:39 am

    I have very fond memories of this as it was extremely popular in all the discos I used to frequent as a teenager.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maggie November 17, 2019 / 6:45 am

    What a classic song. Great choice and one that never entered my mind. And very unusual factoid about the band name, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 17, 2019 / 9:47 am

      I didn’t know that about the group’s name before I did my research for this post.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. fireblossom32 November 17, 2019 / 7:16 am

    Great choice. I think their songs are so catchy that it almost doesn’t matter what they’re about.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. newepicauthor November 17, 2019 / 8:16 am

    I think this song is about Jack who is a smuggler and a gambler. He is angry at a man who stole his water when he was going across the boarder. His girl two times him and then finds another girl that is real wild. He heads to Vegas and when he runs out of money he has to make another smuggling trip. Go back Jack and do it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. msjadeli November 17, 2019 / 2:12 pm

    Steely Dan is always a good choice. Nesie also enlightened as to band name origin. Who knew!?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 17, 2019 / 2:58 pm

      You can’t go wrong with Steely Dan!


  6. aisasami May 24, 2020 / 5:44 am

    I loooooooooooooooooove the album Can’t Buy a Thrill right now. It has been playing a lot, especially Fire in The Hole. It is a brilliant album!

    Liked by 1 person

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