Song Lyric Sunday — Alligators and Crocodiles

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt, Jim Adams has given us those warm and cuddly creatures, “alligator,” “crocodile,” “lizard,” “snake,” and “turtle,” as our choices. Two songs came to mind. The first was “See You Later, Alligator,” which was written by Robert Charles Guidry and made famous in 1955 when recorded by Bill Haley and His Comets. The other song that came to mind was Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock.” And because I’m a big Elton John fan, that’s the one I’m going with.

“Crocodile Rock” was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and was released in October 1972 in the UK and a month later in the U.S. It was a pre-release single from Elton John’s forthcoming 1973 album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player, and became his first U.S. number-one single.

As Songfacts explains, the song tells the story of a guy in the ’50s and ’60s who frequented a restaurant where the patrons loved an obscure dance called the Crocodile Rock. Because of all the events that happened in the ’60s, however, this unknown little dance forever vanished into history and no one cared anymore. Even his girlfriend, who also enjoyed “burning up to the Crocodile Rock,” left him. It’s a catchy little song with really sad lyrics.

The song has a distinct ’50s musical theme. Elton said that it contained flavors of a lot of his favorite early rock songs, including “Little Darlin’,” “At The Hop,” and “Oh Carol,” as well as songs by The Beach Boys and Eddie Cochran. The title is a play on the Bill Haley song “See You Later, Alligator,” and Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock” even gets a mention, as that’s what the other big hit kids were listening to while the song’s narrator was doing the Crocodile Rock.

Don McLean, who wrote and sang, “American Pie,” which came out the previous year, said that “Crocodile Rock” had a lot of similarities to his hit. Both songs were about young people in the ’50s obsessed with rock n’ roll, but disappointed when the music “died.” Both songs also feature a Chevy. Elton admits the song is highly derivative because it’s about the things he grew up with. He said, “I wanted it to be a record about all the things I grew up with. Of course it’s a rip-off.”

I remember when rock was young
Me and Suzie had so much fun
Holding hands and skimming stones
Had an old gold Chevy and a place of my own

But the biggest kick I ever got
Was doing a thing called the Crocodile Rock
While the other kids were Rocking Round the Clock
We were hopping and bopping to the Crocodile Rock

Well Crocodile Rocking is something shocking
When your feet just can’t keep still
I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will

Oh Lawdy mama those Friday nights
When Suzie wore her dresses tight
And the Crocodile Rocking was out of sight

But the years went by and the rock just died
Suzie went and left us for some foreign guy
Long nights crying by the record machine
Dreaming of my Chevy and my old blue jeans

But they’ll never kill the thrills we’ve got
Burning up to the Crocodile Rock
Learning fast as the weeks went past
We really thought the Crocodile Rock would last

As a bonus: Bill Haley and His Comets with “See You Later, Alligator.”

46 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Alligators and Crocodiles

  1. badfinger20 (Max) December 6, 2020 / 7:13 am

    Great choice! I grew up with this song.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen December 6, 2020 / 7:55 am

      Yes, me too, I remember singing this. Parts of it, anyway. It came out before sixth grade, but I can picture being on the playground in sixth grade singing. Besides playing four square and other things. I didn’t have the album, though. The Elton John album I had (later) was Captain Fantastic… (ha! I didn’t mean to do that — include a word from the album in my other comment). I’d bet this song (in childhood) is why we welcomed a revival of fifties stuff in high school; like for talent shows and more.

      Liked by 2 people

      • badfinger20 (Max) December 6, 2020 / 9:40 am

        My older sister had the single and I loved it…Oh that is alright…I had that album in the 80s!
        Yes the seventies sure did bring the 50s back… American Graffiti, Happy Days, Sha Na Na, and many more things.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen December 6, 2020 / 12:52 pm

          In sixth grade, a girl in my class had an older brother who introduced her (and, thereby, me) to the super progressive rock music group, Yes (lead sing Jon Anderson, bass guitar Chris Squire). [I could give you my friend’s (friend back then but who I no longer knew after that year before junior high in a different school system) family last name, too, but will refrain from doing so🤫.]

          Liked by 2 people

          • badfinger20 (Max) December 6, 2020 / 1:00 pm

            Music takes us back to particular moments…he introduced you to some good music. I was 8 in 1975 and I bought a Beatles album and since then I have been stuck in older music. Still a huge Beatles fan to this day…but I remember Elton and all of the aritsts from that era…

            Liked by 1 person

            • Marleen December 6, 2020 / 1:22 pm

              Yes was just getting “big” in ‘72 (although they had been going along in the late sixties doing covers for a while); I was nine (not in ‘75). My children’s dad and I took three of our sons to see Yes live like five or so years ago; I, too, think my friend’s brother introduced me to some good music. (But it might be an acquired taste.) [One of my sons doesn’t live in the country, now. Another is the youngest and a bit still in a rebellious stage off at college.] The configuration of Yes we saw together (for the ones around) is the one with Jon Anderson and with Rick Wakeman on keyboards; I think they don’t legally own the name “Yes”* (stand-alone) now… they are like “Yes with Anderson, Rabin, and Wakeman” 😐.

              * That bunch had Chris Squire.

              Liked by 2 people

            • badfinger20 (Max) December 6, 2020 / 1:33 pm

              Thats a great thing when you can pass it down like that. I took my son (only son and he is 20) to see Paul McCartney for his first concert and then The Who and Ringo…after that we went to see Bob Dylan…

              I hate when bands break apart like that…Pink Floyd did something similiar.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Marleen December 6, 2020 / 2:09 pm

              At least I got to see them during the Union Tour — like e’r’body was there. Two drummers. I’ll stop naming names.

              I agree about passing it down. That was a fun experience. However, I don’t think I took any of my sons to their first concert(s) — if we don’t count classical or klesmer or…

              I think I should find out what concert was the first for each of them. I’ve gone alone to a concert with three of them; same three.

              Liked by 2 people

            • badfinger20 (Max) December 6, 2020 / 2:54 pm

              I never got to see them before…Yes that is.

              We went to a few more and we were going to see the Rolling Stones this past summer until all of this covid happened.

              I’m glad I got to go with him…it was my first time seeing Paul also.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Marleen December 6, 2020 / 4:27 pm

              Well… that was even more great, then… for you both to get to see Paul!

              It would be pretty amazing to see The Rolling Stones, maybe more so now than earlier.

              One of my sons was going to take me to a concert summer 2020. I had taken him to one in 2017, like ninth row and outdoors. The tickets he bought were near the back in something like an arena, but for a reunion concert, so, that was fine. He’s my second to youngest.

              I once took my second to oldest to a “concert” (quote marks because it was entirely electronics I think). Our seats were kinda far back in an old cramped place; I wouldn’t have be been able to see if there were any guitarists or anything. It was Moby. I had the tickets because my oldest son had to work and gave them to me. As soon as we got there, my son bugged out and went to the front where there was standing space… perhaps a mosh pit. That son’s first concert was probably Slipknot. (Funny coincidence — someone who used to practice with the guys in Slipknot, in Iowa I think it was, but then messed up a finger and couldn’t play anymore, is a neighborhood friend {of mine}. He works for the Treasury Department. My second-oldest son does something quite similar [majored in math, plus psych]. But I don’t like that band.)

              Liked by 2 people

            • badfinger20 (Max) December 6, 2020 / 4:55 pm

              Yes I heard of Moby before and heard some of their music…Yea Slipknot is pretty hard.
              My son is in his 2nd year of college going for video production…we only had one but that is all I can afford lol.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Marleen December 6, 2020 / 5:33 pm

              Lol. Good that you did what makes sense for you. And it sounds like it worked out well for you and for him.

              My second-youngest majored in economics (has worked in administration and bankruptcy and ordinary taxes) and is now going back for accounting. He likes a lot of kinds of music, but his favorite concert so far was someone who does music for movies. He and my oldest went to Chicago for it. Hans Zimmer.

              Does your son have an idea what he wants to do with video? [My oldest considered getting into the movie business when he was younger. He wanted the training to be quick, though… looked at Full Sail.]

              Liked by 1 person

            • Marleen December 6, 2020 / 7:19 pm

              [Don’t know how Full Sail works now; then, you had to pay in full up-front for a four-year degree (and they said you’d do the work in two years). Besides the fact we couldn’t afford that, that son had started and stopped too many things. It would’ve been a big financial risk. If anyone could’ve learned that way if he applied himself, though, he’d be such a one.]

              Liked by 2 people

            • badfinger20 (Max) December 6, 2020 / 7:26 pm

              Oh we paid for the first two years and he is paying for the last two…we paid it up until the fall of 2021…then he will have to…but he is commuting so he is saving there… He is doing well so far…

              Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango December 6, 2020 / 11:06 pm

              I’m still stuck in the late 60s to late 70s classic rock genre. That’s all I listen to these days.

              Liked by 1 person

            • badfinger20 (Max) December 7, 2020 / 7:37 am

              It’s a great place to be music wise.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango December 7, 2020 / 2:56 pm

              I concur. 👍


            • Marleen December 6, 2020 / 11:28 pm

              That’s interesting; I haven’t heard of anyone doing it that way (2 and 2). It’s a good idea. (And it’s ideal, in my opinion, for the college student to live at home.) Congratulations on him doing well.

              I suppose he is either focused on the movie industry or open-minded about the wide variety of possibilities as he goes for video production. News could be a calling. And so many other things.

              The oldest son did stick to college work once he started, but at a more traditional place that goes by semester. He was going to get a masters in five years for architecture. He switched near the end, to industrial design.

              Liked by 1 person

            • badfinger20 (Max) December 7, 2020 / 7:42 am

              Thanks… he can concentrate much better at home and really…since this all has happened to the world…it’s much better right now…he does a lot of his classes online right now because of the virus.

              He is open on video production…He knows the jobs out there may mean a company’s video department for training videos or commercials…He wanted to go to a film school only and I talked him out of it…I said you better think about a 4 year degree…and he agreed without much pushing. He is getting everything he wanted plus he will be more well rounded for jobs.

              Industrial design is great. That is an interesting field and he should be set on jobs.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Marleen December 7, 2020 / 8:40 am

              🤩 He’s shining brightly. He is employed at a place that hires industrial designers, but he went in there to get a position as head of all their IT… across the country. They said they picked him because of his personality (which is stellar). He behaves much like a CEO, except very hands-on in ways that mean they don’t have to compose and fill so many jobs. Hmmm. He just likes to be busy and observant and so on, he’s not trying to keep people out. He does design incidentally, among other things. I think it’s good that he went through the normal college experience. (He didn’t study computers there, however🤣. He bought and used a fancy tech thing for his design work there, but he had learned most of his understanding of machinery and all that at home before the university.) I’m pretty sure knowing he handled the “well-rounded” gauntlet means he doesn’t question his foundation for confidence.

              As for “the COVID” — he says most people weren’t taking masking and distancing very seriously at work. One day, someone was near him and coughed (with no mask). He wrote a memo to some muckety muck in there and got those folks to start enforcing the rules before he would come back.

              Liked by 2 people

            • badfinger20 (Max) December 7, 2020 / 9:24 am

              I’m an IT Director and when covid hit we worked from home but then in May they wanted me to come back to the office. I told them absolutely not unless I could lock the IT department down from everyone else…they agreed. Most got laid off in IT and some in other departments so I am basically alone in my office everyday… the rest do follow the rules now…or I would not be here…but I don’t see them anyway. It’s a waste me being here but it keeps me in a routine.

              I like his hands on approach…I know everyone needs to delegate but I’ve met people who won’t get their hands dirty at all…I don’t ask anyone to do anything that I wouldn’t do.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Marleen December 7, 2020 / 10:57 am

              What a coincidence! 👏🏻

              😃 Let’s all get through this thing.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Marleen December 8, 2020 / 6:25 pm

              By the way, my youngest son (the one in college) is majoring in computer science. He was also specializing in cyber security or cyber warfare or something after enlisting in the army. Then tRump got into office and reduced our National cyber presence, so that ended. (But he’s still majoring in computer science.)

              The second-oldest one added data science in graduate school. He had some kind of computer certification, with his bachelor, along with his psychology and math.

              The second-youngest has no interest in the ins and outs of computers. He is outstanding as a user, however. In his work environments, other people who need to know how to use a computer rely on him. One place wanted to teach him how to code, on the job… and he was like “I’m outa here.”

              Liked by 2 people

            • badfinger20 (Max) December 9, 2020 / 6:42 am

              You have had a busy life getting them all ready… I feel lazy now with just one!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Marleen December 9, 2020 / 10:11 am

              Well, don’t do that — don’t feel lazy. Life is pretty demanding these days on just about anybody but a billionaire, or a man who enjoys his job and uses it to hide out from parenting (or spouse of any sort who does that). I just think it’s interesting how many different ways people can be involved with computers as a necessity for their job. There is a very (VERY) wide variety in the people who consider themselves computer people. And then there are mere mortals who still need to be able to use computers. The son who isn’t interested in computer guts (whether hardware or software) has spoken of how many people don’t know how to do what they have to do almost every day, anywhere from something fairly simple up to something his managing boss at his first official job at a huge corporation [after a paid internship in a different division and not including starter type jobs such as an ice cream shop, which got him through college, or a so-called internship at a house painting “firm” that simply showed him how businesses can be a con and you have to quit] took hours to do (and had to do often)… that said manager pushed off on him and he got done in five minutes (then showed that boss how to do it in five minutes). But, back to the non-mortals… he (I suppose that son is a hybrid) knew enough about coding to see that the coders there were performing a really messy and terrible job of it. And I hear about this all over, that many places have a really hard time getting things right. As a culture, I think we may be screwed.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Marleen December 13, 2020 / 10:25 am

              Now, I’m going far afield from where we started. But I want to share this. It does slightly tie in with something I shared just earlier. Additionally, this article (as can be more easily ascertained from listening to the embedded podcast) is largely some crazy. It, too, contains a few facts and a lot of misinformation. But it might be something going on behind the scenes today.

              10 USC 394: Authorities concerning military cyber operations


              Trump announced “offensive cyber operations” just one week after signing his Sep 12, 2018 Executive Order

              As you ponder all the implications of that, note carefully that just 8 days after President Trump signed his September 12, 2018 executive order, the Trump administration announced the launch of “offensive cyber operations” against foreign enemies. This was reported by the Washington Post, which explained, “The strategy incorporates a new classified presidential directive that replaced one from the Obama administration… It allows the military and other agencies to undertake cyber operations intended to protect their systems and the nation’s critical networks.”
              What would be considered “offensive cyber operations?” Kraken, of course.

              What my son had been involved in, on behalf of the country, was ended and replaced with something on behalf of Donald Trump and his coup efforts — apparently largely led by Sidney Powell.

              Liked by 2 people

            • badfinger20 (Max) December 13, 2020 / 10:58 am

              I got some information about this with my FBI emails I get every week. I met with a FBI agent a few years ago about cyber security for our company and he signed me up for the newsletters. I knew something was happening but I didn’t dig for details.

              Yea with politics…I don’t like either side. it’s a mess right now. I don’t like Biden and I sure as heck don’t like Trump. I hope this can pass soon but I’m sure it won’t….

              Liked by 1 person

            • Marleen December 13, 2020 / 11:23 am

              That sounds like a very interesting email list to be on.


              Liked by 2 people

            • badfinger20 (Max) December 13, 2020 / 11:31 am

              It mostly warns about attacks…and how credit cards get sold on the darknet and so on. It is interesting. Now I need my staff back to help protect!

              Liked by 1 person

          • Fandango December 6, 2020 / 11:04 pm

            I really enjoyed Yes, especially their “Fragile” album.


            • Marleen December 6, 2020 / 11:48 pm

              Well, that’s wonderful to hear… that you enjoyed Yes. To be candid, they have been hit and miss. But I am slightly obsessed with the pieces I like. There are a couple outstanding “songs” (maybe one song and one long thing) from The Yes Album. Fragile took them even further, and Close to the Edge is primo. I like Tales From Topagraphic Oceans, then Relayer. About nineteen seventy-nine or eighty (roughy guesstimating), 🤢 was my reaction to the new stuff (for Genesis too).

              Liked by 1 person

            • Marleen December 7, 2020 / 8:08 am

              Maybe more along the lines of 😠 or 😖. But there would still be something now and again to blow the socks off like before (with Yes). Yet I experienced that “what is going on here” type disorientation a lot of people did after the end of the seventies.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. badfinger20 (Max) December 6, 2020 / 7:13 am

    ….and I love your bonus song!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marleen December 6, 2020 / 7:44 am

    What a fantastic pair of shares. And I loved hearing the background info.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen December 6, 2020 / 9:16 am

      We used to say “See ya’ later alligator — after a while crocodile.”

      Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen December 6, 2020 / 1:01 pm

          How many Elton John albums did you have throughout the years? I actually only ever had the one (without Crocodile Rock).

          My parents had a few albums from the sixties, so… no See You Later … (and that’s about it as my dad was satisfied with the radio).

          Liked by 1 person

          • Marleen December 6, 2020 / 1:28 pm

            A friend from seventh grade had a bunch of Elton John albums, the one with Crocodile Rock and more (before Captain Fatastic).

            Liked by 1 person

          • Marleen December 6, 2020 / 1:34 pm

            Oops. I don’t mean my parents had Elton John albums from the sixties. They, personally, had no Elton John albums. The ones I remember best they had were something by the Temptations and something by Brubeck. The only album I think my dad bought after the early sixties was for me — music from The Sting (a consolation prize offered to me in order to postpone seeing the movie for a week or so without my being too disappointed).

            Liked by 1 person

            • Marleen December 6, 2020 / 2:19 pm

              A correction: the Brubeck album was from ‘59. I, myself, love music like that in a restaurant… or bar. And I’d see it live if I could.

              Liked by 1 person

          • Fandango December 6, 2020 / 11:09 pm

            I probably had a half dozen or so of his albums.


            • Marleen December 6, 2020 / 11:34 pm

              It’s somewhat weird I didn’t as well. He was my favorite for a few years. I have never seen him live, though. I didn’t go to a lot of concerts, especially when I was very young, though.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. leigha66 December 13, 2020 / 11:41 pm

    I love Crocodile Rock! Bill Haley is pretty good too. Thanks for some great music tonight!

    Liked by 1 person

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