D is For “Do It Again”

It’s time for this year’s A to Z Blogging Challenge to get underway. My theme is classic rock songs. Each day during the month (except for the first four Sundays, I will post a classic rock song: a video from YouTube, along with a brief bit of background about the song and the recording artist(s).

My D song is “Do It Again” from Steely Dan. I have been a long time fan of Steely Dan. I enjoy the band’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.

“Do It Again” was written and composed by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen and performed by the group they founded together. The song was released as a single from their 1972 debut album Can’t Buy a Thrill. This was Steely Dan’s first single. It became a hit in both the U.S. and the UK, earning the group a lot of press coverage. It reached number 6 on the U.S. charts in 1973, making it Steely Dan’s second highest charting single, behind “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.”

Becker and Fagen met while they were students at Bard College in upstate New York. You can hear references to these times in their song “My Old School.”

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.”

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

Steely Dan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, four years after the band eligible.

By the way, an interesting factoid: Steely Dan was named after a dildo in William Burroughs’ 1959 novel, “Naked Lunch.” According to Fagen, the name had less to do with sex than a rebel spirit, a beat consciousness that they grew up with.

Here are the lyrics to “Do It Again.”

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

Previous 2023 A to Z posts: A B C

36 thoughts on “D is For “Do It Again”

  1. eschudel April 5, 2023 / 6:13 am

    So many songs, so many lyrics that make no sense…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango April 5, 2023 / 12:55 pm

      So many groups sacrifice sense for rhyme.


  2. Lauren April 5, 2023 / 6:18 am

    I too enjoy this music. I was newly married and thrilled that I could blast the music through my house. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. newepicauthor April 5, 2023 / 6:44 am

    I think this song is about a gambler that is addicted and he has to keep on doing it again. whatever, it is a great song.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John Holton April 5, 2023 / 10:55 am

    It’s true: you don’t hear Steely Dan’s music as much as you feel it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. bushboy April 5, 2023 / 1:35 pm

    Great choice Fandango. Steely Dan always a good pick 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. junedesilva April 11, 2023 / 6:19 am

    I’ve always loved ‘Can’t Buy a Thrill’. I still listen to it now, especially when I’m driving. ‘Dirty Work’ is one of my favourite tracks, coincidentally another D song!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. leigha66 April 16, 2023 / 7:48 pm

    A long time since I have heard this one…. thanks for the lyrics, I never really listened to them before.

    Liked by 1 person

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