Do You Know the Opening Lyrics of These ’60s Songs?

By: Lauren Lubas
Estimated Completion Time
7 min
Chubby Checker This dance song changed America. What are the opening lyrics of Chubby Checker's "The Twist" (1960)?
"Let's do the twist"
"Take me by the hand"
"And go like this"
"Come on baby"
Though most songs that had specific dances that went along with them didn't last long, "The Twist" made its way into our hearts, and everyone now knows how to swing their hips and knees around to this beat.

Advertisement

The Ronettes The Ronettes pleaded in "Be My Baby" (1964), but how did the song begin?
"If I had the chance, I'd never let you go"
"I'll make you happy, baby"
"Be my little baby"
"The night we met, I knew I needed you so"
In the 1960s, it was totally normal for women to beg men for love. Of course, a song like this wouldn't make it very far these days, but the sound the Ronettes gave us was good enough to help this one become timeless.

Advertisement

The Animals What are the first words to "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals?
"She's got blue jeans"
"Her tight dress spoke to me"
"There is a house in New Orleans"
Though this is a rock anthem, it really is just about a bar that was on fire. We suppose inspiration can come from anywhere, and sometimes it comes from watching a bar burn and smoke cover the river.
"My mother was a tailor"

Advertisement

Ben E King "Stand By Me" is a song that has stood the test of time. Do you know its first lines?
"When the night has come"
Ben E. King brought this song to us in 1961, and we soon realized that gorgeous music comes from all walks of life. This song touched many people, and it still does today, because whenever life's troubles get to be too much for us, we can turn it up loud.
"The moon is the only light we'll see"
"I won't be afraid"
"If the sky that we look upon"

Advertisement

The Monkees Do you know the opening line of "I'm a Believer" (1967) by the Monkees?
"Love was out to get me"
"Not a trace of doubt in my mind"
"I thought love was only true in fairy tales"
Any list of pop songs of the 1960s would not be complete without this song by The Monkees. Alright, they weren't great at spelling, but they were amazing at creating catchy tunes with fun lyrics.
"Disappointment haunted all my dreams"

Advertisement

The Foundations "Build Me Up Buttercup" is one of the most singable songs ever written. Do you know the opening lyrics?
"How do you fill me up"
"Why do you build me up"
The Foundations had a big hit with "Build Me Up Buttercup" in 1968. This song has been used in countless movies for actors to lip sync to, and it also works as an excellent karaoke tune.
"Can you chill me out"
"When you smile"

Advertisement

The Mamas and the Papas The Mamas and the Papas made everyone dream of California, but can you find the first line of the song, "California Dreamin'" (1966)?
"If I was in L.A."
"I'd be safe and warm"
"I went for a walk"
"All the leaves are brown"
The 1960s were a tumultuous time. Children were running away from home to sing in the streets and "fight the power." Songs like this inspired people to leave their small towns behind and start anew.

Advertisement

The Four Tops You might not recognize this one right off the bat, but do you know the first words from "I Can't Help Myself" by The Four Tops?
"You're the one, the only one, the one I need"
"I don't wanna see you 'round here anymore"
"She's only got eyes for him, but I don't mind"
"Ooh, sugar pie, honey bunch, you know that I love you"
Everyone knows this song as "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch," but it was actually called "I Can't Help Myself" when it was released in 1965. When you really think about the lyrics, it's quite a sad song about love and loss.

Advertisement

Elvis Presley Can you guess the opening line of Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds" (1969)?
"We're caught in a trap"
Elvis was huge in the 1960s. Not only did he serve in the military, but he also gave us some of the most memorable music released back then. While some believe that he is still alive, others just enjoy listening to his music.
"We can't go on together"
"So, if an old friend I know"
"Would I still see suspicion in your eyes?"

Advertisement

The Rolling Stones In 1966, The Rolling Stones had a hit with "Paint It Black." Do you know the opening lyrics?
"I see a red door"
The Rolling Stones had quite a few hits over the years, and as their later songs became more popular, many forgot about this 1966 classic. It was bold and a little weird, but that is what rock music needed at the time.
"I see a black door"
"I see a green door"
"I see a wood door"

Advertisement

The Troggs Do you know the first lyrics of "Wild Thing" by The Troggs?
"There is a house in New Orleans"
"Wild thing, I think I love you"
"Wild thing, you make my heart sing"
This song made a comeback in the 1990s (actually, we don't think it ever really left), and it is clear that this wild music gave everyone a little jolt. It showed people of 1966 that you could have a simple song with simple lyrics, and it could be great.
"Come on and hold me tight"

Advertisement

The Temptations 2 "My Girl" was a hit by The Temptations in 1965. Can you pick the opening lyrics?
"When it's cold outside, I got the month of May"
"I've got sunshine on a cloudy day"
If you're looking for a wholesome song to sing to your child, this is the one for you. It is so perfectly pure, and it is simply about how much a man loves his girl and how happy she makes him.
"I guess you'd say"
"What can make me feel this way"

Advertisement

Diana Ross & The Supremes Can you guess the opening lyrics to "Stop! In The Name Of Love" by Diana Ross & The Supremes?
"I watch you walk down the street"
"Stop! In the name of love, before you break my heart"
Diana Ross was something special, and everyone in the 1960s saw it. She was bold and had a voice that just wouldn't quit. This song really helped her gain traction in the pop world.
"This time, before you run to her"
"Think it over"

Advertisement

The Temptations In the 1960s, The Temptations weren't too proud to beg, but do you know the opening lyrics to "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" (1966)?
"I refuse to let you go"
"I can build a castle from a single grain of sand"
"I know you wanna leave me"
Though 1960s pop was full of women begging men, The Temptations flipped the script and sang a song about how they needed the woman, and crying was totally cool, as long as she stayed.
"I heard a crying man is half a man"

Advertisement

The Righteous Brothers The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" (1965) is considered one of the best love songs of all time. Can you spot the opening lyrics?
"Lonely rivers flow"
"Wait for me, wait for me"
"Time goes by so slowly"
"Oh, my love, my darling"
"... I hunger for your touch" ... eh hem, sorry, we couldn't not finish that line. This song has been in dozens of movies, but none so memorable as that crazy scene in "Ghost" (1990). Yas.

Advertisement

The Shirelles The Shirelles made this one famous. What are the opening lyrics of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" (1960)?
"Tomorrow I'm yours"
"We had a great night"
"Is this a lasting treasure"
"Tonight you're mine"
Alright, we'll admit that The Shirelles weren't the greatest performers, but their voices were unique (and hey, dancing around stages wasn't super important at the time). This song reminds us that people don't necessarily have to love you forever.

Advertisement

The Doors We all know that The Doors were controversial in the '60s, but do you remember the opening lyrics to "Light My Fire" (1967)?
"Come on baby, light my fire"
"If I was to say to you"
"You know that it would be untrue"
Jim Morrison changed the way we look at music, rock music to be more specific. It didn't have to bend or bow to the masses; it just had to be art. The Doors always seemed to give us exactly what we needed.
"Try to set the night on fire"

Advertisement

The Beatles Do you know the opening lyrics to The Beatles' hit, "Eight Days A Week" (1964)?
"Hold me, love me"
"Oh, I need your love, babe"
The Beatles were the very definition of cool when it came to the 1960s. They were chased and followed by screaming mobs. It's a miracle the remaining members can hear anything, as just watching videos of them back then is an all-out assault on the eardrums.
"I ain't got nothing but love girl"
"Eight days a week"

Advertisement

Marvin Gaye In 1968, Marvin Gaye heard it through the grapevine . Do you know the opening lyrics to that song?
"Oh I bet you're wonderin' how I knew"
Anyone who has learned about a breakup from rumors and gossip holds this song deep in their hearts. It's all about heartbreak and the difficulty of young love. The sound and the lyrics still hold up today.
"It took me by surprise"
"When I found out yesterday"
"I'm just about to lose my mind"

Advertisement

Sonny and Cher Sonny and Cher were an unstoppable duo. Do you know the opening lyrics to their hit, "I Got You Babe" (1965)?
"They say our love won't pay the rent"
"I'm sure of all the things we got"
"They say we're young and we don't know"
Sonny and Cher were the ultimate duo, and we just loved seeing them. Even after they divorced, this song was heard quite a bit on the airwaves, and Cher even sings it at her Las Vegas shows to this day.
"I got flowers in the spring"

Advertisement

The Byrds Can you guess the opening lyrics to The Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man" (1965)?
"I'm ready to go anywhere"
"I'm ready to fade away"
On to my own parade cast your dancin' spell my way"
"Hey Mister Tambourine Man, play a song for me"
There's nothing like a song about a guy who walks around with a tambourine. We'll admit, some of the songs of the 1960s were a little odd, but that was art trying to find itself in a way.

Advertisement

The Rolling Stones 2 What are the first lyrics to "Jumpin' Jack Flash" by The Rolling Stones?
"I was born in a cross-fire hurricane"
All of these things happened to the character in this song, of course, but it was totally alright, because he was Jumpin' Jack Flash. This song was weird and had some odd lyrics, but it is always worthy of a crank up when you hear it played.
"I was raised by a toothless,, bearded hag"
"I was drowned, I was washed up and left for dead"
"I was crowned with a spike right through my head"

Advertisement

The Kinks The Kinks made "You Really Got Me" famous. Do you know the opening lyrics?
"Girl, you really got me goin'"
The Kinks were way ahead of their time (as far as sound goes). While some didn't know what to do with this new sound, other's brought it into the light and made it quite famous. This song is unique and original.
"Girl, you really have me now"
"Girl, it's a wild night"
"It was a wild Saturday"

Advertisement

Neil Diamond "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond is a karaoke sensation. Do you know its opening line?
"I'd be inclined"
"Where it began, I can't begin to knowing"
Few songs could make it as college go-tos the way that "Sweet Caroline" (1969) did. It was (and still is) a song that everyone can wrap their heads around and actually relate to on a deeper level.
"Hands, touching hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you"
"Sweet Caroline, good times never seemed so good"

Advertisement

Bob Dylan Some say Bob Dylan was the king of the 1960s. Do you know the first lyrics to "Like a Rolling Stone" (1965)?
"Once upon a time, you dressed so fine"
Bob Dylan wrote poetry and sang it with an acoustic guitar in the background. He wrote complete stories and wasn't concerned with how long the song was going to end up being. It was finished when it was finished, and there is no purer form of music.
"Now you don't seem so proud"
"To be without a home"
"With no direction home"

Advertisement

the Marvelettes Do you remember the opening lyrics from "Please Mr. Postman" by the Marvelettes?
"Wait Mr. Postman"
When it came to pop music, the 1960s gave us various sounds by various artists. "Please Mr. Postman" was the kind of song that you sang out loud as a child and as an adult. It held a yearning that we all remember having at one point in our lives.
"Please Mr. Postman"
"Stop Mr. Postman"
"Give me a letter Mr. Postman"

Advertisement

Steppenwolf Can you spot the opening lyrics to Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" (1968)?
"Take it as it comes"
"Lookin' for adventure"
"I was born"
"Get your motor runnin'"
So maybe "Magic Carpet Ride" was a better song, but "Born to Be Wild" was probably the most famous song by Steppenwolf. While it seems like a nice song now, it was a powerful rock hit when it was released in 1968.

Advertisement

Buffalo Springfield Of all the political music of the 1960s, Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" (1966) seems to be the leader of it all. What are the first words of the song?
"Stop, children, what's that sound"
"There's something happening here"
"Nobody's right if everybody's wrong," are lyrics that we could stand to put on repeat for a while. There is a lot we can all learn from American folk music of the 1960s, and if nothing else, we can just enjoy the sound.
"There's a man with a gun over there"
"There's battle lines being drawn"

Advertisement

Creedence Clearwater Revival In "Fortunate Son" (1969), Creedence Clearwater Revival made a bold political statement. Do you know the song's opening line?
"Some folks are born made to wave the flag"
Creedence Clearwater Revival had many different sounds, and it seemed like they had a song for every mood you were in. Are you feeling political? "Fortunate Son" is available. Need to dance? "Suzie Q" is always ready.
"Some folks are born silver spoon in hand"
"Ooh, they're red, white and blue"
"It ain't me, it ain't me"

Advertisement

Sam Cooke Sam Cooke had some amazing hits. What are the opening lyrics to "A Change is Gonna Come" (1964)?
"I've been too hard living"
"I'm afraid to die"
"I was born by the river in a little tent"
Sam Cooke had one of the most unique voices of his generation (and it was a generation of some pretty unique voices). While only a few of his songs have stood the test of time, his entire library is always nice to revisit.
"I go to the movie and I go downtown"

Advertisement

The Who The Who gave us some great music in the 1960s. Do you know the opening lyrics to "I Can See For Miles" (1967)?
"I know that you have"
"There's magic in your eyes"
"I know you've deceived me, now here's a surprise"
When you boil down the lyrics to this song, they seem rather creepy. It's about a guy who knows a little too much. Alright, maybe he's hurt, but that doesn't make stalking acceptable.
"You took advantage of my trust in you"

Advertisement

Jimi Hendrix We can't have a '60s music quiz without a little Jimi Hendrix. What are the opening lyrics to "All Along the Watchtower" (1968)?
"There's too much confusion"
"There must be some kind of way outta here"
Jimi Hendrix had some powerful lyrics, and let's be honest, many great singers have tried to recreate this song, but nothing compares to Jimi's rendition. He was a musical god, and we all bowed to him.
"No reason to get excited"
"There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke"

Advertisement

James Brown The James Brown hit, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," (1966) has interesting lyrics. Do you know the first few?
"He ain't no drag"
"He's got a brand new bag"
"He's doing the jerk"
"Come here, sister ... papa's in the swing"
It might just be impossible to listen to this song without starting to dance (or at the very least bob your head and tap your feet to the beat). It's just such a fantastic song all around. The music, the beat, the lyrics and James Brown. How could anything be wrong with this song?

Advertisement

Van Morrison Van Morrison sang "Brown Eyed Girl" in 1967. Do you know the first line?
"Days when the rains came"
"Hey, where did we go?"
When you listen to the lyrics of this song, it tells the story of young love, change and memories. "Brown Eyed Girl" might have some of the most powerful lyrics produced in music, but it is also punchy and fun to dance to.
"Down in the hollow"
"Playin' a new game"

Advertisement

The Beach Boys The Beach Boys were all about those "Good Vibrations," but do you know the opening lyrics to that song?
"I love the colorful clothes she wears"
There is something about how The Beach Boys worked together to create beautiful harmonies that makes their music pure and wholesome. This is definitely a signature song of 1966, and we still listen to it today.
"Close my eyes"
"I'm pickin' up good vibrations"
"She's giving me excitations"

Advertisement

You Got:
/35
Featured