Meaning of Blitzkrieg Bop by Ramones & The Story Behind

The term “blitzkrieg” in literal translation from German means “lightning war”. The theory of fleet warfare was developed by Alfred von Schlieffen at the beginning of the twentieth century. The German army first implemented it in World War I, and later Nazi Germany successfully applied the blitzkrieg strategy during the invasion of the USSR.

This word attracted Dee Dee Ramone. He decided to use it as the title of one of the Ramones’ most famous songs.

The story and meaning of Blitzkrieg Bop

The song was composed by Tommy Ramone, drummer for the Ramones. At first it was called Animal Hop, but then Dee Dee Ramon came up with a variant of Blitzkrieg Bop and replaced the line “shouting in the back now” with the phrase “shoot’em in the back now”.

Tommy told how he wrote the song:

I came up with the refrain while walking home from the grocery store with a bag of groceries. It is based on the line “High Hose nipped her toes” from the song Walking the Dog by Rufus Thomas.

Ramones: Soundtrack of Our Lives

Tommy Ramon went into more detail about the early history of Blitzkrieg Bop in this interview:

The Bay City Rollers had a big hit back then called Saturday Night, in the vein of a chant song. So I thought it would be great to do one for the Ramones. Somehow I came up with “Hey! Ho! Let’s go!” I just love the line because it pokes fun at Mick Jagger singing Walking the Dog in The Rolling Stones version with the line “High low, hippy toe”. We all fooled around and sang “Hey, ho!” instead of her.

Tommy also composed the music on the fly. He grabbed Joey Ramone’s guitar, thumped the strings, and quickly picked up the chords.

Meaning of Blitzkrieg Bop song

What is the composition about? It seems that the authors did not bother themselves with reflections on the meaning of the work. They were more important emotional message with which they addressed the public.

However, many years later, Tommy Ramon will say:

Basically, it was about a few guys going to a concert to get away from everything and have some great fun.

He also added that he himself went to cool concerts as a teenager, so the song can be considered partly autobiographical.

Not all Ramones fans believe in such a simple interpretation of the Blitzkrieg Bop song. Many recall the Jewish roots of the group members and claim that the authors hinted at the hostilities of the German army.

Tommy denied such speculation:

The original title of the song was Animal Hop. Dee Dee came up with Blitzkrieg Bop because he wanted to “ramonize” it. And he changed one line… It probably gave rise to conspiracy theories, but those words weren’t in the first version of the lyrics. Dee Dee made up the title and that line, but everything else is mine.

Recording and release

Blitzkrieg Bop was produced by producer Craig Leon. He recalled:

The common myth that the band just walked into the studio and played it in one take is not true. It took layered guitar tracks, overdubs, and some technology for the vocals. We decided to exaggerate the old English three-track sound that Joey loved. It intensified the sense of chaos and that disturbing psychological strangeness. So it took more effort than you might think.

The song was included on the Ramones album. In February 1976, it was released as the band’s debut single. It was not successful on the charts, but became the anthem of the punk movement.

The song has been included in several famous best track lists, including:

  • “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” – Rolling Stone
  • “100 Greatest Guitar Tracks” – Q,
  • “The 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time” – Rolling Stone,
  • “The Greatest Hard Rock Songs of All Time” – VH1,
  • “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” – NME
  • “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll” – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The powerful energy charge of the track was especially liked by sports fans. To this day, they often sing in chorus in stadiums: “Hey! Ho! Let’s go!”.

Blitzkrieg Bop – The Ramones Video

A music video for the song was not filmed. Check out the Blitzkrieg Bop video filmed at a Ramones concert.

Cover versions

During the 1978 tour, The Clash performed Blitzkrieg Bop numerous times, often combining the song with their Police and Thieves track.

In 2002, Green Day played Blitzkrieg Bop at the Ramones’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Rob Zombie recorded Blitzkrieg Bop for the tribute album A Tribute to Ramones (We’re a Happy Family).

Interesting Facts

  • The punk band Blitzkrieg Bop took their name from the song.
  • The composition is featured in numerous films, series, computer games, television shows and commercials.

Blitzkrieg Bop Lyrics by Ramones

Hey, ho, let’s go! Hey, ho, let’s go!
Hey, ho, let’s go! Hey, ho, let’s go!

They’re forming in a straight line
They’re going through a tight wind
The kids are losing their minds
The Blitzkrieg Bop
They’re peeling in the back seat
They’re generating steam heat
Pulsating to the back beat
The Blitzkrieg Bop

Hey ho, let’s go
Shoot ’em in the back now
What they want, I don’t know
They’re all revved up and ready to go




Hey ho, let’s go! Hey ho, let’s go!
Hey ho, let’s go! Hey ho, let’s go!

Warner/Chappell Music Inc.

Lyrics Blitzkrieg Bop by Ramones Alternate

Hey you, let’s go! Hey you, let’s go!
Hey you, let’s go! Hey you, let’s go!

They line up,
They go against a strong wind.
Guys go crazy.
Blitzkrieg bop.
They stuff themselves in the back seat
You can’t breathe from them in the car,
They twitch to the beat of the music.
Blitzkrieg bop.

Hey you, let’s go!
Shoot them in the back.
I don’t know what they want.
They are all on edge and ready for anything.




Hey you, let’s go! Hey you, let’s go!
Hey you, let’s go! Hey you, let’s go!

Song quote

I hate to dispel the mystique, but at the time we really liked bubblegum pop music and we really liked the Bay City Rollers. Their song “Saturday Night” had a great refrain. So we also wanted a song with the refrain “Hey! Ho! Let’s go!” Blitzkrieg Bop was our Saturday Night.

Joey Ramone

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