They All Asked For You (1975)

The Meters

Fire On The Bayou
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Let’s get some business out of the way. The official title is “They All Asked For You.” However, the song as sung says: They all axed for you. That’s a bit of self-deprecating humor, and humor is the watchword for this track. It spins on its ear proper society’s convention of telling a white lie to someone who missed a fancy soiree, “They all asked for you.” Polite and silly.

The Meters set up a series of “social events” – first at the Audubon Zoo where: The monkeys asked, the tigers asked, and the elephant asked me too. The song then moves on to the sky where: the ducks asked, the eagles asked, etc. Finally, there is the deep blue sea, as well: The sharks asked, etc.

The song gambols and galumphs, a comedy in three acts meant to insult the second participant in the nutty story. A barrel-house piano carries the song along while French-Quarter-at-dawn horns puncture the melody line and blithely corny bass guitar sound effects mimic chagrinned surprise. Ridiculous vocals chip in their, um, unique feeling.

At every break, some farcical banter breaks in loudly. There are shouts of la-bás (literally “down there” or “over there,” but roughly translated as “Hey, pal”). Various ingredients for Creole dishes are shouted out with no rhyme or reason: grits and fish drippin’s; mutterings about boiled crawfish; tomato paste, and red beans and rice. You would think Paul Prudhomme or Emeril Legasse was sitting in on the recording session.

“They Axed For You” is just about the most fun you can have with your clothes on.