September 30, 2010

"Hey Nineteen"

"Hey Nineteen" is a song by American jazz rock band Steely Dan, written by members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, and released on their 1980 album Gaucho.

According to one reviewer's interpretation, the song "was about a middle-aged man's disappointment with a young lover ("Hey Nineteen, that's 'Retha Franklin / She don't remember the Queen of Soul / It's hard times befallen the sole survivors / She thinks I'm crazy but I'm just growing old")." Other reviews felt that the song struck a nerve with the aging baby boomer generation transition from the freewheeling 60's and 70's to the conservative 1980's.

Becker and Fagen


Anonymous said...

Okay--well you know Chris I'm a sucker for all things SD. My daughter knows this song so well I've been jinxed on our ride to school because we got lost singing...

I still haven't explained what "the fine Columbian" means (nor has she asked). I didn't know what Ceurvo Gold meant when I first bought the ALBUM...

Skate a little lower now sounds more and more creepy as I get older. Still, a great song on a great album. Knopfler played on Gaucho didn't he? I'd have to look it up. That's the downside to iTunes--no liner notes...but like an old fool I digress...jemison

Chris said...


This has always sounded to me like it could fit in nicely on Nightfly, and album we both really like. I too was naive about "the Cuervo Gold, the fine Columbian" until high school. I always thought maybe it was just a nonsense lyric created for the rhyme!

I think the players on this include at least Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, from the Doobie (fine Columbian) Bros. They (Steely Dan) always had the best session guys playing for them. And a perfunctory Google search confirms, yes, Knopfler played on Gaucho. Cool!