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Lola by The Kinks

Updated on December 20, 2012

The Kinks and Lola

Lola is one of The Kinks greatest hits, and also one of the earliest hit singles to be about transsexuals and transvestites. Needless to say, despite it's storyline, Lola was a huge hit for The Kinks, and still gets plenty of air-play today.

The Kinks were formed in 1963 in North London by brothers Ray and Dave Davies, along with their school friend Peter Quaife and his friend John Start on drums, soon to be replaced by Micky Willett.

Their first two singles didn't amount to much, but their third single, You Really Got Me, entered the charts at No. 1 in the United Kingdom and made the top 10 in the United States, boosted by a performance on the U.K. television show Ready Steady Go!.

With a loud, distorted guitar riff - achieved by Dave's slicing of the speaker cones in his Elpico amplifier, gave the song its signature, grittier guitar sound. You Really Got Me provided a blueprint for hard rock, and served as template for heavy metal.

The group's fourth single, All Day and All of the Night was released in late 1964 and rose to No. 2 in the UK, and hit No. 7 in the USA.

In 1965, The Kinks recorded Set Me Free and Tired of Waiting for You, both of which featured a repeated bass guitar riff.

Internal problems within the band followed, including fighting on stage, and they fell from prominence for a while, to return with singles such as Waterloo Sunset.

They re-achieved their level of fame with Lola in (1970), a clever account of a confused romantic encounter with a transvestite that became both a U.K. and U.S. hit. The song originally contained a reference to "Coca-Cola", but the BBC refused to play it as this was considered a violation of their advertising policy. The single then had to be hastily re-recorded with the offending line changed to "cherry cola".

The album Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround was their most successful since the mid-1960s. The album also featured the group's final U.K. Top 10 hit, Apeman.

Further years of obscurity followed, with numerous changes in line-up, with few chart hits other than Come Dancing in 1983.

The Kinks performed the last time in mid-1996. Band members have since been focusing on their own solo projects.

Song Lyrics: Lola by The Kinks

Written by: Ray Davies from the Album: "Lola Versus Powerman & The Moneygoround" - 1970

I met her in a club down in old Soho

Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry-cola [LP version: Coca-Cola]

See-oh-el-aye cola

She walked up to me and she asked me to dance

I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said Lola

El-oh-el-aye Lola la-la-la-la Lola

Well I'm not the world's most physical guy

But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine

Oh my Lola la-la-la-la Lola

Well I'm not dumb but I can't understand

Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man

Oh my Lola la-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola

Well we drank champagne and danced all night

Under electric candlelight

She picked me up and sat me on her knee

And said dear boy won't you come home with me

Well I'm not the world's most passionate guy

But when I looked in her eyes well I almost fell for my Lola

La-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola

Lola la-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola

I pushed her away

I walked to the door

I fell to the floor

I got down on my knees

Then I looked at her and she at me

Well that's the way that I want it to stay

And I always want it to be that way for my Lola

La-la-la-la Lola

Girls will be boys and boys will be girls

It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lola

La-la-la-la Lola

Well I left home just a week before

And I'd never ever kissed a woman before

But Lola smiled and took me by the hand

And said dear boy I'm gonna make you a man

Well I'm not the world's most masculine man

But I know what I am and I'm glad I'm a man

And so is Lola

La-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola

Lola la-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola

The Kinks - Lola

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    • TonyPayne profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Payne 

      4 years ago from Southampton, UK

      The Kinks are one of the underrated bands from the 60's aren't they. You don't hear their songs played as often as you do with other bands of the era, except maybe for Lola. Must get some of their albums one of these days.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 

      4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      'Dead End Street' was another biggy for Kinks, as well as 'Waterloo Sunset', their eulogy number for Londoners overseas.

      I had the 'Lola Versus The Ape Man' album that started off with the track that might not get played these days out of ignorance or pc, 'Ape Man'. They do sing 'cherry cola' on there. On Ray's 'See My Friends' album (taken from the Glasto concert, he does 'Lola' and a follow-up duet with Paloma Faith and 'Dead End Street' with Amy Macdonald. It was a visual treat on stage and sounds good on cd.

      Last time tonight... Promise. See you 2015 unless you drop in on me.

    • uneasywriter lm profile image

      uneasywriter lm 

      6 years ago

      I like Weird Al's take on this song best! Although, the original Lola is good too. The Kinks were a great band.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love the Kinks, and Lola is a great song!

    • Joyce Mann profile image

      Joyce T. Mann 

      7 years ago from Bucks County, Pennsylvania USA

      I chuckle every single time I hear Lola, el-oh-el-aey Lola. Not sure of the exact title, but my two favorite songs by the Kinks have lyrics like "Girl, I want to be with you all of the time, all day and all of the night." And "Girl, you really got me now." Both songs use the same chord progressions...a bit of info for any musicians reading this.

    • zentao profile image


      7 years ago

      Like the guy commenting beneath me, I have always thought the Kinks were underrated. They did not have commercial success for a number of years, but kept pumping out some good music. (even with their "disco" phase)

      It just took a while for the music industry to catch up to them on some songs.

      Another great music lens!

    • Aquavel profile image


      7 years ago

      Always loved the Kinks. Great music and fun and surprising messages in the songs. Their lyrics are brilliant! I remember "Lola" with the line "just like coca cola" (I'm in the US) and didn't know they had to change it. Brand infringements even for the famous! ;) Great lens!

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 

      7 years ago from Connecticut

      The Kinks are unappreciated -- both in their day and now, especially here in the US. A long-time Kinks fan (I still have every released album + some bootlegs), I was in the Providence RI audience on one of the nights that "One for the Road" was recorded. Day-O!

    • jtrandall profile image


      7 years ago

      Love the Kinks. Thanks for the information about the band and the song.

    • Lemming13 profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice one - a lot of people miss how much was going on in Ray Davies' songs... Blessing this lens.

    • CruiseReady profile image


      7 years ago from East Central Florida

      You know, I've heard this song quite a few times, but never really paid much attention to the lyrics, except that I knew they were spelling a name .... this was quite a revelation! I should pay better attention, instead of being lost in thought so much of the time, I guess.

    • whiteskyline lm profile image

      whiteskyline lm 

      7 years ago

      I'm just glad you have the song to listen to, for this lens made me want to listen to La-la-la-la Lola! :) ...L-O-L-A Such a great song.

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 

      7 years ago from California

      I never knew the words to this song. Funny. Way before their time, I think. lol Thanks for the memory. Bear hugs, Frankie

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I chuckle each time I hear the song Lola...of course our radio station is an old rock one, so Lola gets played at least ever second or third day. Despite it's serious subject the song's lyrics are lighthearted.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This is a great song.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I have been having computer problems and can't hear anything on YouTube so I surely missed hearing the Kinks but enjoyed reading about them.

    • RetroMom profile image


      8 years ago

      Lola, is absolutely one of my all time favorites! Nice job.

    • joanv334 profile image


      8 years ago

      Hello! Love the Kinks, saw them in the 80's. The crowd went wild for this classic. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for your comment Poddy. I love this lens because the band is an old favorite from my childhood, especially this song. But there were always those "fuzzy" lyrics that I wasn't really sure of and now I know. Of course I had to watch the video. Fantastic. Thank you!

    • TonyPayne profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Payne 

      10 years ago from Southampton, UK

      [in reply to JaguarJulie] Great idea. I thought about this for all my song lyrics lenses. I just need time to update them all. It's on my list now :)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Tony -- how about Amazon MP3s module for Lola -- are there any for this classic song?

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Definitely a very cool song that once you hear it again, it stays with you.

    • Lou165 profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      An absolute classic song..........a good lens too :)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Another great lens

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      10 years ago from USA

      Love this one! Great lens!

    • TonyPayne profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Payne 

      10 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I used to have a 1961 Singer Vogue in England and called it "Pearl". When people used to ask why, I told them "because Pearl's a Singer", the name of a hit song in the early 80's.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      10 years ago

      I love this song... My husband has a Lola racecar, so we sing Lola songs all the time (mostly Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets!) Very nice job, and Squid Angel Blessed.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 

      10 years ago from Croatia

      Good oldies... :)

      5* and favored!

    • WritingforYourW profile image


      10 years ago

      Heh heh, this song always makes me grin. Fun lens. :)

    • Lewister profile image


      10 years ago from Texas

      The family nickname for those of us with Dolores is Lola. Just not quite the same after you hear this song, is it? :-) Nice job!

    • debnet profile image


      10 years ago from England

      One of my favs the lens ;)


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