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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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