Walk Like an Egyptian ~ The Bangles

The Bangles are an all-female band that originated in the early 1980s, scoring several hit singles through much of the decade.

When Susanna Hoffs joined the sisters Vicki Peterson and Debbi Peterson to form a band in Los Angeles in the waning days of December, 1980, the trio briefly christened itself The Colours, shortly renamed itself The Supersonic Bangs, but soon morphed its name to The Bangs. The band was part of the Los Angeles Paisley Underground scene, which featured groups that played a mixture of 1960s-influenced folk-rock and jangle pop with a more modern punk—ish/garage band undertone.

The band changed its name to the Bangles when a band named The Bangs in New Jersey threatened to sue.

The early Bangles line-up of Susanna Hoffs (vocals/guitars), Vicki Peterson (guitars/vocals), Debbi Peterson (vocals/drums) and Annette Zilinskas (vocals/bass) recorded at least one single as the Bangs, then made its recorded debut as the Bangles with a self titled EP, which was released on their manager Miles Copeland‘s Faulty Products label in 1982. Zilinskas subsequently left the band, and was replaced on bass and vocals by Michael Steele, formerly of the all-girl band the Runaways.

Walk Like an Egyptian

Liam Sternberg wrote the song after seeing people on a ferry walking awkwardly to keep their balance, which reminded him of figures in Ancient Egyptian reliefs. The opening lyrics state, “All the old paintings on the tombs/They do the sand dance don’t you know”. The reference to the sand dance possibly refers to a music hall routine performed by Wilson, Keppel and Betty where Wilson and Keppel danced around in the postures portrayed on the reliefs wearing the fez while Betty watched. The music video for “Walk Like an Egyptian” similarly featured people dancing in such a pose.

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All the old paintings on the tombs
They do the sand dance don’t you know
If they move too quick (oh whey oh)
They’re falling down like a domino

All the bazaar men by the Nile
They got the money on a bet
Gold crocodiles (oh whey oh)
They snap their teeth on your cigarette

Foreign types with the hookah pipes say
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Walk like an Egyptian

Blonde waitresses take their trays
They spin around and they cross the floor
They’ve got the moves (oh whey oh)
You drop your drink then they bring you more

All the school kids so sick of books
They like the punk and the metal band
When the buzzer rings (oh whey oh)
They’re walking like an Egyptian

All the kids in the marketplace say
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Walk like an Egyptian

Slide your feet up the street bend your back
Shift your arm then you pull it back
Life is hard you know (oh whey oh)
So strike a pose on a Cadillac

If you want to find all the cops
They’re hanging out in the donut shop
They sing and dance (oh whey oh)
Spin the clubs cruise down the block

All the Japanese with their yen
The party boys call the Kremlin
And the Chinese know (oh whey oh)
They walk the line like Egyptian

All the cops in the donut shop say
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Walk like an Egyptian
Walk like an Egyptian

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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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