I Hear You Knocking

Smiley Lewis

About I Hear You Knocking

"I Hear You Knocking" (or "I Hear You Knockin'") is a rhythm and blues song written by Dave Bartholomew. New Orleans rhythm and blues singer Smiley Lewis first recorded the song in 1955. The lyrics tell of the return of a former lover who is rebuffed. "I Hear You Knocking" reached number two on the Billboard R&B singles chart in 1955, making it Lewis's most popular and best-known song. Subsequently, numerous artists have recorded it, including Welsh singer and guitarist Dave Edmunds, whose version reached number one in the UK Singles Chart for six weeks in 1970 and was in the top 10 in several other countries.  


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You went away and left me long time ago
Now you come back knockin' on my door
I hear you knocking, but you can't come in
I hear you knocking, go back where you've been

I begged you not to go, but you said goodbye
Now you come back tellin' all your lies
I hear you knocking, but you can't come in
I hear you knocking, go back where you've been
I told way back in '52
I would never go with you
I hear you knocking
But you can't come in
I hear you knocking
Go back where you've been

You'd better get back to your used-to-be
Because your love's no good to me
I hear you knocking
But you can't come in
I hear you knocking
Go back where you've been

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Smiley Lewis

Smiley Lewis (July 5, 1913 – October 7, 1966) was an American New Orleans rhythm and blues musician. The journalist, Tony Russell, in his book The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray, stated "Lewis was the unluckiest man in New Orleans. He hit on a formula for slow-rocking, small-band numbers like "The Bells Are Ringing" and "I Hear You Knocking" only to have Fats Domino come up behind him with similar music more ingratiatingly delivered. Lewis was practically drowned in Domino's backwash". more »

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Written by: Pearl King, Dave Bartholomew

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

5 facts about this song

Historical Timeline
The song, "I Hear You Knocking" has a fascinating historical timeline. First written by Dave Bartholomew and Pearl King, it was originally recorded by Smiley Lewis in 1955. - Despite initial releases not charting highly, the song saw a resurgence in popularity in 1970 when it was covered by Welsh musician Dave Edmunds.
Song Origin and Inspiration
Impressively, Dave Bartholomew, who co-wrote "I Hear You Knocking," was an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The song was inspired by the rhythm and blues genre, which Bartholomew helped shape significantly.
Record Labels and Success
The original version of "I Hear You Knocking" was recorded in New Orleans and released on Imperial Records, a label that has hosted numerous prominent artists in the rhythm and blues genre. -Dave Edmunds' version of the song was a significant achievement, reaching Number 1 on the UK Singles Chart, where it stayed for 6 weeks. It also reached Number 4 on Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.
Legacy and Influence
Despite being over sixty years old, "I Hear You Knocking" continues to influence modern music. After Dave Edmunds' success with the song, it has been covered by many other artists, demonstrating its enduring appeal and influence. - Even the phrase "I Hear You Knocking" has since been used in numerous other songs across various genres, cementing the tune's impact on music as a whole.
Unique Sound and Style
The song distinctively combines elements of rockabilly, blues, and country, making it an energizing and intriguing piece that showcases the skills and styles of both Bartholomew and Edmunds.

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    "I Hear You Knocking Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jul 2024. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/31732261/Smiley+Lewis/I+Hear+You+Knocking>.

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