Classic Rock Wiki

"Blitzkrieg Bop" is a song by the American punk rock band Ramones. It was released as the band's debut single in February 1976 in the United States. It appeared as the opening track on the band's debut album, Ramones, also released that month.

The song, whose composition was credited to the band as a whole, was written by drummer Tommy Ramone (music and lyrics) and bassist Dee Dee Ramone (lyrics).[2]Based on a simple three-chord pattern, "Blitzkrieg Bop" opens with the chant "Hey! Ho! Let's go!" The song is popular at sporting events where "Hey! Ho! Let's go!" is sometimes shouted as a rallying cry, particularly in the city of Glasgow where fans chant "Hey! Ho! Glasgow!"

"Blitzkrieg Bop" is number 92 on the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In March 2005, Q magazine placed it at number 31 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks, and in 2008 Rolling Stone placed it number 18 on top 100 of Best Guitar Songs of All Time. In 2009 it was named the 25th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.[3]



  • 1 Origin and meaning
  • 2 Composition
  • 3 Dedications
  • 4 Notable covers
  • 5 Uses in popular culture
  • 6 Bibliography
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Origin and meaning[edit][]

"Blitzkrieg Bop" was named after the German World War II tactic blitzkrieg, which means "lightning war". The song was mainly written by drummer Tommy Ramone, while bassist Dee Dee Ramone came up with the title (the song was originally called "Animal Hop"). Dee Dee also changed one line: the original third verse had the line "shouting in the back now", but Dee Dee changed it to "shoot 'em in the back now". The precise meaning and subject matter of the song are, unlike many of The Ramones' other early compositions, somewhat vague and obscure.


"Blitzkrieg Bop" is a 4/4 time song written in the key of A. It contains four chords; A major (I), B minor (II), D major (IV), and E major (V).[4][5] The song relies heavily on the I, IV, and V chords, most notably used in the intro and verses in the form of the I - IV - V chord progression. The II chord appears only briefly towards the end of therefrain.[4][5] The guitarist played the entire song with barre chord shapes, as these were signature to his playing style.[4][6][7][8] The bassist simply played the root note of whatever chord the guitarist was playing.[6] Both the rhythm guitar and bass parts, played using downstrokes exclusively,[6] utilize almost constant eighth notes to generate a "wall of sound". The singer's vocal melody relies on five of the seven notes found in the A major scale; A, B, C#, D, and E. The drummer maintains a steady backbeat on the kick and snare throughout the entire song. Constant eighth notes are played on the hi hat cymbals during the verses, and on the floor tom whilst the singer shouts "Hey, Ho, Let's Go!", whereas quarter notes are used on the ride cymbal during the refrain. Occasional crashes are used to accentuate certain beats.

The song was originally played at a very fast tempo (Allegrissimo), or roughly 177 bpm. When the band performed the song live, they started to play it at even faster tempos, gradually increasing the speed throughout their career. At the band's final show, they played the song at an extremely fast tempo (Prestissimo), well above 200 bpm.


  • The punk rock band Blitzkrieg Bop took their name after the song title.
  • A monthly club night at the Arches in Glasgow is named after the song.

Notable covers[edit][]

  • The song has been covered by various artists including studio versions by Rob Zombie (for his 2003 released album Past, Present & Future), The Beautiful South, Jason Mraz, Screeching Weasel, The Hanson Brothers, New Found Glory and Agnostic Front.
  • The Clash played it during their 1978 tour. Joe Strummer also played the song live with his later band, the Mescaleros.[9]
  • The Misfits covered the song on a live performance.
  • Die Toten Hosen covered the song for the 1991 cover album Learning English, Lesson One. It features Joey Ramone as a guest musician.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks covered this song for their 2007 video game Alvin and the Chipmunks.
  • Dee Dee Ramone performed bass and backing vocals for the Youth Gone Mad version, included on the Ramones Maniacs tribute album and the posthumous Youth Gone Mad featuring Dee Dee Ramone album.
  • Green Day covered this song along with "Teenage Lobotomy" and "Rockaway Beach" at the 2002 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the remaining member of the Ramones, and regularly play the song live, sometimes getting kids out of the audience to play the song on their instruments, though more usually the song "Knowledge".
  • Pennywise has done a cover version dedicated to Joey Ramone. At Warped Tour July 26, 2008 at Nassau Colosseum, C. J. Ramone came on stage during Pennywise's set and played Blitzkrieg Bop with the band.
  • Shonen Knife recorded the song on their 2011 album of Ramones covers, Osaka Ramones.[10]
  • New Found Glory recorded the song for the deluxe version of their seventh album, Radiosurgery, which was released on October 4, 2011.
  • The British band The Beautiful South covered the song in their 2004 album Golddiggas, Headnodders and Pholk Songs.[11]
  • Hoboken, NJ band Yo La Tengo cover the song live and released a radically rearranged instrumental version on their 1996 compilation album Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo.[12]
  • The Offspring covered the song at two live performances in October 2004 in South America.
  • In 2012, the song was reworked for the NFL Network Thursday Night Football opening theme (as performed by Cee Lo Green), with new lyrics for the chorus, as well as lyrics altered weekly, depending on what teams are playing.
  • Andy Scott's Sweet covered the song on their album, New York Connection, in 2012.
  • German Rock'n'Roll band Boppin' B had been performing a cover version for some years on stage and finally published it on their album Rock'n'Roll Radio.

Uses in popular culture[edit][]

This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2014)
  • The song appeared in the 1983 movie National Lampoon's Vacation.
  • The song was used as a battle hymn in the first episode of the sci-fi/action TV series Space: Above and Beyond.
  • "Blitzkrieg Bop" has been heard in TV commercials. CBS used the song to promote a new season of The Amazing Race, and is heard in a 2013 ad for Coppertone, and used it for their advertising campaign in 2013.
  • The song was also used in a 2010 campaign for Cartoon Network and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.
  • A remastered version of "Blitzkrieg Bop" is on the soundtrack of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (PlayStation version).
  • The song is featured on the soundtrack of the video game MLB 08: The Show.
  • The song was used on the original Rock Band video game that was released on November 20, 2007 in the US.
  • The song was used in the game Rocksmith 2014.
  • The song was used for advertising campaign BIGBON in 2014.
  • Green Day regularly plays the song over the loud speakers before going on stage.
  • The song is regularly played before home games at St. James' Park, home of Newcastle United.
  • Frequent references to the song are made in the novel "Pet Sematary" by Stephen King.
  • There was a weapon named the Blitzkrieg Button created by Howard Stark in the 4th episode Marvel's Agent Carter episode called "The Blitzkrieg Button".