The Boys Have Just Left Town

I have a love/hate relationship with “The Boys Are Back in Town,” the signature hit by the Irish rock band Thin Lizzy.

On one hand, it’s one of the more joyous songs in the second tier classic rock canon. The line in the last verse about how “it won’t be long until summer comes” is comforting at this time of year.

On the other hand…the boys come off like assholes. Why did “this chick” slap Johnny’s face? What did Johnny do to cause the slap? And the line about how “If the boys wanna fight you better let them” seems obnoxious and kind of threatening.

(I also find the narrator’s hero worship of the song’s title characters a little bit off-putting. You suspect the boys barely tolerated this guy before they left.)

I was thinking about these things yesterday after Chris Scott, a very funny, talented writer, posted this on Twitter:

“They should make a song about how the boys left town in the first place. I bet that’s a more interesting story.”

I can’t make music, but I can write lyrics, so I decided to tell the story of the boys’ departure from a more impartial perspective.

Also — and again, I’m no musician — I’d suggest this song be slower and a bit more downbeat than “The Boys Are Back in Town,” but keep the same melody.

The Boys Have Just Left Town

VERSE 1

Guess who just left town today

Them wild eyed boys from Avenue A

The cops wanna know why they went away

Apparently a girl went missing.

They were asking if the boys were around

What they were driving, where they could be found

Seems kinda shady, the boys leaving town

At the same time a girl goes missing.

CHORUS

The boys have just left town

The boys have just left town.

I said the boys have just left towwwwwwwwn

The boys have just left town

The boys have just left town.

VERSE 2

You know that girl that dances a lot?

Every night she’s on the floor, shaking what she got,

When I say she was cool she was red hot.

That’s the one who’s missing.

It makes me think about that time at Johnny’s place,

When she got up and slapped Johnny’s face.

Apparently things began to escalate.

And now she’s gone missing.

CHORUS

The boys have just left town.

The boys have just left town.

I said the boys have just left towwwwwwwwn.

The boys have just left town

The boys have just left town.

Spread the word around.

It’s weird the way they left town.

Just spread the word around.

VERSE 3

Friday night they were dressed to kill,

Down at Dino’s Bar and Grill.

They stiffed Dino with a massive bill.

He might lose his liquor license.

That jukebox in the corner used to play my favorite song.

But the boys broke it and now the sound is wrong.

Won’t be long till winter comes.

Hope Dino can make the rent.

CHORUS

The boys have just left town.

The boys have just left town.

The boys have just left towwwwwwwwn

The boys have just left town.

The boys have just left town.

(Spread the word around)

(The boys have left, the boys have left)

The boys have just left town my friend.

Who’s going to pay for Dino’s?

The boys have just left town it seems.

(Fade out)

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