Thin Lizzy - The Boys Are Back In Town - Meaning of the song
Written by group leader Phil Lynott, "The Boys Are Back In Town" reflects Thin Lizzy's rough-and-tumble composure and working-class roots. The song was a way of connecting with their fans, who had similar sensibilities. Thin Lizzy would often stir up trouble and end up in fights - their roadies were chosen based in part on their pugilistic skills. The group also drank heavily and had a blast. The song became their calling card. This lifestyle took a tragic toll on Lynott, who died in 1986 at 36 after his body broke down from years of drug and alcohol abuse.
This was a pivotal song for Thin Lizzy, which was on their last legs when it became a hit. In 1972, they had a huge hit in their native Ireland with their version of "Whiskey In The Jar," but weren't able to follow it up and couldn't make a dent in America. They were in debt and their label, Phonogram, was ready to drop them if they didn't get return from the Jailbreak album. "The Boys Are Back In Town," released as the first single, gave them the hit they needed and established them in America, a huge market for rock bands. With this footing, their next few albums were solid sellers, especially in the UK, and they expanded their range as a live act.
The Dino's Bar And Grill mentioned in the song is probably a real place, but which one is up for debate. Deno's was a Manchester nightclub the Quality Street Gang would frequent; Dino's Lodge was a Hollywood cabaret with a Dean Martin theme (Martin was a business partner). It shows up in the opening credits of the TV series 77 Sunset Strip. Drink would flow at both establishments, but if you're looking for a place where blood would spill, it was definitely Deno's.
The Boys Are Back In Town - Lyrics
Guess who just got back today? Them wild-eyed boys that had been away Haven't changed, haven't much to say But man, I still think them cats are great They were asking if you were around How you was, where you could be found I told them you were living downtown Driving all the old men crazy The boys are back in town You know the chick that used to dance a lot Every night she'd be on the floor shaking what she'd got Man when I tell you she was cool, she was red hot I mean she was steaming That time over at Johnny's place Well this chick got up and she slapped Johnny's face Man we just fell about the place If that chick don't want to know, forget her The boys are back in town Spread the word around The boys are back in town Friday night they'll be dressed to kill Down at Dino's bar and grill The drink will flow and blood will spill If the boys want to fight, you'd better let them That jukebox in the corner blasting out my favorite song The nights are getting warmer, it won't be long It won't be long till summer comes Now that the boys are here again The boys are back in town