Dancing In The Streets
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Calling out around the world
Are you ready for a brand new beat?
Summer's here and the time is right
For dancing in the street

They're dancing in Chicago (dancing in the street)
Down in New Orleans (dancing in the street)
In New York City (dancing in the street)

All we need is music, sweet music
There'll be music everywhere
There'll be swinging, swaying, and records playing
Dancing in the street

Oh, it doesn't matter what you wear
Just as long as you are there
So come on, every guy, grab a girl
Everywhere around the world

They'll be dancing (dancing in the street)
They're dancing in the street (dancing in the street)

It's an invitation across the nation
A chance for folks to meet
There'll be laughing, singing, and music swinging
Dancing in the street

Philadelphia, PA (dancing in the street)
Baltimore and D.C. now (dancing in the street)
Can't forget the Motor City (dancing in the street)

All we need is music, sweet music (sweet music)
There'll be music everywhere (everywhere)
There'll be swinging, swaying, and records playing
Dancing in the street

Oh, it doesn't matter what you wear
Just as long as you are there
So come on, every guy, grab a girl
Everywhere around the world

They're dancing
They're dancing in the street (dancing in the street)
Way down in L.A. (dancing in the street)
Every day, they're dancing in the street (dancing in the street)
Let's form a big, strong line (dancing in the street)
Get in time, we're dancing in the street (dancing in the street)




Across the ocean blue (dancing in the street)
Me and you, we're dancing in the street (dancing in the street)

Overall Meaning

The song "Dancing in the Street" by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas has become a classic anthem celebrating the joy of music and dance. The lyrics are mostly an invitation to people everywhere to come and dance together in the streets, across the country and the world, regardless of their background or clothing. The verses reference different cities in the US, highlighting the universality of the experience of dancing and the power of music to bring people together. The chorus repeats the phrase "dancing in the street" multiple times, conveying a sense of euphoria and ecstasy.


The song was released in 1964 during the height of the Civil Rights Movement and it's believed that the lyrics had a subversive connotation, calling for people to reclaim public space and express themselves through dance, which could be seen as a form of protest against social norms and segregation. However, the song can also be interpreted as a simple celebration of life and music.


Overall, "Dancing in the Street" is a timeless song that has been covered by many artists and featured in numerous movies, commercials, and TV shows. Its catchy melody and upbeat rhythm have made it a favorite among fans of Motown and classic soul music.


Line by Line Meaning

Calling out around the world
Reaching out to everyone everywhere


Are you ready for a brand new beat?
Are you prepared for a new rhythm?


Summer's here and the time is right
It's summertime and the moment is perfect


For dancing in the street
To dance outside with everyone


They're dancing in Chicago (dancing in the street)
People are dancing in Chicago's streets


Down in New Orleans (dancing in the street)
People are dancing in the streets of New Orleans


In New York City (dancing in the street)
People are dancing in the streets of New York City


All we need is music, sweet music
The only requirement is great music


There'll be music everywhere
Music will be all around


There'll be swinging, swaying, and records playing
There will be dance moves, melodies, and DJ tracks


Dancing in the street
Dancing with everyone outside


Oh, it doesn't matter what you wear
No dress code for the event


Just as long as you are there
You only need to show up


So come on, every guy, grab a girl
Men should invite females to dance


Everywhere around the world
This is happening globally


It's an invitation across the nation
An open-handed invitation to everyone


A chance for folks to meet
An opportunity for folks to meet


There'll be laughing, singing, and music swinging
People will laugh, sing, and enjoy music


Philadelphia, PA (dancing in the street)
People in Philadelphia are dancing in the streets


Baltimore and D.C. now (dancing in the street)
People in Baltimore and Washington D.C. are dancing in the streets


Can't forget the Motor City (dancing in the street)
Detroit, Motor City, residents are also dancing in the streets


They're dancing
People are dancing


Way down in L.A. (dancing in the street)
Los Angelinos are dancing in the streets


Every day, they're dancing in the street (dancing in the street)
This happens every day; people dance in the streets


Let's form a big, strong line (dancing in the street)
Formation of a large group of people for stronger unity during dancing


Get in time, we're dancing in the street (dancing in the street)
Everyone is in sync while they dance together in the streets


Across the ocean blue (dancing in the street)
This happens across the ocean too


Me and you, we're dancing in the street (dancing in the street)
Me and you are also dancing together in the streets




Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: Marvin Gaye, William Stevenson, Ivy Hunter

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Genre not found
Artist not found
Album not found
Song not found
Comments from YouTube:

@lamikins310

Summer 1968 community block party in the park, getting ready for high school, the band was playing this song; the weather was beautiful; dusk; the people were cool; still remember this awesome song in an awesome moment!

@paesetto

The 60’s gave us the best music!!

@user-nd3ep3ie8j

I am 62 years old.This song never gets old!!!!😂😂😂😂❤❤❤

@keith9786

Age 67 checking in, yes it still sounds good!

@eddie195777

I love Martha's story. She went to Motown with the desire to become a music star. The director in charge of signing artists didn't think she was good enough. She kept coming back and eventually the director asked her if she wanted to be his secretary. She gladly accepted. There was a rule back the day that if you were recorded a tract that you needed to have someone singing on the tract. They heard the inspector was coming and they needed someone to sing so they wouldn't get in trouble. Martha eagerly volunteered and the rest is history. PS: The song that she sang in that life changing moment was Dancing in The Street.

@hansg6336

It's hard to exaggerate how much influence the Motown sound has had on American pop music. Great stuff to listen to a thousand years from now.

@nickwride2023

The Motown Sound will live for a long time.

@cleaningtim

I could not agree more!

@biskopBrask

Dude, you have good taste❤

@nikig2382

Hard to exaggerate and hard to describe. Motown is forever.

More Comments

More Versions