Song of the Day #5,187: ‘The Tide is High’ – The Paragons

In 1980, Blondie’s ‘The Tide is High‘ reached #1 on the British, Canadian, New Zealand and American charts, giving the band its third chart-topper in the United States. The reggae treatment was a new sound for Blondie, whose previous hits ‘Call Me’ and ‘Heart of Glass’ were very synth-heavy.

It turns out that stylistic departure was in keeping with the song’s origins. ‘The Tide is High’ was first recorded by a Jamaican ska band called The Paragons, who included the track on their debut album, 1967’s On the Beach.

The trio might not be as sexy as Debbie Harry, but I’m partial to their recording. It features a stellar vocal performance by John Holt (who also wrote the song), and some lovely violin work by “White Rum” Raymond.

British readers might be familiar with another cover of this song, by the girl group Atomic Kitten. Their 2002 rendition was critically trashed but made it to the top of the UK singles chart.

Finally, fans of Better Call Saul will hold a place in their heart for Bob Odenkirk’s ‘The Tide is High’ singalong in the penultimate episode of that great show.

The tide is high but I’m holding on
I’m gonna be your number one
I’m not the kinda man who gives up just like that
No

It’s not the things you do that really hurts me bad
But it’s the way you do the things you do to me
I’m not the kinda man who gives up just like that
No

The tide is high but I’m holding on
I’m gonna be your number one
Number one
Number one

Every man wants you to be his girl
But I’ll wait, my dear, ’til it’s my turn
I’m not the kinda man who gives up just like that
No

Every man wants you to be his girl
But I’ll wait, my dear, ’til it’s my turn
I’m not the kinda man who gives up just like that
No

The tide is high but I’m holding on
I’m gonna be your number one
The tide is high but I’m holding on
I’m gonna be your number one

The tide is high but I’m holding on
I’m gonna be your number one

One thought on “Song of the Day #5,187: ‘The Tide is High’ – The Paragons

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Had no idea this was a cover, but I also like the original.

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