Poor old Johnny Ray...It had to start somewhere. There had to be a first time. There. This is nostalgia for a period I never knew. I was three at the time. Though even then, I managed to wreck a tape of Soft Cell's Tainted Love by listening to it over and over again, and I spent a few nights during my early childhood at my dad's disco sets at American bases (not that I remember any of this. Nor me, two years old, switching off the entire disco at RAF Croughton one night). But Come On Eileen isn't part of that early childhood at all, because my mum hates the record. Thus, my first real recollection of it isn't from a wedding, but a golden wedding anniversary. And yes, the dance floor filled immediately immediately. Even I danced, and back then that was something I did even less than now. The song has its defenders and detractors. Die-hard Dexy's fans, dismayed at the band's 'betrayal' of the Young Soul Rebels aesthetic, hate it with a vengeance., hissing that Dexy's had so many other better, purer records. These people are fools. (though you should really check out those other records regardless) There's a group of defenders that attempt to reclaim it from the weddings and birthdays, from the tacky DJ set, from the school disco, any from the dungarees and that fiddle. They seek solace in the lyrics, a paean to the fleeting memories of youth and fame, feeling that it's wasted on the drunkards who get up and stomp about to the middle section. These people are also fools. Their heart is in the right place, for it is that, but to deny the populist appeal of the record just seems crazy. It's a song about that fleeting moment, yet in a stroke of irony, it lives forever on that dance floor; it has ascended to the select pantheon of songs that never really go out of fashion, perhaps because it was never fashionable in the first place. Here's to twenty-five years of Come On Eileen. Moving a million hearts in mono and stereo. Back in 1982, the DJ smiles. The floor is filled with children, the bride, the groom, their parents, the extended family; there will be harder times ahead. Three million on the dole. Strikes. Scabs. Occupation of the North. The breaking of their backs. But for now, everything is just fine.