Shoes, music and dancing seem to have travelled history together since the beginning of time. Shoes that dance, music to tap-dance, melodies that are not made to dance but make us stamp our feet, shoes named after a song, songs named after footwear … there are so many confluences that, marvelled by this alliance, we have decided to explore the world of melodies dedicated shoes and, although we have found dozens, we have selected six.
1.- Swing that shoe, by Devine King, is a music classic from the 40s and 50s. It has no lyrics but is titled nothing less than “swing that shoe.” There is no more to say. It is a lively tempo guided by a cheerful trumpet that generates an imperative need to start dancing in the room or run to dance.
2.- The first seconds of Blue Suede Shoes are deeply motivating. We have heard them many times and their interpretation by the great Elvis Presley has marked more than one generation.
It was composed by Carl Perkins in the 50s. The musician tells that he came up with the idea while listening to a military pilot who was talking wistfully about his old blue suede shoes. A few days after that, in a dance club, he saw a couple dancing. The boy was wearing blue suede shoes and Perkins loved seeing how he asked the girl to please not step on them. He could not resist to compose the song.
3.- A decade later another tribute to footwear appeared by an artist Nancy Sinatra, who did not speak exactly of shoes, but of boots. Boots made for walking … over you …
… these boots are gonna walk all over you…
These boots are made for walking was a hit from the start and it is still danced today in all parts of the world.
4.- In the 70’s, “KC and the Sunshine Band” composed an ode to the Boogie movement and shoes that actually has the whole bill of a genuinely funky rhythm.
The song is called Boogie shoes and although it premieres in 1975 it becomes a hit two years later when appearing in the soundtrack of “Saturday Night Fever”.
5.- “I think everyone should have good pair of shoes,” said Mark Knopfler after introducing Quality Shoe in 2002. In a markedly country-knopfler-roadtripmusic tone, the melody talks about the artist’s love for the roads, the routes, walking, going forward and all that traveling spirit that already marked the 80s with “The Walk of life”.
6.- Also in 2000, the English band Johnny Lynas & The Riviera seems to travel back in time and composes Rythm in my shoes, a work with spirit of the fifties and whose chorus playfully says: “You put that rhythm in my shoes” .
There are many melodies that honour heels, boots, sandals, tap-dancing and footsteps, roads, routes or kicking, but none of this would make sense without all the figures around (users, designers, manufacturers, craftsmen, shoemakers …) , one of which, apparently insignificant has become the target of movies, novels and stories: the shoe shine boy. And, as could not have been otherwise, they also have their song: Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy.