DANCING IN THE STREET

Original Martha And The Vandellas version


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)
Sweet music (sweet music)
There'll be music everywhere (everywhere)
There'll be swinging and swaying
And records playing
And 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
There'll be dancing
They're dancing in the street
(Dancing in the street)

This is an invitation
Across the nation
A chance for folks to meet
There'll be laughing, singing
And music swinging
And dancing in the street
Philadelphia, PA (dancing in the street)
Baltimore and DC now (dancing in the street)
Can't forget the Motor City (dancing in the street)

All we need is music (sweet music)
Sweet music (sweet music)
There'll be music everywhere (everywhere)
There'll be swinging and swaying
And records playing
And 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 LA, every day
They're dancing in the street
(Dancing in the street)
Let's start a big time now, get in time
With dancing in the street
(Dancing in the street)
Across the ocean blue, me and you
We're dancing in the street
(Dancing in the street)
[fades out]


Written by Motown songwriters Marvin Gaye, Ivory Joe Hunter, and William "Mickey" Stevenson. It became the biggest hit and trademark song for Martha And The Vandellas who released it on their 1964 singles DANCING IN THE STREET / THERE HE IS (AT MY DOOR) and DANCING IN THE STREET / QUICKSAND, and included it on their 1965 LP Dance Party. In 2004 Rolling Stone magazine placed DANCING IN THE STREET at #40 on its list of "The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time".

The correct title, as recorded by Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, is "Dancing In The Street", though "Dancin' In The Streets" and "Dancing In The Streets" were widely used on setlists and tape labels. According to William Stevenson the song was inspired by the sight of a group of multi-racial kids playing in the spray from a fire hydrant on hot summer evening in Detroit in the Summer of 1964 - "All the hatred and prejudice in the world, and these kids had no concept of it."

The above lyrics are for the original version by Martha and the Vandellas.

Available Versions

List of available versions of DANCING IN THE STREET on this website:

DANCING IN THE STREET [Live 1970 version]
DANCING IN THE STREET [Live 18 Jan 1971 version]
DANCING IN THE STREET [Live 22 Jun 2003 version]
DANCING IN THE STREET [Original Martha And The Vandellas version]