Meaning of “Come on Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners – What do we know about the One-time Hit?

Meaning of “Come on Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners

It is not every day that a band comes out with a single that becomes their statement piece for the entirety of their career. For Dexys Midnight Runners, the song “Come on Eileen” is the one that rocked the 80s.

To this day, the song is a public favorite and leaves people grooving to the lyrics and the melody from the start till the finish. Released in 1982, the song is one of the best that the band has released and unfortunately, nothing has matched up to that level of fame for the group.

If you have been wondering what’s hidden underneath the depth of the lyrics of Come On Eileen, then keep reading.

Is It Based on A Real Story?

While most people are busy head-banging to the song, what most of the listeners don’t realize is that Come On Eileen is a song inspired by real-life events.

The song is based on the band’s lead singer, Kevin Rowland, and his life. During several interviews, Rowland said that he fell in love with a girl named Eileen when he was just 13 years old.

The phrase “at this moment you mean everything, you in that dress; My thoughts I confess verge on dirty, Oh! Come on Eileen” is a testament to the relationship that Rowland embarked on with Eileen from the age of 13. When the pair turned 15, that’s when they decided to become intimate.

What do we Know more about Lyricism?

Rowland and the other members of Dexys have confirmed that “Come On Eileen” is a teenage love song. If you listen through the verses of the song, you will realize that the protagonist is blossoming into a woman while the vocalist (Rowland in this case) is mesmerized.

The majority of the song as you dissect the lyrics more is a testament to the girl and the vocalist trying to get intimate with her.

But, it isn’t done with lustful intent but out of pure passion and love. The vocalist is irrevocably in love but is equally passionate about her.

Further into the song’s lyrics, it dips its toes comparing this kind of young love with that of his parents, which didn’t see a fateful end. However, from the lyrics, it looks like Rowland has a pretty positive outlook on things. 

He believes that he and Eileen are “too young and clever” to reach the kind of fate that his parents did. He has this perception about the two of them that they would eventually live a fulfilling life with the happy ending they deserve.


Come On Eileen is one of the biggest songs that Dexys released. Although no other of their songs have reached this level of fame, we can’t put down the fact that they are potentially one of the best bands of their time, if their melodies and lyrics of the songs are anything to go by. If you were confused about the lyrics, we hope this clears up the air.