Song of the Day: “Shoo Fly Marches On”


The distinctive drum beat behind The Meters’ funky classic “Hey Pocky A-Way” did not originate there. In fact, their influential drummer, Joseph “Ziggy” Modeliste, first came up with the beat when he recorded “Shoo Fly Marches On” for Dr. John’s definitive 1974 record, In The Right Place. Modeliste reportedly modeled the pulse of the incredibly funky song on New Orleans “second-line” rhythms. Dr. John’s jaunty piano and crackling organ help to explain why “Shoo Fly Marches On” made such an impression—on the musicians as well as their dancing audiences.

Read more of Max Gray at Big City Sasquatch or follow him on Twitter @City_Sasquatch. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Encounters, Mount Hope, Conte,, and English Kills Review. He co-hosts the etymology podcast Words For Dinner and is a graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program. More from this author →