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"Riot in Cell Block No. 9", also spelled "Riot in Cell Block Number 9" and "Riot in Cell Block #9", is a 1954 song by R&B group The Robins (later reformed into The Coasters). It is from the perspective of an inmate who describes a riot in his prison.

Lyrics

On July the second, 1953
I was servin' time for armed robbery
At four o'clock in the mornin', I was sleepin' in my cell
I heard the whistle blow then I heard somebody yell

(There's a riot goin' on)
(There's a riot goin' on)
(There's a riot goin' on)
Up in cell block number nine

The trouble started down in cell block number four
And spread like fire across the prison floor
I said, "Okay boys, get ready to run
Here come the warden with a tommy gun"

(There's a riot goin' on)
(There's a riot goin' on)
(There's a riot goin' on)
Up in cellblock number nine

The warden said, "Come out with your hands up in the air
If you don't stop this riot, you're all gonna get the chair"
Scarface Jones said, "It's too late to quit
Pass the dynamite 'cause the fuse is lit"

(There's a riot goin' on)
(There's a riot goin' on)
(There's a riot goin' on)
Up in cell block number nine

In the forty-seventh hour the tear gas got our men
We are all back in our cells but every now and then

(There's a riot goin' on)
(There's a riot goin' on)
(There's a riot goin' on)
Up in cell block number nine

Other Appearances

  • The song was released as a single, and featured on the following albums:
    • There's a Riot Goin' On: The Coasters on Atco
    • Rhino Hi-Five: The Coasters, Vol. 2 - EP
    • Greatest R&B Hits of 1954, Vol. 9
    • The Coasters
    • Riot in Cell Block No. 9 (Digitally Remastered) - Single
    • The Roots of Soul 1951-61
    • Vintage Rock '50s
  • The song was featured in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers.

Videos

Official

Covers

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