The Stroke By Billy Squire: Lyrics Meaning And Interpretation

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The song, “The Stroke” was created by a popular American rock artist, Billy Squire back in 1981. The song had reached the heart of the audience. It was his first single that made it to No. 3 on the Top Tracks chart. It also reached number 17 on the US Billboard Hot 100 list. Such was the power of the song that it left the audience mesmerized. This song also got the title of 59th best hard rock song of all time. The whole album is still considered to be a landmark as it bridged the gap between hard rock music and power pop music.

But something that made this song a hit is its lyrics. The Stroker lyrics meaning will be clear to you once you get to know about the creator of the song. William Haislip Squire, popularly known as Billy Squire created a lot of great music during the 1980s. Some of them include – “Lonely is the Night”, In the Dark ”, “Love is the Hero” and many more. His most successful period lasted between 1981 and 1984. During this time, he created 5 songs that reached the Top 10 Mainstream Rock hits. Three of his albums were also very popular and platinum-selling ones. His last album, Tell the Truth” was released in 1993 after which he only started performing on some tours and gave live performances.

The Stroke was one of the most popular songs he has created. The Stroke lyrics meaning explained the evil side of the business industry. For the first time, someone had spoken about it in the public in the form of a song. This song was a part of his first album, “Don’t Say No”. This song undoubtedly made the whole album a hit.

What Does the Title Mean?

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Most people interpret The Stroke lyrics meaning as sexually explicit. But that is completely wrong. Of course, the audience has the right to have their interpretation of the song, but Billy wrote this song to let the audience know about the cruelty of the business industry. In this song, he talks about how the music industry works, how corrupted it is, and how only the big musical tycoons have all the power. Billy has successfully created the song in a way that even the biggest music tycoons have unknowingly released the song. They broadcasted it all over the radio without even realizing the hidden meaning behind it!

There are a lot of sexual connotations in the song. But, the creator cleared it out in one of the interviews by saying how happy he was about people making their interpretation of the song, be it sexual. But he had made it to let his audience know about the business world and how it works.

Even the title of the song brings out a sexual massage. But “The Stoke” also means to persuade someone gently.

The song is about ego-stroking in the music business. Each line has been written in a way that The Stroke lyrics meaning can have 2 different interpretations. But why did he write this song? Billy was a veteran recording artist in the music industry for 12 years. He knew everything about the evils of this industry. This song was a hit back then not just in America but in all parts of the world especially Canada and Australia.

Verse 1: What Does it Mean?

Now everybody, have you heard, if you’re in the game

Then the stroke’s the word

Don’t take no rhythm,

Don’t take no style

Gotta thirst for killin’,

Grab your vial uh

The first few lines of this song are the key to understanding The Stroke lyrics meaning. These lines summarize the whole aim of the song. In these few lines, she explains how evil the music business is. He goes on to say how you do not need to have a good knowledge of “rhythm” or a great “style” to become a famous musician. Then what makes you a great musician or a great artist? It is their thirst to kill others in the business. The business tycoons exploit the talented musicians by stroking their egos and making them work to suit their needs.

These tycoons do not care about the real talent of the musicians, rather all they care about is their interests. He says how the public might think that the musicians live a wealthy and glamorous life. But, in reality, it is the tycoons who lead that life. These people make their decisions and always stay behind the scenes, yet they are the ones to get all the success in the industry. Billy says how only becoming a tycoon will make you successful in this cruel industry.

Verse 2: What Does it Mean?

Put your right hand out, give a firm handshake

Talk to me about that one big break

Spread your ear pollution, both far and wide

Keep your contributions by your side and

In the second verse, he goes on to say how an artist needs to meet an executive or a producer before releasing any song. But once you meet them, they tell you how you should make your music. The artist loses his identity. After that, the artist does not produce great music but only “ear pollution”.

Chorus: What Does it Mean?

Stroke me, stroke me

Could be a winner boy you move mighty well

Stroke me, stroke me (stroke)

Stroke me, stroke me

You got your number down

Stroke me, stroke me

Say you’re a winner but babe, you’re just a sinner now

The chorus talks about how the artist has now become famous. He is now a winner as his singing has become a hit. But, in the process, he has lost his individuality. The artist did deliver a number one song, but now, he is also a sinner. He has sinned by taking advantage of some other person to become famous in the industry. So, now, he might be a winner, but he has won at the cost of sinning.

Verse 3: What Does it Mean?

Put your left foot out, keep it all in place

Work your way right into my face

First you try to bet me, you make my backbone slide

When you find you’ve bled me, slip on by, and

In this verse of the song, Billy says after extracting everything from the artist. The business tycoons, exploit his talents, and do not take the time to throw them out of the industry again. They show the artist how much they care for him, and they make fake promises. When they get done with the artist, they leave him alone and look for another to exploit.

Verse 4: What Does it Mean?

Better listen now

Said it ain’t no joke

Don’t let your conscience fail ya’

Just do the stroke

Don’t ya’ take no chances

Keep your eye on top

Do your fancy dances

You can’t stop you just

In this verse, Billy says that if you want success in this industry, you have to do “The Stroke”. Until and unless you learn to exploit others, you will not be able to gain success. Of course, what you are doing is not right, but you have no other option if you want to win. Do not let your conscience stop you from doing “the stroke”.

When you first hear the song, it feels like the song does not speak about anything serious. But analyzing the lyrics carefully will give you a proper insight into the song. You will only be able to appreciate the song when you understand its deep meaning.

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