Poison Ivy (song)

"Poison Ivy" is a popular song by American songwriting duo Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It was originally recorded by the Coasters in 1959.[1] It went to #1 on the R&B chart, #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart,[2] and #15 in the UK. This was their third top-ten hit of that year following "Charlie Brown" and "Along Came Jones".

"Poison Ivy"
Single by the Coasters
from the album The Coasters' Greatest Hits
B-side"I'm a Hog for You"
ReleasedAugust 1959
RecordedJuly 16, 1959
GenreRock and roll
Songwriter(s)Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
The Coasters singles chronology
"Along Came Jones"
"Poison Ivy"
"What About Us"



The song discusses a girl known as "Poison Ivy". She is compared to measles, mumps, chickenpox, the common cold, and whooping cough, but is deemed worse, because "Poison Ivy, Lord, will make you itch". According to lyricist Jerry Leiber, "Pure and simple, 'Poison Ivy' is a metaphor for a sexually transmitted disease".[3] The song also makes references to other flowers such as a rose and a daisy.

Cover versions


  1. Leiber & Stoller interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  2. Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 125.
  3. Leiber and Mike Stoller with David Ritz, Jerry (2009). Hound Dog: The Leiber & Stoller Autobiography. Simon & Schuster. p. 141. ISBN 978-1-4165-5938-2.
  4. "The Dave Clark Five". unknown. c.late 90s–2000s. Archived from the original on 2009-10-24. Retrieved 2009-02-24. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. Nuttall, Lyn (2000s). "Feature Item – poparchives.com.au – Poison Ivy". Lyn Nuttall. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  6. "The Paramounts". unknown. c.late 90s–2000s. Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. Retrieved 2009-02-24. Check date values in: |date= (help)
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