You Can't Catch Me

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"You Can't Catch Me"
Single by Chuck Berry
B-side"Havana Moon"
Format7" single
GenreRock and roll
LabelChess 1645
Songwriter(s)Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry singles chronology
"Too Much Monkey Business"
"You Can't Catch Me"
"School Days"

"You Can't Catch Me" is a song written and recorded by Chuck Berry, released as a single in 1956.


The song's lyrics describe racing a souped-up "air-mobile" down the New Jersey Turnpike, then unfolding its wings and taking off.[1] At the time, the Aerocar designed and built by Molt Taylor was nearing Civil Aviation Authority approval for mass production as a flying car with detachable folding wings.[2]

Berry's song was featured in the 1956 film Rock, Rock, Rock[3] and was one of the four songs from the film that was included on the "soundtrack" album (the only one of his songs to be used both in the movie and on the album).[4]

The lyrics refer to two previous hits by Berry, "Maybellene" and "Wee Wee Hours", it was originally recorded in May 1955 at Chess Studios during the same session for those two songs.[1]

Cover versions[edit]

Berry's music publisher, Morris Levy, sued John Lennon for copyright infringement because of the melodic similarity between "You Can't Catch Me" and the Beatles' 1969 song "Come Together", written by Lennon, and because the Beatles' song used some of the lyrics of Berry's song ("here come old flat-top"); the suit was settled out of court. As part of the settlement, Lennon included a rendition of "You Can't Catch Me" on his 1975 album of cover versions, Rock 'n' Roll.[1]

Cover versions of the song were also recorded by Sleepy LaBeef for a 1963 single, by The Rolling Stones for their 1965 album The Rolling Stones No. 2, by The Blues Project for their 1966 album Projections,[3] by Love Sculpture for their 1970 album Forms and Feelings, by George Thorogood and the Destroyers for their 1988 album Born to Be Bad, and by Florence Rawlings for her 2009 debut album A Fool in Love.

Other references[edit]

Bruce Springsteen referenced the lyric "New Jersey turnpike in the wee, wee hours" twice on his album Nebraska.

John Lennon referenced the lyric "Here come ol' flat-top, he come groovin' up ..." at the beginning of his song Come Together. The verbal phrasing of "Come Together" also emulates this song; these references resulted in a lawsuit eventually lost by Lennon.



  1. ^ a b c Soocher 2015, p. 134.
  2. ^ Andrew Glass (25 August 2015). Flying Cars: The True Story. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 83–84. ISBN 978-0-547-53423-7.
  3. ^ a b Pollock 2014, p. 420.
  4. ^ "Rock, Rock, Rock : Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 March 2017.


  • Soocher, Stan (2015). Baby You're a Rich Man: Suing the Beatles for Fun and Profit. University Press of New England. ISBN 978-1-611-68813-9.
  • Pollock, Bruce (2014). Rock Song Index: The 7500 Most Important Songs for the Rock and Roll Era. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-46296-3.

External links[edit]