"The Stroke" is a song written and recorded by American rock artist Billy Squier. It was released in 1981 as the debut single from his 3× Platinum album Don't Say No.
This was Squier's first single to chart, reaching No. 17 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It was a bigger hit on rock radio, reaching No. 3 on the Top Tracks chart. It also reached the UK Singles Chart, rising to No. 52. It was named the 59th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.
Well, this one sure seems to be about masturbation: "You put your right hand out give a firm handshake." But, according to Squier in an interview with VH1, the song is actually about the music business.
Squier admits a Queen influence in this song, and Queen's guitarist Brian May was at one point slated to produce the album. When May backed out because of scheduling conflicts, Reinhold Mack, who produced Queen's album The Game, stepped in. In a 1982 interview with Sounds magazine, he said: "I've listened to Queen ever since their first album, I've known them for ten years, and I think they're very innovative and done a lot of things that I like – in the same way that Led Zeppelin has.
I don't think I'm making surrogate Queen music. I don't think their albums sound like my albums, I don't think the lyrics are the same, I don't think I write the same way. I think there are elements of similarity you could find in it to a certain extent. But I could probably do that with just about any band given enough time."
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 Got a thirst for killing Grab your vile Put your right hand out Give a firm handshake Talk to me About the one big break Spread the ear pollution Both far and wide Keep your contributions By your side And stroke me, stroke me Could be a winner boy you move quite 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 man you're just a sinner now Put your left foot out Keep it all in place Work your way Right into my face First you try to bed me You make my backbone slide When you find you've bled me Skip on by Keep on stroke me, stroke me Give me the business all night long Stroke me, stroke me (Stroke) Stroke me, stroke me You're so together boy Stroke me, stroke me Say you're a winner But man you're just a sinner now Stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke Better listen now Said it ain't no joke 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 stroke me, stroke me (Stroke, stroke) Stroke me, stroke me (Stroke, stroke) Stroke me, stroke me (Stroke, stroke) Stroke me, stroke me (Stroke) Do it Stroke me, stroke me (Stroke) Stroke me, stroke me Keep on (Stroke) Stroke me, stroke me (Stroke) Stroke me, stroke me Say you're a winner But man you're just a sinner now