On this day, May 17, in 1965, after a nearly two-year investigation, the FBI Laboratory declared the lyrics of "Louie Louie" to be unintelligible.
The Kingsmen's 1963 cover about a Jamaican sailor who missed his girlfriend had caused a countrywide panic. Rumors spread that the incoherent lyrics were really about sex and that the X-rated version could be heard by spinning the record at different speeds. Teenagers passed crib sheets of the song's supposed true lyrics.
Parents bombarded the U.S. Justice Department with letters demanding that the recordmakers be prosecuted on obscenity charges.
The FBI's forensic scientists tried to decode the Kingsmen song but concluded that they didn't know what lead singer Jack Ely was saying.