The huh, the yeah, the hoo, the hmm, the uh huh. These are the perfectly timed little subtleties in the song that make it classic. The interjections you likely won’t find on the lyric websites. The ones that make you wait in the car until they happen, just to hear them. Even though you reached your destination, the journey is not complete until you hear the singer sing, “Yeah.”

They’re the ones you have to hit in a sing-along. The ones you need to hit right on time all together at a party with friends, or alone in your car with the radio playing loud, very loud. You need to sing or shout the perfectly placed, “Uh huh” or fail.

Some songs have just one. Others are filled with them.

Not a refrain. not the lyric, but the interjection.

I will parenthetically honor just some of the interjections of which I speak:

“Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” … First verse ends, “Every rose has its thorn (Yeah it does)”
Artist: Poison

“Do You Know What I Mean?” … At the very end after a keyboard riff. (Hooo. Help me)
Artist: Lee Michaels! Yeah, I thought it was The J Geils Band too.

“Sweet Home Alabama ” … The song starts with a classic southern rock guitar riff then the very first words you hear are, (Turn It Up). I once was on a date. Heard the first chord. When I sang, “Turn it up”, my date turned up the radio volume, having no clue that was the interjection. Bless her heart.
Artist: Lynyrd Skynyrd

“Long Cool Woman In a Black Dress” … Guitar riff second verse …wait for it. duh da duh do / da duh da da duh da duh .. (HOOO). You GOT to hit the HOO on time. It’s slickly screamed on the back beat.
Artist: The Hollies.

“Start Me Up”… Start me up (hooo) Jagger only does the “hooo” once in the entire song. It’s some where after the 12th “Start Me Up” that is sung. However, research for this article reveals that there are only 11 “start me up’s” then bang, on what seems to be the 12th, Mick actually says “slide it up” (hoo) knew.

A prolific artist of the interjection is Mick Jagger, many an interjection has he. Another classic is the subtle (mm hmm) before the classic refrain, “huh sha doo be, Shattered.”
Artist: The Rolling Stones

“She Loves You” … This one gets it for the ooo, not the “yeah yeah yeah’s” (There are 29 yeahs according to in case you were curious.) However, that qualifies as a refrain. “And you know you should be glad (oooo)” is the interjection.

Yeah, there were many by the Fab Four. But, after a “trip” to see the Maharishi, their interjections reached epic (1) proportions.

“I Am The Walrus” … “Expert, Experts, Joking smokers, Don’t you think the joker laughs at you (ho ho ho, he he he, ha ha ha).” The triple triple interjection is classic.
Artist: the Beatles

Michael Jackson is the master of interjection. The King Of Pop is in a category all by himself so I list none here, lest I forget the best. Pick a song any song.

So, here’s my top three:

3. “Levon” …The classic piece starts out with a slow piano, builds in intensity, then in the third verse builds to an outstanding climax, “And he shall be LEE-von in tradition with the family plan (WOOO).” Elton does one more (WOO) for good measure after that. Paging Alvin Tostig.
Artist: Elton John

2. “Mack the Knife” … This song is subtlety sprinkled with as many of the interjections as a sixties crooner could fit into a lounge shows. There are many, but, the best series is, “On a sidewalk (eh huh) , blue Sunday mornin’ (uh hah) Lies a body oozin’ life (eek).”

Artist: Bobby Darin.

1. “25 Miles” … In the first 21 seconds of this song, there’s an (ow), a (hey hey), an (a ha ha ha ha, Oh), an (a ha ha ha ha ha yeah) and another (Oh) for good measure. Seven strategically placed (Huh’s) sprinkle the remainder of the 3:08 1969 hit. Ya gotta hear it to believe it! Hat’s off Edwin You’re my interjection king.

Artist Edwin Starr

Vote for your top interjection. Add one in a comment if I missed your fave.

FOOTNOTE: (1) The author apologizes for the interjecting the overused word, “Epic.”