"Poison Ivy" might not be the most profound lyric that producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller supplied for the Coasters, but it might have the catchiest tune of all the Coasters hits. "Poison Ivy" is something of a novelty song, the lyrics entirely about the discomforts of "Poison Ivy," albeit relayed pretty comically and wittily. What propelled the record into the Top Ten, though, was the catchy, calypso-like riff, which ended on five particularly compulsive notes that alternate between two emphatic guitar chords. The Coasters delivered the lyric with habitually good cheer, the instruments dropping out to leave the vocals unaccompanied for a line before the end of the verse. That was the cue for a particularly zany low, wavering guitar twang, which introduced the more ominous, lower-key chorus. The bridge was also catchy and amplified the comic aspect -- not all that funny on paper, perhaps, but funny enough when wedded to a catchy rock tune -- by comparing "Poison Ivy" to all manner of other diseases, ending with a dramatic unaccompanied vocal declaring "Poison Ivy" to be the king of that particular hill. The "Poison Ivy" in the song could subtly be referring to a girl who causes trouble, but really most of the lyrical references are overtly about the medical condition itself. "Poison Ivy" was covered by numerous British Invasion bands, including Manfred Mann, the Hollies, and the Paramounts (who evolved into Procol Harum). The most well known of those covers, though, was by the Rolling Stones, who actually did a couple of different versions. One of those was intended to be their second single in 1963, but was canceled, later showing up on a compilation album; the other was used on an early 1964 British EP; and neither was released in the States during the 1960s. The Stones' versions are fair, one of them sticking pretty faithfully to the original arrangement, the other changing the rhythm to a more standard straight-ahead R&B-rock one.