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Bettyboop

Still of Betty Boop - Dizzy Red Riding-Hood (1931)

Released in 1966, “Lil’ Red Ridin’ Hood” [1] is a song based on the folk tale of the same name. It talks of a young, attractive girl walking alone through the woods. She is being preyed on by the big, bad wolf who follows her through the woods. More than just a girl being stalked by a wild animal, the song's lyrics allude to the wolf being code for a man with “concealed sexual intentions"[2]. The song's lyrics mention Little Red Riding Hood’s physical features such as her big eyes, her full lips, and she is told she is looking good. The singer is trying to hide his intentions under sheepskin, so as to not scare off Little Red Riding Hood.

The moral of the original folk tale is that children, especially young, pretty girls, should not talk to strangers because they might fall victim to a wolf. The wolf was very polite to Little Red, she trusted him and he ended up killing her. “Unfortunately, it is these gentle wolves who are the most dangerous ones of all”[3]. This story heeds as a warning to young girls especially to be careful in the world when dealing with strangers [4].

The song by Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs focuses on this aspect of a pretty girl talking to strangers and a man following her. His intentions are clear when he states “I’ll try to be satisfied just to walk close by your side, maybe you’ll see things my way before we get to grandma’s place”[5]. These are the kind of “wolves” that are warned about in the original tale. While the folk tale does not explicitly state that the wolf is a man looking to prey on a young girl, the song more obviously expresses this.

Sources:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwNP9HOFvwQ
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li%27l_Red_Riding_Hood
  3. http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0333.html#perrault
  4. http://littleredridinghood4.weebly.com/archetypesthemesmotifs.html
  5. http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/sam_the_sham_and_the_pharaohs/lil_red_riding_hood.html

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