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"Lil' Red Riding Hood" by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs

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The top two singles released by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs

Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs released the song "Li'l Red Riding Hood" in 1966, followed by much recognition on the Billboard Hot 100 that same summer. This song alludes to Perrault's classic version of Little Red Riding Hood[1] , as the band sings about a man quietly preying on a young and attractive female. The singer Sam the Sham, also known as Domingo Saumudio, refers to himself as the wolf in the song. The wolf attempts to mislead and seduce “Little Red Riding Hood,” by coaxing her repeatedly. He comments on the young lady’s beauty with lyrics like:

“What big eyes you have/
The kind of eyes that drive wolves mad”
“What full lips you have/ They're sure to lure someone bad.”
The song ends before the two end up at Red’s grandma’s house.

The Original Message Edit

Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs stay true to Perrault’s[2] original lesson to be learned from the story of the girl and the wolf: Young girls are vulnerable and should not talk to strange men, even the ones who seem harmless. This belief can be attributed to the subordinate status of women and the ideas of sexuality in the 19th century[3]. The lead singer alludes to this moral and demonstrates the trickery of men through the following lines:

"I'm gonna keep my sheep suit on/
Until I'm sure that you've been shown/
That I can be trusted walking with you alone.”
The symbolic, sexual, and deceitful desire of the werewolf resonates in this song popularly with the line
“you're ev'rything that a big bad wolf could want."

Fun Facts Edit

The lyrics to this song were written by Ronald Blackwell, and have no relation to the 1958 Big Bopper song also dubbed as “Little Red Riding Hood.” Many covers of"Li'l Red Riding Hood" have been performed over the years, one by Smashing Pumpkins, and one by Bowling For Soup, just to name a few. This song also appeared in a 2012 Volvo commercial and in the 2005 film “Wild Country.”[4]

References Edit

  1. http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0333.html#perrault
  2. http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0333.html#perrault
  3. https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/gender-roles-in-the-19th-century
  4. http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=9315

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