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Lil' Red Ridin' Hood

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The Song Edit

The song "Lil' Red Ridin' Hood” by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs was a song from 1966 that was made around the Charles Perrault fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood”. Unlike the fairy tale however this song is not about a literal wolf that is trying to eat a young girl.Although it may seem this way at first, when one listens more deeply to the lyrics they find a whole new meaning to the song. The song in fact is sexualizing a girl who is walking alone. During one part of the song it says, “What full lips you have, they’re sure to lure someone bad, so until you get to grandma's place, I think you ought to walk with me and be safe,” This is a man referring to how sexually appealing the girl looks and how it might not be safe for her to be walking all alone where she is. This very well can just be an excuse to walk with her also. In the song he says that she might lure someone bad then proceeds to refer to himself as a wolf, “I'm gonna keep my sheep suit on,” which we all know wolves are predators. This basically means that he is going to hunt her down and make her his. In comparison a modern version of this song could be the song by Maroon 5 “Animals” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpgTC9MDx1o), which takes a more modern twist but has many similarities. One post stated this song so similar to "Lil' Red Ridin' Hood” had, “stalking behavior… is a dangerous depiction of a stalker's fantasy - and no one should ever confuse the criminal act of stalking with romance,” (http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/maroon-5s-video-animals-sparks-outrage-depiction-stalking/story?id=25932577). “In the bridge section near the end of the song, Adam Levine lets out a primal howl, which serves as both a musical element and an indication that he has caught his prey,” ( http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=34345). This is another similarity in these two songs due to the fact that both singers let out a howl multiple times in the songs. “You're everything that a big bad wolf could want. 

Owo! I mean ba! Ba?” 

Context Edit

Little Red Riding Hood is a folktale written by Charles Perrault, with thousands of adaptations to its name. It tells the story of a young girl who is sent off to visit her sick grandmother. Along the way she encounters a wolf and tells him of her destination where he then races off to and eats her grandma. When little red riding hood arrives to her grandmother’s house. Through the use of trickery and deception the wolf eats little red riding hood as well. Originally written in 1697, the context of the story is quite different from this 1966 song. Never-the-less, they both warn against “the wolf,” a metaphorical stranger who seeks to steal the purity of the girl. The sexuality of Little Red Riding Hood is the central theme of both the song and the original text.

Rather than tell the story the band Sam Sham and the Pharoahs takes the perspective of the wolf. In this context, the singer is preying on the girl through deception and lies in order to sexually take advantage of her. In this sense it also voids any pretense that the original fairy tale might have had when comparing the wolf to a sexual predator.

Beyond the song Edit

Sam Sham and the Pharoahs started out as a comedy act, playing other songs based on folk tails such as “Hair on my chinny chin chin.” When "Lil Red Ridin’ Hood" took off, the group’s female backup singers, who were known as “The Sham-Ettes,” answered to the song with a callback titled, “Hey there Big Wolf.” In 2011, Amanda Seyfried recorded her own version of the song to promote her movie also based off of Little Red Riding Hood. This song is the last example of a total of eleven songs that have covered, parodied, and used lines from the original.

sources Edit

"Li'l Red Riding Hood." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 08 Apr. 2017. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

"LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD." Song Facts. N.p., n.d. Web.

Perrault, Charles. Little Red Riding Hood. Place of Publication Not Identified: Classic Comic Store, 2016. Print.

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