Hair (Hair song)

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"Hair"
Song from the album Hair
Released 1968 (1968)
Recorded May 6, 1968
Genre Rock, pop rock
Length 02:55
Label RCA
Writer James Rado, Gerome Ragni
Composer Galt MacDermot
Producer Brian Drutman, Denis McNamara, Norrie Paramor, Andy Wiswell
Hair track listing
"I Got Life"
(9)
"Hair"
(10)
"My Conviction"
(11)
The end of a verse and the chorus.

"Hair"
Single by The Cowsills
B-side "What Is Happy?"
Released 1969 (1969)
Label MGM
14026

"Hair" is the title song to the 1968 musical Hair and 1979 film adaptation of the musical.

Context in the musical[edit]

The musical’s title song begins as character Woof slowly croons his reason for his long hair, as tribe-mate Berger joins in singing they deem they “don’t know.”[1] They lead the tribe, singing “Give me a head with hair,” “as long as God can grow it,”[1] listing what they want in a head of hair and their uses for it. Later the song takes the tune of “The Star-Spangled Banner” with the tribe punning “Oh say can you see/ My eyes if you can/Then my hair’s too short!”[1] Woof and Berger’s religious references continue with many a “Hallelujah” as they consciously compare their hair to Jesus’s, and if Mary loved her son, “why don’t my mother love me?”[1][2] The song shows the Tribe's enthusiasm and pride for their hair as well as comparing Woof to a Jesus figure.[2]

Cover versions[edit]

The song was a major hit single for The Cowsills in 1969 and their most successful single. Their version spent two weeks at #1 on the Cash Box Top 100[3] and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4] It also reached #1 on the RPM Canadian Singles Chart.[5]

The song was also covered in Australia in 1969 and released as a single by Doug Parkinson in Focus (b-side with "Without You") and was a top ten hit for him there that year.[6]

Italian singer Elio Gandolfi covered the song in 1968, entitled "Hair (Capelli)".[7]

A version by Dutch rock band Zen reached the top of the Dutch Top 40 in January 1969.[8]

Punk rock band The Dickies covered the song on their 1989 album "Second Coming".

Appearances in media[edit]

References[edit]

  • Joel Whitburn, The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (6th ed. 1996), p. 148.
Preceded by
"Eloise" by Barry Ryan[note 1](Dutch)
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
(Zen version)

January 4, 1969
Succeeded by
"Ain't Got No, I Got Life" by Nina Simone[note 2] (Dutch)
Preceded by
"You've Made Me So Very Happy" by Blood, Sweat & Tears
RPM Canadian Singles Chart number-one single
(The Cowsills version)

May 12, 1969
Succeeded by
"Get Back" by The Beatles
Notes
  1. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 - week 49, 1968". Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 - week 4, 1969". Retrieved March 13, 2010.