Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

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"Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"
Single by Cher
from the album The Sonny Side of Chér
B-side "Needles and Pins" "Our Day Will Come"
Released 1966
Format 7" single
Recorded 1966
Genre Folk rock
Length 2:44
Label Imperial
Writer(s) Sonny Bono
Producer(s) Sonny Bono
Cher singles chronology
"Where Do You Go"
"Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"

"Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" is the second single by American singer-actress Cher from her second studio album, The Sonny Side of Chér. Written by her then-husband Sonny Bono and released in 1966, the song reached No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a single week (behind "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration" by The Righteous Brothers), eventually becoming one of Cher's biggest-selling singles of the 1960s.[1][2]

Song history[edit]

The single proved successful, charting high in several countries worldwide. It became Cher's first million-selling single and her first top 3 hit in the UK (and her last until "The Shoop-Shoop Song" reached No. 1 in 1991). Critic Tim Sendra, in his album review of The Sonny Side of Cher, gave the song a mixed review: "The only track that has any real zest is the Bono-written novelty "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)," the kind of dramatic song Cher could knock out in her sleep but also a song with no real heart."[3]

In 1987, Cher recorded a rock version of the song for her 1987 Platinum-certified comeback album Cher. Produced by Desmond Child, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, the song featured backing vocals by Jon Bon Jovi and Michael Bolton, among others, and was released as a promotional single in 1988. Cher performed this version on her Heart of Stone Tour and on Living Proof: The Farewell Tour, and it was played instrumentally on the Dressed to Kill Tour in 2014.


Cover versions[edit]

Nancy Sinatra recorded one of the best-known covers of the song, for her 1966 album How Does That Grab You? Her version features tremolo guitar, played by her arranger, Billy Strange;[12] and had a resurgence in popularity when it was used in the opening credits of the 2003 Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill Volume 1. In the sequence preceding the credits, Tarantino creates a literal, bloody interpretation of the song's chorus and the third verse, about a wedding day.[13]

Besides Sinatra, artists who covered the song in 1966 included Stevie Wonder on his album Down to Earth, The Beau Brummels on Beau Brummels '66; Petula Clark on her album I Couldn't Live Without Your Love; and Gábor Szabó on his album Spellbinder. Sheila's version (with French lyrics by Claude Carrère and Georges Aber) became a big hit in France in the summer of 1966; Claire Lepage's French-language cover was released in Canada (as "Bang! Bang!" credited to Gilles Brown and Sonny Bono); and popular multilingual singer Dalida's Italian-language version (credited to Sonny Bono, Alessandro Colombini and Duilio Del Prete) appeared on a 1966 single and an album of the same name. The song was also very popular in Italy in the '60s and was covered in Italian by Dalida, Mina, and the psych bands Equipe 84 and I Corvi.[14]

Cover versions recorded for release or performed for broadcast also include those by:

  • Vanilla Fudge, whose version from the 1967 album Vanilla Fudge was used in David Fincher’s 2007 film Zodiac and season 2 episode 8 of the Netflix original series Lilyhammer.
  • Jamaican group Tomorrow's Children, as "Bang Bang Rock Steady" in 1967.
  • Swedish singer Anita Lindblom in 1967, as "Pang Pang".
  • Turkish singers Ajda Pekkan and Cem Karaca, both in 1967.
  • Cambodian singer Pan Ron, released as "Snaeha" in the 1960s.
  • Terry Reid for his 1968 album Bang, Bang You're Terry Reid.
  • Cliff Richard's version, recorded in October 1968, appears on his 1970 album Tracks 'n Grooves.
  • Lili Ivanova, whose Bulgarian language cover "Benk-benk" appeared on More molodosti, her 1968 album released in Russia.
  • Hong Kong actress Betty Chung did a funk/soul version with Mandarin vocals on her 1968 Mini Mini EP.
  • The Bonzo Dog Band covered the song sometime in 1968; it appeared as a bonus track on the 2007 reissue of The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse.
  • Romanian singer Anda Călugăreanu (voice) and Sincron's version in Romanian, "Beng, beng", appears on a 1968 compilation, Melodii din toată lumea VII' ('Songs from around the world VII')[15]
  • Brazilian singer Denisse de Kalafe in 1969, on her 'D. Kalafe e sua turma' EP.
  • New Zealand band Butler in 1973, as the first track on their only album, "Butler."[16][17]
  • Frank Sinatra, Nancy's father, for his 1981 album She Shot Me Down.
  • Barnes & Barnes (Bill Mumy of Lost in Space fame and Robert Haimer), on their 1984 album 'Amazing Adult Fantasy.'
  • Crazyhead on the "Baby Turpentine" 12" single in 1987.
  • Pop/rock singer Minako Honda, in Japanese for her 1989 album WILD CATS (billed as MINAKO with WILD CATS).
  • Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet recorded an instrumental version in 1991 for their second album, Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham.
  • Italian singer Spagna, on her 2001 album La nostra canzone.
  • Coil performed "Bang Bang" live in 2002-2004 and released live versions on the albums Live Four and Selvaggina, Go Back Into The Woods. Coil also released "Mono," a retitled experimental cover, on their album with ELpH, Worship the Glitch.
  • Vietnamese singer Mỹ Tâm released "Khi xưa ta bé (Bang Bang)" on her 2002 album Not only me/Đâu chỉ riêng em.
  • Paul Weller, on his 2003 compilation Fly on the Wall: B Sides & Rarities.
  • Isobel Campbell, on her 2004 EP Time Is Just the Same.
  • Canadian artist Melanie Durrant in 2005.
  • The Raconteurs began performing the song in concert in 2006, and included it in their 2009 Austin City Limits appearance.
  • Greek music producer Antonis Karalis in 2006.
  • Jacno and Mareva Galanter, sung in French and released in France in 2006.
  • Murder By Death, as the B-side of their 2007 single "Sometimes the Line Walks You" and on the Fuego! EP.
  • Singer and model Carla Bruni, in a Lancia Musa TV advertisement broadcast in Europe in January 2008.
  • Iranian singer Elaheh recorded a Persian cover version in the '60s, with slightly altered lyrics.
  • In the 2008 French-Canadian movie Maman est chez le coiffeur, the 1966 Claire Lepage version plays near the beginning of the film and later, a French version by Elie Dupuis, one of the stars of the movie who was then 12 years old. Dupuis's version is included on the film's soundtrack.
  • Italian gothic metal band Domina Noctis, on their 2008 album Second Rose.[18]
  • Stéphanie Lapointe, in French on her 2009 album Donne-moi quelque chose qui ne finit pas.
  • Mandragora Scream, on her 2009 album Volturna.
  • Polish singer Ania, on her 2010 album Ania Movie.
  • Welsh classical crossover singer Charlotte Church, on her 2010 album Back to Scratch.
  • Macedonian punk-rock band Parketi, on a 2010 single.
  • Maiysha in 2010, on Undercover: Live from New York.
  • Burlesque performer Miss Annie in 2011, on the soundtrack of the short film Gang Girls.
  • Los Angeles singer/songwriter Sarah Ault, on her 2011 debut album The Pressure Beneath.
  • San Francisco psychedelic soul band Monophonics, on the 2012 album In Your Brain.
  • New Zealand musician Willy Moon in 2012, as the b-side of "Railroad Track"; appearing on the deluxe edition of his first album.
  • Anneliese van der Pol in 2012, for For the Record: Tarantino, an album of songs from the films of Quentin Tarantino.
  • Sky Ferreira and 2CELLOS, on the 2013 album In2ition.
  • Brown Eyed Girls in 2013, who also used the song in their music video "KILL BILL".
  • Nico Vega, for the 2014 album Lead to Light, a version first heard in October 2013 in a promo for the A&E miniseries Bonnie & Clyde: Dead and Alive.
  • Four versions of "Bang Bang" appear on a 2013 EP by Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, in remixes by Ibiza Air, Daniel Vernunft, Manuel Estevez and YuYuMa. "Bang Bang (YuYuMa Chill-Out Remix)" by Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain Vs Ibiza Air also appears on the 2015 compilation album Buddha Bar XVII.
  • David Guetta remixed "Bang Bang" with Skylar Grey in January 2014, for the track "Shot Me Down".
  • Icelandic rock band Kaleo in a March 2014 performance on Icelandic public radio station Rás 2.
  • 8-year-old Angelina Jordan Astar [b. Jan. 10, 2006] sang the song on the semi-finals of Norske Talenter (Norway's Got Talent) on April 12, 2014. The judges voted her into the finals of the talent show, which she won the following month.
  • Pharmakon, on the compilation album Todo Muere, Vol. 4, released on Record Store Day 2014.[19]
  • Lady Gaga covered "Bang Bang" in July 2014 at Jazz at Lincoln Center for the TV special "Cheek to Cheek: LIVE" and it later appeared as an iTunes bonus track with her jazz album with Tony Bennett, Cheek to Cheek. The track debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Jazz Digital Songs Chart.[20]
  • Beyoncé sang "Bang Bang" to her husband Jay Z in an August 2014 commercial for an HBO tour special.[21]
  • Brazilian singer Leticia Maia auditioned with "Bang Bang" for reality show The Voice in 2014.
  • Louise Adams sang it on the Australian "X Factor" series, in which she came in second.
  • Brazilian singer Alice Caymmi covered the song on her live album Rainha dos Raios - Ao Vivo in 2016.

In addition, Nancy Sinatra's version was the theme for the BBC's coverage of the 2005 Wimbledon tennis championships, and has been sampled on several hip-hop recordings, including Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall's 2004 single "Bang Bang"; the Audio Bullys (featuring Nancy Sinatra) top 3 UK hit "Shot You Down" in 2005; rapper Young Buck's "Bang Bang" on the album Straight Outta Cashville, rapper MMJC's "C-Town Beat Down" on the album Teaser; Lil' Wayne and DJ Drama on the 2006 mixtape "Dedication 2", and "Bang Bang" by in 2013.


  1. ^ "Cher - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. 
  2. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs - Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard. 
  3. ^ The Sonny Side of Cher - Cher | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic
  4. ^ Austrian Singles Chart [1] . Retrieved October 22, 2010.
  5. ^ Canadian Singles Chart [2] . Retrieved October 22, 2010.
  6. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (1966). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 53. 
  7. ^ "Cash Box 100 Singles chart
  8. ^ German Singles Chart (1966). "German Singles Chart; End of year charts". Archived from the original on 18 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  9. ^ "Top Annuali Single: 1966" (in Italian). Retrieved 2013-08-31. 
  10. ^ "UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 1966 - Year End". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1966". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  12. ^ "Guitarist Billy Strange Talks About Nancy Sinatra's 'Bang Bang' « Lost & Sound". 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  13. ^ "Bang Bang: Pop! Goes the Murder Ballad". Murder Ballad Monday. Sing Out!. March 2, 2015. Retrieved March 23, 2016. 
  14. ^ "I Corvi - Bang bang (1966)". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  15. ^ "Web database with cover versions and musical quotations". 
  16. ^ Butler Track Listing-Last FM Retrieved: May 20, 2013.
  17. ^ Bang Bang/Reach Out on YouTube Retrieved: 20 May 2013
  18. ^ "Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives". 
  19. ^ "Pharmakon Covers Cher/Nancy Sinatra Song "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2014-08-16. 
  20. ^ "Jazz Digital Songs: Oct 11, 2014". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. October 2, 2014. Retrieved October 2, 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  21. ^ "Watch Beyoncé Sing "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" To Jay Z". BuzzFeed. 

External links[edit]