Hair (Hair song)

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Song by Original Broadway cast
from the album Hair
Released1968 (1968)
RecordedMay 6, 1968
Composer(s)Galt MacDermot
Audio sample
The end of a verse and the chorus

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

Context in the musical[edit]

The musical’s title song begins as character Claude 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] Claude 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 Claude to a Jesus figure.[2]

Chart performance[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

Hair - The Cowsills.jpg
Single by The Cowsills
from the album The Cowsills In Concert
B-side"What Is Happy?"
ReleasedMarch 1969 (1969-03)
Format45 rpm record
GenrePop rock
Composer(s)Galt MacDermot

The song was a major hit for the Cowsills in 1969 and their most successful single. (The Cowsills version cuts out most of the religion-themed lyrics, changing "long as God can grow it" to "long as I can grow it" and removing some verses.) Their version spent two weeks at number one on the Cash Box Top 100[13] and reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100.[14] "Hair" was kept out of the number one spot by another song form the Hair cast album: Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In by The 5th Dimension.[15] It also reached number one on the RPM Canadian Singles Chart.[16]

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.[17]

A version by Dutch rock band Zen reached the top of the Dutch Top 40 in January 1969.[18]

Appearances in media[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d "Hair lyrics by Hair Cast from Hair soundtrack". Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b Dayton. "Scott Miller on Hair". Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1969-05-26. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  4. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  5. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  6. ^ [Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002]
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 59.
  8. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 5/17/69". Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1969". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1969/Top 100 Songs of 1969". Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1969". Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  13. ^ "". Archived from the original on 7 August 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  14. ^ "The Cowsills - Chart history - Billboard". Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  17. ^ [Australian Chart Book 1970-1992]
  18. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 - week 1, 1969" (in Dutch). Retrieved March 13, 2010.
  19. ^ ""Mystery Science Theater 3000" Hercules Unchained (TV Episode 1992)". Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  20. ^ ""The Simpsons" Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious (TV Episode 1997)". Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  21. ^ ""The Simpsons" D'oh-in' in the Wind (TV Episode 1998)". Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  22. ^ ""Glee" Hairography (TV Episode 2009)". Retrieved 28 July 2017.


  • Joel Whitburn, The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (6th ed. 1996), p. 148.