Hair (Hair song)

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

Single by The Cowsills
B-side "What Is Happy?"
Released March 1969
Length 03:29
Label MGM
Certification Gold

"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 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]

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]

A version by Dutch rock band Zen reached the top of the Dutch Top 40 in January 1969.[7]

Appearances in media[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
  1. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 - week 49, 1968". Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 - week 4, 1969". Retrieved March 13, 2010.