I Will Follow Him

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"I Will Follow Him"
German edition picture sleeve
Single by Little Peggy March
from the album I Will Follow Him
B-side "Wind Up Doll"
Released March 1963
Genre Pop
Length 2:24
Label RCA Victor
Writer(s) Music: Franck Pourcel, Paul Mauriat, arr. Arthur Altman
Lyrics: Norman Gimbel (transl.), Jacques Plante (original)
Producer(s) Hugo & Luigi, Arranged by Sammy Lowe
Little Peggy March singles chronology
"Little Me"
"I Will Follow Him"
"I Wish I Were a Princess"

"I Will Follow Him" was first recorded by Paola Neri. It was covered by Little Peggy March in 1963. The music was written by Franck Pourcel (using the pseudonym J.W. Stole) and Paul Mauriat (using the pseudonym Del Roma). It was adapted by Arthur Altman. The English lyrics were translated by Norman Gimbel.[1]

Petula Clark's original version[edit]

The song is a translation of the French language tune "Chariot" (lyrics by Jacques Plante) recorded a year earlier by Petula Clark, which hit #1 in France and #8 in Belgium and earned Clark a gold record. Clark's Italian ("Sul mio carro"; #4) and German ("Cheerio"; #6) recordings of the song were also major hits. Her English version, released by Pye in the UK and by Laurie in the USA was no success.

In Italy three versions of the song were in the charts (translated/adapted by Vito Pallavicini and Bruno Pallesi): One recorded by Betty Curtis (highest position: #3), another version by Petula Clark ("Sul mio carro"; #4) and the Franck Pourcel version (#5).[2]

Song history[edit]

The song was recorded in 1961 by Franck Pourcel and began as an instrumental piece appearing on the 1961 European LP release: "Amour, Danse, Et Violons. No.17." At the same time, it appeared on the EP release: "La Voix de son Maître". Pourcel co-wrote the song with his friend and fellow French bandleader Paul Mauriat. The other French bandleader Raymond Lefèvre has been credited for arrangements. Franck Pourcel's original recording was popular on MOR, or "easy listening," stations. Mauriat later recorded an instrumental version in 1976 with a disco beat, using a Moog synthesizer.

In 1962, Percy Faith released an album titled Themes for Young Lovers, and "I Will Follow Him" was the lead song on side 1. Many other hits at the time were also on the album, including "Up On The Roof", "On Broadway", and "Rhythm of the Rain".

The English version by March, backed with "Wind Up Doll", was released by RCA Victor and hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 27, 1963, making 15-year-old March the youngest female artist to have a U.S. chart-topping single. Her version also made it to #1 on the soul singles chart.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The Peggy March version of the song is featured prominently & humorously in Kenneth Anger's famous 1963 experimental film Scorpio Rising. Its use underscores one of the film's central themes: that both Christianity and Fascism require followers that blindly and obsessively follow the ideology of their leaders, leading to violence and death.
  • The Betty Curtis version is used in the 1990 film Goodfellas.
  • The song is featured at the end of the 1992 film Sister Act, where it was performed by the nuns' chorus for the Pope.
  • The Cartoon Network television show The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack used a modified version of the song for the season one episode "Lead 'Em and Weep", changing the song from "I Will Follow Him" to "He Will Follow Me".

Cover versions and samples[edit]

  • In 1982, the Dutch singer José Hoebee (former member of the girl band Luv') made a hit cover of the song.
  • In 1994, the Spanish singer Raphael released a Spanish version of the song titled "La Tierra" (English: "The Earth"). Raphael performed the song in his tours with remarkable success until 1999.
  • The song's chorus was sampled in the Eminem/Dr. Dre song "Guilty Conscience", as "these voices, these voices, I hear them, and where they go I'll follow, I'll follow, I'll follow, I'll follow".
  • The song's back beat was sampled by rock band Seether, for their song "Same Damn Life".[4]
  • Bone Thugs N Harmony interpolated the chorus on the short song "Me Killa" off of the 1995 album E. 1999 Eternal.
  • Bob Sinclar adapted part of the song in his single "Me Not a Gangsta" recorded in 2011 with Mr Shammi & Colonel Reyel


  1. ^ "I Will Follow Him by Little Peggy March Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2015-05-29. 
  2. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Top Annuali Single: 1963". Hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2015-05-29. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 803. 
  4. ^ "Seether's Same Damn Life sample of Little Peggy March's I Will Follow Him". WhoSampled.com. Retrieved 2015-05-29. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"He's So Fine" by The Chiffons
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
(Little Peggy March version)

April 27, 1963 - May 11, 1963 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"If You Wanna Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul
Preceded by
"Baby Workout" by Jackie Wilson
Billboard Hot R&B Singles number-one single
(Little Peggy March version)

May 25, 1963 (one week)
Succeeded by
"If You Wanna Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul