Lilly Done The Zampoughi Every Time I Pulled Her Coattail

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"Lilly Done The Zampoughi Every Time I Pulled Her Coattail"
A shot from the 2012 official video for the song
Single by Melvin Van Peebles
from the album Brer Soul
Released 1971
Format 7"
Recorded 1970, 1995, 2012
Genre spoken word, funk
Songwriter(s) Melvin Van Peebles

"Lilly Done The Zampoughi Every Time I Pulled Her Coattail" is a song written by Melvin Van Peebles.

"Lilly" was originally released on Van Peebles' album Brer Soul. It was released as a single in 1971.[1]

The song is told from the point of view of a death-row inmate, who recalls how Lilly would do the Zampoughi every time he pulled her coattails. It is eventually revealed that he kills her, because she would do the zampoughi whenever any other guy pulled her coattails.[2]

Van Peebles was inspired to write the song by an encounter in New York City.[3]

The song featured in Van Peebles' musical, Ain't Supposed To Die A Natural Death, during which a dancer performed on-stage in the part of Lilly's ghost[4] The song featured on the album release for the musical.[5] The Village Voice described the song as 'perhaps the most disturbing', describing the revival performance of the play by the Classical Theatre of Harlem.[6]

He recorded another version of it in 1995 for Ghetto Gothic, which features Spaceman Patterson. He explains that the earlier version lacks the newer version's "fuller musicality".[7] He revisited the earlier version of the song in 1998 with the band Roadkill.[8]

On November 10, 2012, Van Peebles announced via the Facebook page for Melvin Van Peebles wid Laxative the release of a new video for the song,[9] using the version he recorded on an unreleased album, Nahh... Nahh Mofo.[10] The video features performances from Zebulon Cafe Concert, and was co-edited by Van Peebles and Alex Lozupone.[11]


  1. ^ Billboard - Google Books. 1971-09-18. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  2. ^ Black World/Negro Digest - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  3. ^ Billboard - Google Books. 1992-07-11. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  4. ^ One More Kiss: The Broadway Musical in The 1970s - Ethan Mordden - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  5. ^ Billboard - Google Books. 1971-12-18. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  6. ^ David Finkle (2004-09-28). "Ghetto Blasting - Page 1 - Theater - New York". Village Voice. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  7. ^ Billboard - Google Books. 1995-03-04. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  8. ^ "How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy it) (2006) - Home Video Reviews". Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  9. ^ "We have a new video...". Facebook. 2012-11-10. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  10. ^ "(official video) Melvin Van Peebles wid Laxative - Lilly Done The Zampoughi". YouTube. 2012-11-09. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  11. ^ "Lilly Done the Zampoughi Every Time I Pulled Her Coattail (2012) - IMDb". Retrieved 14 January 2014. 

External links[edit]