The Chicken Song

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"The Chicken Song"
Chicken Song.jpg
Single by Spitting Image
featuring The Wet Gits
from the album Spit in Your Ear
B-side "I've Never Met a Nice South African"
"Hello, You Must Be Going"
"We're Scared of Bob"
Released April 1986 (1986-04)
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Recorded 1986
Genre Pop, parody
Length 2:37 (7" version)
Label Central TV / Virgin
Songwriter(s) Music: Philip Pope
Lyrics: Rob Grant and Doug Naylor
Producer(s) Philip Pope

"The Chicken Song" is a novelty song by the British satirical comedy television programme Spitting Image (series 3, episode 6). The nonsensical lyrics were written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor; the music was written by Philip Pope, who also produced the song.

The song was a parody of summer holiday disco songs such as "Agadoo" and "Do the Conga", which were in vogue during the mid-1980s. The song made specific reference to the group Black Lace, who performed those songs ("those two wet gits with their girly curly hair"). The song featured heavily during the 1986 series of Spitting Image, playing recurrently in the background, and being hummed by characters. At one stage, the puppet of Pope John Paul II played it on a banjolele. A subsequent release as a single reached number one in the official UK Singles Chart for three weeks in 1986.[1]

Song versions[edit]

On the Spit in Your Ear album, the "Celebrity Mega Mix" version of "The Chicken Song" was included, which features celebrities such as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Tina Turner singing the lyrics. The 12" single of "The Chicken Song" featured the extended "12 hour version", which contains numerous random repetitions of the verses and chorus at times when the song appears to be over. When the track is actually finished and the stylus reaches the end of the run-out groove, the first bar of the song is constantly repeated in the final locked-groove.[citation needed]


On the B-side of the 7" and 12" singles was another popular song from the television series, entitled "(I've Never Met) A Nice South African", which mocked the apartheid-era nation's white people. The 12" single also contained "Hello, You Must Be Going", a parody of Phil Collins who seems as much concerned about his receding hairline as his failed relationship, and "We're Scared of Bob", a parody of the Band Aid / USA for Africa charity records with the various artists suggesting they were only making the record because they were too afraid to say no when Bob Geldof asked them.[2]

Track listings[edit]

7" vinyl[edit]

Side one
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "The Chicken Song" Rob Grant, Doug Naylor Philip Pope 2:37
Side two
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "(I've Never Met) A Nice South African" John Lloyd Peter Brewis 3:08

12" vinyl[edit]

Side one
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "The Chicken Song (12 Hour Version)" Rob Grant, Doug Naylor Philip Pope 6:59
Side two
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "(I've Never Met) A Nice South African" John Lloyd Peter Brewis 3:08
2. "Hello, You Must Be Going" Ian Hislop, Nick Newman Philip Pope  
3. "We're Scared of Bob" Rob Grant, Doug Naylor Philip Pope 2:50

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
UK Singles Chart[1] 1
Dutch GfK Chart[3] 49
Irish Singles Chart[4] 1


Preceded by
"Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco
UK number-one single
17 May 1986
(for three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Spirit in the Sky" by Doctor and the Medics