The Cisco Kid (song)
"The Cisco Kid" is a song performed by War, and written by Thomas Allen, B. B. Dickerson, Harold Brown, and Charles Miller, all members of War at the time. It is the first song on their 1972 album The World Is a Ghetto, and is the group's highest-charting song.
The song describes the adventures of Cisco and Pancho, two cowboys from the 1950s TV program The Cisco Kid. The song is known for having a different sequence of notes following each line. A distinct four-note phrase played by saxophone, harmonica, and flute punctuates the end of the first few lines, while a brief jam from the rhythm section follows the next couple. A completely different four-note phrase (this time played by guitar) follows some of the later lyrics, as well as lines of dialogue from the television show---and a three-note sequence repeated twice in a row is played by the harmonica and saxophone. These easy-to-remember hooks, along with the funk-driven rhythm section, make this song one of War's signature tunes, and the "most fun," according to lead vocalist and guitarist Scott.
In the US, on the Billboard Hot 100, "The Cisco Kid" reached #2 on the Billboard Top 40 for 2 weeks at the end of April and start of May 1973. It was kept out of the #1 spot by Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree by Tony Orlando and Dawn On the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, it peaked at #5. Outside the US, it went to #1 on the RPM 100 Canadian singles chart. It became a gold record.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 608.