The Cisco Kid (song)

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"The Cisco Kid"
Single by War
from the album The World Is a Ghetto
B-side"Beetles in the Bog"
ReleasedFebruary 1973 (1973-02)
LabelUnited Artists
Producer(s)Jerry Goldstein
War singles chronology
"The World Is a Ghetto"
"The Cisco Kid"
"Gypsy Man"

"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.

Song description[edit]

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.

Chart performance[edit]

In the US, "The Cisco Kid" reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks at the end of April and start of May 1973, kept out of #1 by "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" by "Tony Orlando and Dawn"[1] On the US R&B singles chart, it peaked at No. 5.[2] It reached No. 1 in Canada on the RPM 100 singles chart. It was certified gold.


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[3] Gold 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  1. ^
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 608.
  3. ^ "American single certifications – War – The Cisco Kid". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 21, 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.