Wig-Wam Bam

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"Wig-Wam Bam"
Single by The Sweet
from the album The Sweet
B-side"New York Connection"
Released1 September 1972
Songwriter(s)Nicky Chinn, Mike Chapman
Producer(s)Phil Wainman
The Sweet singles chronology
"Little Willy"
"Wig-Wam Bam"
Official audio
"Wig-Wam Bam" on YouTube

"Wig-Wam Bam" is a song by British glam rock band The Sweet, written by songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, released as a single in September 1972. It was the first Sweet single on which the band members actually played their instruments, as previous singles featured producer Phil Wainman on drums, and session musicians John Roberts and Pip Williams (later producer of Status Quo albums) on bass and guitars respectively.


The song's lyrics are inspired by Henry Longfellow's Hiawatha poem from 1855.[4] The poem tells the legend of a Native American warrior Hiawatha and his lover Minnehaha. The lyrics also refer to Running Bear and his lover Little White Dove, two characters from the 1959 song "Running Bear" written by Jiles Perry Richardson.


The song featured a significant change in the band's sound, and is often considered the band's first glam rock single.[citation needed] Also, this was the first Sweet single with bass player Steve Priest singing some parts of the lead vocal: the "try a little touch, try a little too much" line at the chorus. This became an important part of Sweet's later style; on most of their later singles they also used this technique, with Priest singing some lines of the song. After the song became a hit, Sweet adopted a glam image, starting to wear glitter and makeup.[citation needed]

The band appeared on BBC's Top of the Pops, performing the song, three times in 1972: on 14 September, on 21 September and on 5 October, with Priest wearing an extravagant Native American feathered headress.[5][6]


Chart performance[edit]

The song reached No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart in September 1972.[7]

Cover versions[edit]

  • In 1986, a cover by English pop band Black Lace was released as a single and reached number 63 on the UK Singles Chart.[8]
  • In 1989, a cover by English pop musician Damian was released as a single and reached number 49 on the UK Singles Chart.[9]
  • In 2000, all-female rock band The Donnas recorded a cover (with different, suggestive lyrics and no references to 'Hiwawatha')[10] for the Runnin' on Fumes!/The Gearhead Magazine Singles Compilation[11] and Blockbuster: A 70's Glitter Glam Rock Experience.[12] It was later released as a single in 2002.
  • In 2000, the Swedish band Starz!? released a cover on their album Party,[13] and on enhanced single "Wig Wam Bam".[14]
  • In 2010, the all-female Finnish hard rock band Barbe-Q-Barbies released a cover on the album All over You.[15][16]

In other media[edit]

The song was featured in the 2023 Hulu series Welcome to Chippendales.[17]


  1. ^ Martin Popoff (15 August 2014). The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal?s ... Quarto Publishing Group USA. p. 16. ISBN 9781627883757. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  2. ^ Stanley, Bob (13 September 2013). "Deluxe and Delightful: Glam". Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop. Faber & Faber. p. 338. ISBN 978-0-571-28198-5.
  3. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Sweet | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  4. ^ "Wig-Wam Bam - Sweet | Song Info". AllMusic.
  5. ^ "Top Of The Pops | The Ultimate Sweet Fan Site". Sweet.thesweetweb.com. December 25, 2018.
  6. ^ Sweet - Wig Wam Bam - Top Of The Pops/Disco 1972 (OFFICIAL) on YouTube
  7. ^ "UK Official Charts". Official Charts Company. 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  8. ^ "BLACK LACE | full Official Chart History". Officialcharts.com. Archived from the original on April 23, 2023. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  9. ^ "DAMIAN | full Official Chart History". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  10. ^ "The Donnas – Wig-Wam Bam". Genius.com.
  11. ^ "Various - Runnin' On Fumes! - The Gearhead Magazine Singles Compilation". Discogs.com. 2000.
  12. ^ "Various - Blockbuster: A 70's Glitter Glam Rock Experience". Discogs.com. 2000.
  13. ^ "Starz!? - Party". Discogs.com. 2000.
  14. ^ "Starz!? - Wig Wam Bam". Discogs.com. 2000.
  15. ^ "Barbe-Q-Barbies". Nordic Metal. February 27, 2018.
  16. ^ "Barbe-Q-Barbies - All Over You". Discogs.com. 2010.
  17. ^ "Welcome to Chippendales Season 1 Soundtrack". Soundtracki.com. 22 November 2022. Retrieved 30 October 2023.