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The Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley

The Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley

It’s from outer space and wants a job in a rock and roll band? Hmm. All kinds of music made the charts during this era. Sometimes it was a novelty song, such as “The Purple People Eater.” The song, which was written and sung by Sheb Wooley, tells the story of an alien (that is, a “one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater”) who comes to earth because it wants to be in a rock and roll band. The people eater’s voice, which has that helium-balloon chipmunk effect, is a sped-up recording. This is a technique similar to the one used for another rock and roll novelty song “The Witch Doctor” by David Seville and The Chipmunks. There are even references to “Short Shorts” by The Royal Teens, “Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard, and “Tequila” by The Champs. Regardless of whether the alien was purple or ate purple people, “The Purple People Eater” reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1958.

Shelby F. “Sheb” Wooley was a character actor as well as a singer. He films include High Noon, Giant, and The Outlaw Josey Wales. Wooley’s TV credits include Rawhide, Hee Haw, and The Muppet Show (as the drunken country singer Ben Colder).

Here are the lyrics to “The Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley:

“Well I saw the thing comin’ out of the sky
It had the one long horn, one big eye
I commenced to shakin’ and I said “ooh-eee”
It looks like a purple eater to me

It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater
(One-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater)
A one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater
Sure looks strange to me (One eye?)

Well he came down to earth and he lit in a tree
I said Mr. Purple People Eater, don’t eat me
I heard him say in a voice so gruff
I wouldn’t eat you cuz you’re so tough

It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater
One-eyed, one-horned flyin’ purple people eater
One-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater
Sure looks strange to me (One horn?)

I said Mr. Purple People Eater, what’s your line
He said it’s eatin’ purple people and it sure is fine
But that’s not the reason that I came to land
I wanna get a job in a rock and roll band

Well bless my soul, rock and roll, flyin’ purple people eater
Pigeon-toed, undergrowed, flyin’ purple people eater
(We wear short shorts)

Friendly little people eater.

What a sight to see.

And then he swung from the tree and he lit on the ground
And he started to rock, really rockin’ around
It was a crazy ditty with a swingin’ tune
Sing a boop boop aboopa lopa lum bam boom

Well bless my soul, rock and roll, flyin’ purple people eater
Pigeon-toed, undergrowed, flyin’ purple people eater
I like short shorts
Flyin’ little people eater
What a sight to see (Purple People?)

And then he went on his way, and then what do ya know
I saw him last night on a TV show
He was blowing it out, a’really knockin’ em dead
Playin’ rock and roll music through the horn in his head

Tequila

If you are interested in purchasing music by Sheb Wooley, please consider this: The Purple People Eater

For More Golden Oldies Music

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop, rock and roll, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 60+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for our Youtube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop. Hope you enjoyed “The Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley.

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