Song Lyric Sunday — Hair

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt, Jim Adams’ is, once again, going with a suggestion from Paula Light of Light Motifs II. Paula gave us the theme words Head, Hat, Hair, and Scarf. For my choice I’m going with the song “Hair,” my personal theme song from when I was a hippie and had a head of hair, long, beautiful hair.

“Hair” was the title song to the 1967 musical, Hair, and the 1979 film adaptation of the musical. The song “Hair,” like the rest of the songs in the show, has lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, and music by Galt MacDermot. The song is basically an ode to long hair, at a time when men had just begun to wear it long again, during the hippie era, which is what this musical is about.

In the musical, the song was performed by Claude, Berger, and the Tribe. They sang, “Give me a head with hair,” “as long as God can grow it,” and listed what they want in a head of hair and their uses for it.

Later the song takes the tune of “The Star-Spangled Banner” with the Tribe singing, “Oh say can you see/ My eyes if you can/Then my hair’s too short!” Claude and Berger’s religious references continue with many a “Hallelujah” as they consciously compare their hair to Jesus’s, and if Mary loved her son, “why don’t my mother love me?” The song shows the Tribe’s enthusiasm and pride for their hair as well as comparing Claude to a Jesus figure.

The song was a major hit for the Cowsills in 1969, although their version cuts out most of the religion-themed lyrics, changing “long as God can grow it” to “long as I can grow it,” and removing some other verses. The Cowsills’ version reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100. It was kept out of the number-one spot by another song from the Hair cast album, “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” by The 5th Dimension.

Here are the lyrics to “Hair.”

She asks me why
I'm just a hairy guy
I'm hairy noon and night
Hair that's a fright
I'm hairy high and low
Don't ask me why
Don't know
It's not for lack of bread
Like the Grateful Dead
Darling

Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen

Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

Let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas
A hive for buzzing bees
A nest for birds
There ain't no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder
Of my

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
Oily, greasy, fleecy
Shining, gleaming, streaming
Flaxen, waxen
Knotted, polka-dotted
Twisted, beaded, braided
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!

Oh say can you see
My eyes if you can
Then my hair's too short

Down to here
Down to there
Down to where
Down to where
It stops by itself

They'll be ga ga at the go go
When they see me in my toga
My toga made of blond
Brilliantined
Biblical hair

My hair like Jesus wore it
Hallelujah I adore it
Hallelujah Mary loved her son
Why don't my mother love me?

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

And here is the Cowsills’ cover of “Hair.”

19 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Hair

  1. Nope, Not Pam May 15, 2022 / 3:07 am

    Never heard it before, but why not ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paula Light May 15, 2022 / 6:16 am

    I was hoping you’d choose this! I love that entire musical and always cry at the end when they show all the headstones 🎶🖤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. newepicauthor May 15, 2022 / 7:03 am

    Eric Burdon and The Animals recorded a song titled Gratefully Dead a year before Hair was written, but I always love this song for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ghostmmnc May 15, 2022 / 8:08 am

    Yay! Such a fun song! Always loved it, and yes just now had to sing along – remembered almost all the words, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jegoldie May 15, 2022 / 9:03 am

    I almost used this. I saw one of the original plays at The Royal Alex (I think LOL) when it was first produced, Still have the original Program LOL
    Way to go Fan!!! Great choice! 😊👍

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Christine Bolton, Poetry for Healing May 15, 2022 / 8:27 pm

    I tried watching the movie Hair not so long ago and it was torturous 😦 What we though was so cool at the time can irritate now! I must be getting old. LOL 🤣 Still enjoy the song though … and of course Aquarius.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. leigha66 May 16, 2022 / 7:39 pm

    One of my favorite movies… never have had the pleasure of seeing a live stage version. I did love Treat Williams as Berger though in the film. Great song choice for the week!

    Liked by 1 person

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