Sheb Wooley: “One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater”

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We all remember this song from yesteryear, but do you know the story behind the lyrics?

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The Purple People Eater” is a novelty song written and performed by Sheb Wooley, which reached no. 1 in the Billboard pop charts in 1958 from June 9 to July 14, and reached no. 12 overall in the UK singles chart.  

“The Purple People Eater” tells how a strange creature (described as a “one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people eater”) descends to Earth because it wants to be in a rock ‘n’ roll band. The premise of the song came from a joke told by the child of a friend of Wooley’s; Wooley finished composing it within an hour.

(source en.wikipedia.org)

One-Eyed-one-Horned-Flying-Purple-People-Eater-Music-2

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)

Flyin’ purple people eater

Sure looks strange to me

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)

Flyin’ purple people eater

Sure looks strange to me

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)

Flyin’ purple people eater

Sure looks strange to me

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)

Flyin’ purple people eater

Sure looks strange to me

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)

Flyin’ purple people eater

Sure looks strange to me

And then he swung from the tree and he lit on the ground

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

Sure looks strange to me (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

 

 

You Might Want To Read:

The Songs That Took Us Round And Round
Folk Song, “Michael Row The Boat Ashore”
“Puff The Magic Dragon” – Released March 16, 1963

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