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Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Sheik of Araby

By Ted Snyder, Harry B. Smith & Francis Wheeler
1921

A huge hit composed as a humorous response to the immensely popular Rudolph Valentino, The Sheik, this song became a bona fide piece of American pop culture during the Roaring '20s. It was even referenced in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. It was introduced by the Club Royal Orchestra, and jazz bands also took an instant liking to it, which some have credited to the Louisiana town of Arabi, which became the source of an in-joke amongs jazz musicians.

Lyrics:

I'm the Sheik of Araby,
Your love belongs to me.
At night when you're asleep,
Into your tent I'll creep.

And the stars that shine above,
Will light our way to love.
You'll roam this land with me,
I'm the Sheik of Araby.

Oh, I'm the Sheik of Araby,
And all the women worship me.
You should see them follow me around. Not bad.
Even wives of all the other sheiks,
They beg to kiss my rosy cheeks.
And that ain't bad -- in fact, that's good, I've found. I'm a cad!

When I lay down to sleep,
I'm counting girls instead of sheep.
From my harem I can't scare 'em out. Why should I?
They're beauties from all races,
And some have pretty faces.
I'm the Sheik who knows what love is all about.

Recorded By:

Django Reinhardt
Art Tatum
Leon Redbone
The Beatles (on their failed Decca Records demo)
Louis Prima

2 comments:

emma wallace said...

This song gets stuck in my head when I hear it! Harry Connick, Jr. covered it in his "Oh, My Nola" album too. He added some interesting lyrics (he said he heard them when he was a kid in New Orleans).

marcel cohen said...

Add without pants to the end of every line

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