♫ Wooly Bully ♫

Here’s one I bet you haven’t heard in a while!  The year was 1965 and this was the first and biggest hit for Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs.  It became a worldwide success, selling three million copies and reaching #2 in the U.S.  It reached #11 in the UK and was the first U.S. record to sell a million copies during the British Invasion, influenced by the British rock sound mixed with traditional Mexican-American rhythms.

The lyrics of “Wooly Bully” were hard to understand, and some radio stations actually banned the song. The lyrics describe a conversation between “Mattie” and “Hattie” concerning the “Wooly Bully” (a creature which Mattie describes as “a thing she saw [that] had two big horns and a wooly jaw”) and the desirability of developing dancing skills, though I have no idea what the connection between the two are.  “Let’s not be L-7”, means “Let’s not be square”, from the shape formed by the fingers making an L on one hand and a 7 on the other.  I never knew that!

Sam is Domingo “Sam” Samudio, known for his camp robe and turban and hauling his equipment in a 1952 Packard hearse with maroon velvet curtains.Sam-Sham-hearseAccording to Sam …

“The name of my cat was ‘Wooly Bully’, so I started from there. The count down part of the song was also not planned. I was just goofing around and counted off in Tex-Mex. It just blew everybody away, and actually, I wanted it taken off the record. We did three takes, all of them different, and they took the first take and released it.”

Wooly Bully
Sam the Sham, & The Pharaohs

Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro
Matty told Hatty about a thing she saw
Had two big horns and a wooly jaw
Wooly bully, wooly bully
Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully

Hatty told Matty, let’s don’t take no chance
Let’s not be l-seven, come and learn to dance
Wooly bully, wooly bully
Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully

Matty told Hatty, that’s the thing to do
Get you someone really to pull the wool with you
Wooly bully, wooly bully
Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully

Songwriters: Domingo Samudio
Wolly Bully lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Music Sales Corporation

20 thoughts on “♫ Wooly Bully ♫

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