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?

The song was, in fact, a novelty song written and performed by Sheb Wooley. The song reached number 1 on the Billboard pop charts in 1958 and reached number 12 overall in the UK singles chart.  

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The song, “The Purple People Eater” tells the story of a strange creature, described as having one-eye, one-horned, and the ability to fly. The creature comes to Earth because it wants to join a rock ‘n’ roll band. The premise of the song was said to have come from a joke told by Wooleys’ friend’s child. Wooley created the whole song in just an hour.

 

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

Well I saw the thing comin’ out of the sky

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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

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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

What do you think?

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