Song Lyric Sunday – 6 December 2020 – The Snake

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. Jim has given us Alligator/ Crocodile/ Lizard/ Snake/ Turtle this week to be included in the title or lyrics.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

This week I am featuring The Snake, a song written and first recorded by civil-rights activist Oscar Brown in 1963, which became a hit single by American singer Al Wilson in 1968.

Also a great cover by Sarah Collins

and even The World’s Best Dancer

The song gained renewed attention during the campaign for the Presidential election in 2016. Donald Trump read its lyrics at several campaign rallies to illustrate his position on illegal immigration, claiming that the decision to allow people claiming refugee status to enter the United States would “come back to bite us”, as happened to the woman who took in the snake in the song. Songwriter Oscar Brown had seven children. His work has been characterized as “a celebration of black culture and a repudiation of racism”, and suggestions have been made that the snake in the song refers to a white person.  Two of his seven children asked Trump to stop using their late father’s song, telling the media: “He’s perversely using ‘The Snake’ to demonize immigrants” and that Brown “never had anything against immigrants.” Despite a cease and desist letter, President Trump has continued reciting the lyrics at rallies as recently as November 2020.

However, it has also been used to show his true colours:

The Snake

Al Wilson

On her way to work one morning
Down the path along side the lake
A tender hearted woman saw a poor half frozen snake
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew
“Poor thing, ” she cried, “I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you”
“Take me in tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake

She wrapped him up all cozy in a comforter of silk
And laid him by her fireside with some honey and some milk
She hurried home from work that night and soon as she arrived
She found that pretty snake she’d taken to had been revived
“Take me in, tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake

She clutched him to her bosom, “You’re so beautiful, ” she cried
“But if I hadn’t brought you in by now you might have died”
She stroked his pretty skin again and kissed and held him tight
Instead of saying thanks, the snake gave her a vicious bite
“Take me in, tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake
“I saved you, ” cried the woman
“And you’ve bitten me, but why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die”
“Oh shut up, silly woman, ” said the reptile with a grin
“You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in
“Take me in, tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Oscar Brown Jr.The Snake lyrics © Carlin America Inc

18 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday – 6 December 2020 – The Snake

  1. Good song and outrageous that it was perverted by T. You know my opinion of him! He is a traitor to his country and sadly he still has so many people in his thrall. He probably will not be punished in this life but his karma will bring him back as pond scum or worse.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was wondering what it would sound like if I changed the names on a page on the gingerbread man story. You know the one where the fox gives a lift across the stream to the gingerbread man. could be interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought I didn’t know the song until I listened to it.
    Why am I not surprised that blowhard would use this song so perversely?
    And that dancer… Oh. Em. Gee. Drunk, much? LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Trump is the biggest snake that the world has ever seen. I have listened to this song many times before, but I never knew anything about it. Great write-up Peter. The Sarah Collins version is lovely. That dancer was fun to watch. I am so sick of Trump. Great pick this week Peter.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve never heard this song before. It sure does have a hook-ya’-in tune and lyrics! 🙂
    The original is great…but I really enjoyed the Sarah Collins version!
    (((HUGS)))
    PS…I wonder how many songs have those creatures in them…’Twould be fun to research. The first one that came to my mind was I Don’t Like Spiders & Snakes by Jim Stafford. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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