Music Throwback Saturday: The Snake

“Everybody tells me not to hit back at the lowlifes that go after me for PR–sorry, but I must. It’s my nature.”

From, interestingly, The New Republic:

Is Donald Trump the fabled Snake?

In his speeches, Trump often recites the lyrics of the 1968 Al Wilson song “The Snake,” written by Oscar Brown, Jr. [in 1963]. A variation of the fable “The Scorpion and the Frog,” the song tells the story of a naive woman who takes in a wounded snake, only to be betrayed by the predator who bites her and says, “You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.”

From the point of view of Trump and his supporters, the meaning of the song is this: The United States can’t let in Muslim refugees because they are irrevocably hostile and will turn on those who help them.

But [recently], an old Trump tweet was recirculated that offers a new layer of meaning to his use of the story.

Everybody tells me not to hit back at the lowlifes that go after me for PR–sorry, but I must. It’s my nature.


Obviously, I need to listen to the Donald’s stump speeches more often. Right.

This was Wilson’s biggest hit. The song got to #27 pop, and #32 rhythm & blues, in the summer of 1968 in the US, and a mild hit in the UK some seven years later. If I had heard this song before, I’m not remembering.

Singer/drummer Al Wilson was born in Meridan, MS in 1939, and was a member of a group called The Rollers in the early 1960s. He died of kidney failure in 2008 at the age of 68.

Here are the lyrics to The Snake.

Listen to Al Wilson’s version of The Snake here or here.
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Trump’s Offer to Christians Is Same Offer Devil Made Christ

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

4 thoughts on “Music Throwback Saturday: The Snake”

  1. Wilson did eventually come up with a bigger hit: “Show and Tell,” a Jerry Fuller tune written originally as a Johnny Mathis LP track, which Wilson took all the way to #1 (#10 on the R&B chart) in 1973.

  2. 1) Trump is the embodiment of self-hatred, which is a long-standing epidemic in this country.

    2) Trump is the ultimate expression of the core “values” of the Baby Boomer Me Generation.

    Calling him a snake is a grave insult to snakes.

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