THE 1000 BEST SONGS IN THE WORLD EVER.
446-Al Wilson-The Snake.
1968-Did not chart until re-issued in 1975 reaching Number 41.
Best Bit-At 2.43.The song which helped elect an American President.
The Snake was originally written and performed by Oscar Brown Jr in 1963,but didn’t become a hit until covered by Al Wilson in 1968,peaking at Number 27 on Billboard.In the UK the song has become a cult classic among fans of Northern Soul Music,being one of the most popular songs of that genre.
The songs lyrics are inspired by Aesop’s Fable of The Farmer And The Viper.It tells of a kind woman who finds a frozen snake and nurses it back to health.The snake repays her by biting her with deadly poisonous venom,when she asks why the snake tells her that she knew he was a snake before she took him in.
During the 2016 United States Presidential election campaign Republican candidate Donald Trump read out the lyrics at several campaign rallies to illustrate his position on the Syrian refugee crisis,claiming that the decision to allow people claiming refugee status to enter the U.S.would ‘come back to bite us,’as happened to the woman who took in the snake in the song.The daughters of the late songwriter Oscar Brown Jr have asked Trump to stop using their fathers song saying ‘He’s perversely using ‘The Snake’ to demonise immigrants’ and that Brown ‘Never had anything against immigrants.’
‘Oh shut up silly woman said the reptile with a grin you knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.’
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