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Song Details
Duration: 2:23 
Release Date: 1958  (peterpuck9) 
Lyrics By: Sheb Wooley (peterpuck9) 
Music By: Sheb Wooley (peterpuck9) 
Produced By: Neely Plumb (peppertree5706) 
Released By: MGM Records (peterpuck9) 
Published By:
Licensing: ASCAP  #460084953 
  • Ironically, neither MGM Records nor Sheb himself were that crazy about the song; nonetheless, once it became a hit, an entire "Purple People Eater" merchandising fad (i.e., shirts, games, etc.) swept the country in 1958! (sav-man)
  • Sheb was inspired to write this song based on a joke that his son told him ("what has one eye, one horn, flies and eats people?"). (sav-man)
  • Reached #1 on the BILLBOARD charts in June 1958. (sav-man)
  • Song Lyrics:
    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 people 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 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, flying 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 lit on the
    ground. He started to rock, really rockin' around
    It was a crazy little ditty with a swingin' tune
    (sing aboop 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

    [Clarinet solo]


    Current Rating 10.0 (5 votes)
    Played on 103 shows:
    10-28-23, #AOTA-23102804-25-93, #93-17
    10-01-22, #ISGD-17-4507-19-92, #92-29
    10-17-20, #AOTA-20101710-27-91, #91-43
    03-28-20, #AOTA-20032810-13-91, #91-41
    10-27-18, #AOTA-18102707-07-91, #91-27
    10-14-17, #AOTA-17101405-26-91, #91-21
    09-04-17, #OTR-3-3603-17-91, #91-11
    10-30-16, #OTR-2-4210-28-90, #90-43
    10-19-16, #ISGD-16-4301-21-90, #90-03
    10-15-16, #AOTA-16101506-25-89, #89-26
    04-09-16, #AOTA-16040903-19-89, #89-12
    10-31-15, #AOTA-15103110-02-88, #88-40
    10-18-15, #BWR-15-10-1807-03-88, #88-27
    06-27-15, #15-2602-14-88, #88-07
    08-30-14, #ISGD-14-4901-10-88, #88-02
    02-01-14, #AOTA-14020107-05-87, #87-27
    10-12-13, #AOTA-13101204-26-87, #87-17
    09-24-13, #BWR-13-09-2404-27-86, #KMET-86-17
    06-01-13, #AOTA-13060103-16-86, #86-11
    12-27-12, #ISGD-12-5408-04-85, #85-31
    10-22-12, #BWR-12-10-2304-28-85, #85-17
    09-01-12, #AOTA-12090109-09-84, #84-37
    01-19-12, #MMCZ-12-0312-04-83, #83-49
    01-19-12, #ISGD-12-0311-15-81, #81-46
    11-12-11, #MMCZ-11-4610-04-81, #81-40
    10-25-11, #BWR-11-10-2502-15-81, #81-07
    12-05-10, #MMCZ-10-5601-04-81, #81-01
    05-16-10, #10-2006-15-80, #80-24
    02-21-10, #MMCZ-10-0812-30-79, #KMET-79-52
    08-31-08, #08-3506-24-79, #79-25
    01-05-08, #MMCZ_08-0111-12-78, #78-39
    06-24-07, #07-2509-10-78, #78-29
    01-03-07, #KMCC_3-0508-20-78, #78-26
    10-29-06, #06-4407-09-78, #78-20
    10-29-06, #MMS-5112-05-76, #123
    04-09-06, #06-1508-08-76, #106
    02-21-06, #MMS-1802-08-76, #80
    08-11-05, #FFM-501-04-76, #75
    06-26-05, #05-2612-28-75, #74-56
    10-24-04, #XM-7411-02-75, #66
    10-24-04, #04-4310-12-75, #63
    10-19-03, #03-4209-21-75, #60
    10-06-03, #ISGD-03-3709-07-75, #58
    10-05-03, #03-4008-24-75, #56
    09-15-03, #ISGD-03-3407-20-75, #51
    04-07-03, #ISGD-03-1304-27-75, #43
    03-11-01, #01-1004-20-75, #42
    01-17-99, #99-0303-16-75, #37
    08-24-97, #97-3402-02-75, #31
    04-21-96, #96-1601-05-75, #27
    11-13-94, #94-4612-31-72, #KMET-72-53
    08-01-93, #93-31
    = Show you can listen to online
    Song Images:
    Messages about the song: "The Purple People Eater"
    Stavro Arrgolus   Offline  -  Editor, MP3  -  02-10-21 08:47 PM  -  3 years ago

    No, it wasn't. Sometimes original mp3s get replaced by those who don't want to make the effort to add another page for the version they used. This used to go on all the time. It's my policy to replace these mp3s with the originals when encountered...and there - done.

    Thanks for noticing it. I missed it as I never play this song...back when I was well enough to actually make shows. Like many of these things, I heard the original version in the '50s - endlessly. It was one of the inescapable songs of the age and I quickly became thoroughly sick of it at the time.

    In situations like this where a song has dozens of versions, no attempt is made to sort them all out as you'd never be able to find all of them.

    Wacky Ben   Offline  -  Artist & D.J.  -  02-10-21 11:03 AM  -  3 years ago
    I have to ask again. Was this mp3 here the whole time or was this re-recording posted by the same person who seemed to prefer re-recordings over the originals?
    electronic-widget-69   Offline  -  Member  -  09-28-05 07:02 PM  -  18 years ago
    PTA stands for Parent Teacher Association.
    peppertree5706   Offline  -  Participant  -  09-28-05 03:05 PM  -  18 years ago
    Sheb Wooly recorded as Ben Colder in the sixties. He mostly did parodies of hits (mostly country hits).

    I think his best was "Harper Valley PTA (Later That Day)."

    "What does PTA stand for? Party Time Already!"

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    Song samples are provided for information purposes only and are intended to enable the users to sample the music (as they are in very low quality) before they take the decision of purchasing the music. This right is expressly permitted under "Fair Use" as nonprofit educational purposes only. The ownership of the copyright of the songs rests with the respective owners.

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