12 Days ’til LOUIE LOUIE 2020 Christmas – Day 10

It’s the 10th day of the 12 days ’til LOUIE LOUIE 2020 Christmas celebration, and we’ve got …

“Pharaoh Pharaoh”

“Pharaoh Pharaoh” is an interesting variation of LOUIE LOUIE. It’s the revised version of LOUIE LOUIE that uses completely different lyrics to tell the biblical story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. It’s been adopted by various Christian and Jewish groups as a playful song that can be easily sung at Sunday schools, summer camps, youth ministries, and assorted church gatherings.

The song was something of a fluke. Tony Sbrana was a high school senior when he created “Pharaoh Pharaoh” in 1971. In an era when “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Godspell” were mainstream theatrical successes, Tony and two of his fellow students created a rock opera for their “Bible As Literature” class project. “Pharaoh Pharaoh” was written as a parody of LOUIE LOUIE.

The fact that the very first version of LOUIE LOUIE ever recorded was by Richard Berry and the Pharaohs was completely coincidental.

For about year or so, Tony Sbrana and his collaborators would perform their rock opera at various church groups, before stopping it altogether.

Unbeknownst to Tony, this little “Pharaoh Pharaoh” song of his took on a life of it’s own. 1n 1987, Tony found out this parody song of his had become a popular song on the church circuit. Apparently someone must have heard Tony’s performance of this song, and shared it with others, not knowing who wrote this song.

Since then, Tony has rectified the situation, taking credit for creating this inspired reinvention of Richard Berry‘s iconic song, which is, of course, taking on a whole new life on YouTube.

Merry Christmas time!

Happy Hannukah celebrations!

Festive Winter Solstice!

…. and a Happy Birthday to Richard D’Juan Berry, grandson of the Richard Berry that wrote LOUIE LOUIE!

For more information on this subject, please check out this awesome webpage by our good friend …
Mike Hintze’s Pharaoh Pharaoh webpage

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