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Ahab The Arab 
By: Ray Stevens
  Play Sample:
Rank this week: 12 (↑9)
Duration: 4:24 
Release Date: 1962  (sav-man) 
Lyrics By: Ray Stevens (sav-man) 
Music By: Ray Stevens (sav-man) 
Produced By:
Released By: Mercury Records (sav-man) 
Published By: Sony/ATV Tunes LLC (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Licensing: BMI  #12650 (Stavro Arrgolus) 
Keywords:
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Reviews:
Facts:
  • This was Ray's second top 40 hit, reaching #5 in July 1962. (sav-man)
  • From Ray's 1962 album debut 1,837 SECONDS OF HUMOR. (sav-man)
  • This was Stevens' highest chart song until his 1970 "serious" No. 1 hit, "Everything Is Beautiful." ()
  • The portion of the song where The Sultan encounters Ahab and Fatima has been extricated from most releases. (AH3RD)
  • Song Lyrics:
    (intro: Arabian flute)

    Let me tell you about Ahab the Arab
    The sheik of the burning sand
    He had emeralds and rubies just drippin' off 'a him
    And a ring on every finger of his hand
    He wore a big ol' turban wrapped around his head
    And a scimitar by his side
    And, every evenin', about midnight
    He'd jump on his camel named Clyde, and ride

    [Spoken] Silently through the night to the sultan's tent where he
    would secretly meet up with Fatima of the Seven Veils,
    swingingest grade "A" number one USDA choice dancer in
    the sultan's whole harem, 'cause, heh, him and her had
    a thing goin', you know, and they'd been carryin' on
    for some time now behind the sultan's back and you
    could hear him talk to his camel as he rode out across the
    dunes, his voice would cut through the still night desert
    air and he'd say (imitate Arabic speech and finish with "Sold! American)
    which is Arabic for, "Stop, Clyde!" and Clyde'd say, (imitate camel
    sound), which is camel for, "What the heck did he say anyway?"

    Well, he brought that camel to a screechin' halt (verbal screeching sound)
    In the rear of Fatima's tent
    Jumped off Clyde, snuck around the corner
    And into the tent he went.
    There he saw Fatima layin' on a zebra skin rug
    With
    [Spoken in falsetto and possibly with female backups] "Rings on her fingers and
    bells on her toes and a bone in her nose, ho ho."

    [Spoken] There she was, friends, lyin' there in all her radiant
    beauty, eating on a raisin, grape, apricot, pomegranate,
    bowl of chittlin's, two bananas, three Hershey bars,
    sipping on a RC coca-cola listenin' to her transistor,
    watchin' the Grand Ole Opry on the tube, readin' a Mad
    magazine while she sung, "Does your chewing gum lose
    it's flavor?" Yeah, Ahab walked up to her and he say,
    (imitate Arabic speech), which is Arabic for "Let's twist
    again like we did last summer, baby!" Ha, ha, ha!!
    You know what I mean! Whew! She looked up at him from off the rug,
    give him one of the sly looks,

    She said (suggestive giggles, then outright laughter) "Crazy, crazy, crazy baby!"

    ('round and around and around and around, and around and around and around)

    Yeah, and that's the story 'bout Ahab the Arab
    The sheik of the burnin' sand
    Ahab the Arab, the swingin' sheik of the burnin' sand
    ()
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    Current Rating 9.5 (4 votes)
    Song Images:

    Messages about the song: "Ahab The Arab"

     

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    (New Message)
    AH3RD   (Offline)  -  Member  -  10-15-07 06:45 PM  -  82 months ago


    --- Stavro288
    It wasn't that long ago that singles were cut for time rather than content. Some marketing idiots in the '60s decreed that 3:05 or thereabout was the 'optimum' radio airplay time for hit record sales, so everything was cut. This song too, probably. With podcasts, we have an opportunity to set things right and play the whole song the way it was meant to be heard.

    Yeah. So what say you, boys and girls? Howsabout hearing the full-length version of "Ahab, The Arab"? And in stereo? Heh? Let's bang that gong and git it on! ;-)
    (New Message)
    Stavro Arrgolus   (Offline)  -  Editor, MP3  -  09-21-07 03:37 PM  -  83 months ago
    It wasn't that long ago that singles were cut for time rather than content. Some marketing idiots in the '60s decreed that 3:05 or thereabout was the 'optimum' radio airplay time for hit record sales, so everything was cut. This song too, probably. With podcasts, we have an opportunity to set things right and play the whole song the way it was meant to be heard.
    (New Message)
    Tim P. Ryan   (Offline)  -  Participant, MP3  -  09-17-07 05:11 PM  -  83 months ago
    Hey AH3RD, welcome to TMMA!

    Yes, that looks more like the original lyrics. Ray has changed his performance of this over the years. I'm not sure of original single edit verses original album edit.

    -Tim
    (New Message)
    AH3RD   (Offline)  -  Member  -  09-17-07 04:33 PM  -  83 months ago
    Here's the words to the full-length version (I'm assuming it's the original album version) of Ahab The Arab:



    Let me tell you about Ahab, The Arab
    The sheik of the burning sands!
    He had emeralds and rubies just a-drippin' off 'a him,
    And a ring on every finger of his hand!
    He wore a big ol' turban wrapped around his head,
    And a scimitar by his side,
    And every evenin', about midnight,
    He'd jump on his camel named Clyde...

    (Spoken)
    And ride, silently through the night to the sultan's tent, where he would secretly meet up with Fatima of The Seven Veils, the swingingest number one choice dancer in The Sultan's whole harem! 'Cause, like him and her had a thing goin', you know, and they'd been carryin' on for some time now behind The Sultan's back! And you could hear him talk to his camel as he rode out across the dunes, his voice would cut through the still night desert air, and he'd say... (imitate Arabic speech), which is Arabic for, "Whoa, babies!" And Clyde'd say... (imitate camel braying)

    Well, he brought his camel to a screechin' halt (imitate screech)
    In the rear of Fatima's tent,
    Jumped off Clyde, snuck around the corner,
    And into the tent he went.
    There he saw Fatima layin' on a zebra skin rug,
    With rings on her fingers,
    And bells on her toes and a bone in her nose, ho ho!

    (Spoken)
    And there she was, friends and neighbors, layin' there in all her radiant beauty, eating on a raisin, and a grape, and an apricot, and a pomegranate, a bowl of chitterlings, two bananas, three Hershey bars, and sipping on an R-O-C-coke-cola, listenin' to her transistor, watchin' The Grand Ole Opry,and readin' Mad Magazine while she sung "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor?"! And Ahab walked up to her and he say (imitate Arabic speech), which is Arabic for, "Let's twist again like we did last summer, baby!" And she say, "ha ha ha...crazy, baby!"

    ('Round and around and around and around
    And around and around and around!)

    (Spoken)
    All of a sudden, The Sultan walked in!!
    Ahab knew that this was the end!!
    Him and Fatima was caught by surprise,
    And the sultan had fire flashin' out of his eyes!!

    Well, The Sultan charged at Ahab,
    Intending to make a dent
    In his head, but he fled with Fatima
    And out of the tent they went!
    They jumped on Clyde and started to ride
    Cuttin' out across the sand!
    With The Sultan's whole army in a hot pursuit,
    On and on they ran!

    (Spoken) Well, to make a long story short, they got away, 'cause there weren't no animal alive what could keep up with Clyde once he got started, 'cause he was the swiftest steed on the whole desert babies!
    And they made it across the border where Ahab hocked all his rubies and emeralds, and he bought 'em a swanky little split-level pad, and lived happi'y ever after!

    Yeah, and that's the story 'bout Ahab, The Arab,
    The sheik of the burnin' sands!
    Ahab The Arab, the sheik of the burnin' sands!

    (fade-out)



    I'm take it they edited out the portion where The Sultan encountered Ahab and Fatima for the single version.

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