"Dog Hair": What does Nazareth's cult classic sing about?

Today in our article is the story of Nazareth's biggest hit "Hair of the Dog". What is the interesting story of this track and what is its lyrical meaning? Let's find out!

All about the song "Hair of the Dog" by Nazareth: creation history, meaning, popularity

In the 60s rock music spread around the world at a breakneck pace and, besides the center of its formation, England, it made its way to Scotland, where fans of heavy music lived not only in moderately progressive Glasgow. Nazareth were one of the first teams to be able to conquer the whole world with their sound and get on a par with the masters of rock in the distant '70s.

Almost from the beginning the group was a success, but real The hits recorded and released in the first half of the 1970s began to gain popularity. One of the team's commercially successful tracks was «Hair of the Dog»The history of its creation, success and meaning will be discussed in this article.

Inspiration and creation process

Nazareth in the '80s
Nazareth in the '80s

The song became a big hit upon release in March 1975. Despite the fact that the lyrics of the song are dedicated to "fatal" woman, he has a direct connection to the band's lead singer Dan McCafferty. Importantly, the musician himself noted an interesting feature lyrics: the expression "Hair of the Dog" is never mentioned there. The title of the song and the album was given by the play on words, with the help of which the band released the novelty without any problems; it was more logical to name the song by the chorus, "Son of a Bitch"But due to problems with the realization of the work, the musicians abandoned the provocative title.

The composition itself is about power and manipulative women who use men to their advantage. In contrast to this, the vocalist comes from the side of the so-called "victims"saying that it wouldn't work with him. The song, in McCafferty's own words, is accusation unjust girl, described by various epithets that reveal her essence.

The lyrics are rightly considered to be provocative because of all the foul language and pounding energy. Along with this, the melody is quite simple and is created by the bright riff in the beginning, clear percussion and Dan's "screaming" vocals. A special song is added to the interest of the song. the effect, "embedded" in the song's bridge. In this track Nazareth colorfully showed true '70s rock, simple yet powerful.

«Hair of the Dog» for real became famous in America and Germany. Thanks to the fact that the band's album of the same name reached one of the top 20 positions in the charts in the States, the song soon gained popularity as well. Things were a little different in Europe: as singleThe song reached the 44th line in the German music chart.

Lyrical Meaning

Nazareth. 1970-е
Nazareth. 1970-е

The lyrics give away reproach The main character's behavior is actively condemned by the very woman. Here is the story of the "son of a bitch," who appears to the "born liar" as a sign that not everyone can be treated so severely. This is clearly seen in the chorus:

You're getting mixed up with some son of a bitch now!
Confused now with
by some son of a bitch!


The hero is in the mood hostile from the very beginning of the text; all of his words repeat the same idea about the immorality of women, so it evokes a complete mistrust to himself and is described by unpleasant epithets:

You sing to me like a nightingale, but in reality you are poison ivy.
You're not going to stay faithful.
A giver, a congenital liar.
I'm not blind not to see it.

Группа Nazareth: Pete Agnew, Darrell Sweet, Dan McCafferty, Manny Charlton
Группа Nazareth: Pete Agnew, Darrell Sweet, Dan McCafferty, Manny Charlton

The hero makes it clear that he will not be one of her victims, and introduces himself as one rough The hero is a man capable of discerning himself in her and instantly unmasking her. In addition to accusing words, the hero cannot refrain from admiration This lady, but such feelings in him are caused by his resemblance to himself - here it is as if an effect is created mirrors. He is well aware that all the bad qualities in his personality are as strong as they are in hers, so no one can take the lead over the other.

Best covers

Nazareth Group
Nazareth Group

Nazareth gained enormous popularity after the release of this track, and soon received a tribute to of respect from several bands. Their work continued to live on in covers by former Iron Maiden vocalist Paul D'Anna, Michael Schenker Group and glam metalists Warrant, but pearl on this list is the Guns N' Roses version.

Nearly 20 years after the release of the original track, the Los Angeles hard rock band released a cover version of "Hair of the Dog" on their fifth studio recording, titled "The Spaghetti Incident?". This song differs from the original in the mock riff of one of the Beatles' songs at the very end. Vocalist Axl Rose The goal was not to make a different version of the track, but to perform it maximum to the original, and he succeeded.

Another interesting cover was a song by the Atlanta band StoneRider. The musicians began in the genre of post-hardcore, but later switched to hard rock and took a lot from classical for this trend of bands, which include the legendary Nazareth. Their cover of "Hair of the Dog" made the track list of the album "Three Legs Of Trouble 2008.

A little about the album


"Hair of the Dog" became sixth the Scottish rockers' studio record. This work was the first without the production of Deep Purple's Roger Glover; he was replaced by the founder of Nazareth Manny Charlton.

On the recording you can hear two major the band's hits: the ballad "Love Hurts", written by The Everly Brothers, and "Hair of the Dog". In the U.S. the album rose to number 17 on the Billboard 200 chart, and in Norway and Austria it reached number 5 and 7, respectively. In America, "Hair of the Dog" was certified as platinum.

Cover of the album "Hair of the Dog"
Cover of the album "Hair of the Dog"

The musicians originally planned to give the record, as well as the title song, the title "Son of a Bitch," but in time refused from this idea in order to avoid problems in the dissemination of this work.

For a long time listeners have been wondering about the meaning of covers album, depicting a three-headed creature resembling a dragon. Many draw a parallel with the title, where the word "dog" appears, and the only three-headed dog is the mythical Cerberusguarding the gates of the Underworld. On the other hand, the purple wings of the animal resemble the body parts of a bat, and then the viewer confused in what he actually sees in the picture. This proves once again the enigma and complexity of Scottish musicians, for all their love of uncomplicated but quality tunes.


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