Hair Of The Dog

Album: Hair Of The Dog (1975)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about a charming and manipulative woman who can get guys to acquiesce to her every need. The singer is letting her know that she has met her match in him, and she won't be able to push him around.
  • "Hair Of The Dog" does not appear in the lyrics. The logical title would be "Son Of A Bitch," but it would be tough to get airplay with a song of that name. "Hair Of The Dog" comes from the phrase "Hair of the dog that bit you," which some people consider a hangover cure, meaning that if you wake up in pain after drinking lots of beer the night before, a beer will help cure you.
  • In 2005, "Hair Of The Dog" was mashed-up with "Live And Loose" by the rapper Chris Classic (Nephew of Run from Run-D.M.C.) for a commercial for the Dodge Charger.
  • Girls Aloud sampled this on their UK hit "Sexy! No No No."
  • Artist to cover this song include Guns N' Roses, Warrant and The Michael Schenker Group.

Comments: 28

  • Zosoboy from Bayonne Nj I always thought that, perhaps, the title might have originally been "Heir of the Dog", the proverbial Son of a Bitch! I remember how the censors were back then. I remember a song by Steppenwolf, "God damn the Pusher " got little air play because of this.
  • Stegokitty from Rhode Island, UsaThough I rolled my eyes when I first read about the "Satan loves you" bit, I have admit that, after listening at the starting point where another bloke mentioned (at 3:20), it's fairly noticeable. It's in a medium-low speaking voice, not sung. It comes along like this (again, using 3:20 as your starting point): "Now you're messin' with a -- a son of bi-itch; now you're messin' with -- a Satan loves you". You can still hear "... a son of a bi-itch" being sung, of course, but now it's got "Satan loves you" superimposed over it. It is what it is.
  • Red Hot Mama from ArizonaLOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS SONG!!! I fell in love with it the first time I heard it on my rock station Love the lyrics too!!
  • AnonymousThey wanted the album to be called "Son of a bitch", but the record company said no.
    So it was "Hair of the dog" instead, which has nothing to do with the song...
  • Dustin from NashvilleFor those inquiring minds concerning Nazareth's live versions of this song:

    The bagpipes are strictly a prop, they hide the tube of a guitar effects device called a Talkbox (made famous by Peter Frampton, Joe Perry, Joe Walsh, among others). Essentially, the tube is connected to a box that contains a small but powerful driver speaker, when a guitar is connected to the box, the sound of the amplified guitar is generated by the driver speaker, the encasement focuses the sound up the tube where it is placed in the mouth, usually of the guitarist (in Nazareth's case, the singer's), notes are played on the guitar and the guitarist moves his mouth to form sounds or if they are skilled enough actual words. Nazareth simply ran the tube up through the "blowstick" of the bagpipes for visual effect, the guitarist is actually playing the sound and the singer is working in coordination with him.

    As for the TRADITIONAL Scottish song that the band goes briefly into during live performances it is called: The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond. It actually is a lyrical song originally but has become quite popular in its instrumental bagpipe version as well.

    Lastly, because of the similarity with Bon Scott's voice and the like, its interesting to note that AC/DC would also play its own version of The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond during live performances in the 1970s.
  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaSounds more like "sonna Bitch" or "son of bitch" to me.
  • Linda from Inland Empire, CaThis song was a guaranteed must play at my high school's dances in the late 70s. Who could resist flailing wildly to that beat and yelling "son of a bitch" with immature glee in the middle of your high school and not getting in trouble for it? Good times, good times. :-)
  • Jeremy from Brampton, Onthere is definitely no "Satan loves you" bring up an equalizer and bring down the 5khz and higher range, and bring everything below 60hz down. You can clearly here "Son of a bitch"
  • Bill from Coaler, IlSounds like "Shakin Bitch" to me
  • Bobzilla from Chicago, IlLike Guy says, this song would have been called "Son of a Bitch" if they could have gotten it on the radio with that title. Instead, they changed it to "Heir of the Dog" so it means the same thing, then changed that to "Hair..."
    This is the true "more cowbell" song.
    It's a rock classic.
    The drummer could be playing the cowbell with a left foot pedal (his hands are busy with the ride and the backbeat) but there's no way he's playing the tambourine you can hear in the chorus.
    And someone is doubling the guitar line during the solo on an overblown flute.
    Nazareth was a great 4 piece rock outfit, but it took more than 4 guys to play what you hear on the studio recording.
  • Paul from Pasadena, TxFact I counted no less than 7 times from the 3 minute mark! Sometimes they didn't do a very good job of covering it up though!
  • Paul from Pasadena, TxActually it happens several times throughout the song but is really noticeable from about the 3:20 mark on through the end of the song! Unbelievable!
  • Paul from Pasadena, TxWell I just listened to this song and didn't notice it until I was reading about the subliminal message. I can tell you that at the 3:19 mark of this song you can hear it as plain as the writing that you are reading! That's amazing how they did that!
  • Ken from Boston, MaTowards the end, it is repeated"son of a bitch" I do NOT hear Satan loves you !
  • Ken from Boston, MaSounds a bit like Brian Johnson of AC/DC
  • Jason from Denver, CoDan McCafferty is probabaly one of the most influential metal singers out there. People like Rob Halford, Axl Rose and Brian Johnson have said he is one of their influences. The guy has a great gritty sounding voices.
  • AnonymousIt is "SATAN luvs u",not SATIN! U can hear it rite at end of song(left ch.) -Joe, Adelaide
  • David from Youngstown, OhI'm amazed every time I hear this song on the radio that stations are permitted to play it because "son of a bitch" is mentioned about 100 times. Some stations, rightfully concerned by the FCC's willingness to fine them for language, censor "son of a bitch" from songs such as "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InLive, they were using bagpipes, but the studio version is the familiar talkbox.
    Great song with an immediately catchy main riff, even if it is not exactly difficult to play.
  • Joshua from La Crosse, WiHoliday (and Pete), it sounds to me like that other voice is simply repeating the phrase "son of a bitch". Then again, I also used to mis-hear the opening line as "Heartbreaker, salt shaker". Hard rock lyrics warning listeners about the dangers of too much sodium in your diet?
  • Pete from Kansas City, KsHoliday in FL,
    I'm not sure how to "prove you wrong" but I fail to hear and mention of "satin" in the song. What would a silky material generally found in bedsheets and nightwear have to do with the lyrics?
  • Holiday from Southwest, FlBelieve it or not, if you listen to the last part of the song (3/4) there is a subliminal lyric that says "Satin Loves You"... Where he sings "Now you're messing with a son of a bitch", then listen very closely. It floored me when first heard it. If you don't believe it please prove me wrong.
  • Don from B G, KyConan O'Brien did a TV skit with a clown (Ronald MacDonald?) where the clown attacked people on the street with this song playing. It was funny.
  • Guy from Benson, NcThe title is a joke a play on words Heir of the Dog would be a son of a bitch. I know the spelling is different(hair and Heir), but we're not talking high level humor. Also, the part in the middle may have been played with a bagpipe live, but it is certainly a Talk Box being used on the studio version.
  • Randy from Colerain Twp., OhThis would be an appropriate song for a few girls that I had dated, included my ex-girlfriend. Bagpipes??? It seems like it would be more of a hassle to play the bridge part with that thing than a voice tube.
  • Larry from Jackson, NjHey Barry..
    Its not a voice tube..the singer plays Bagpipes for that part. i saw them live lots of times.
  • Chet from Buffalo, NyIt's also played during the end credits of a film, but I can't recall which...anybody?
  • Barry from Greenville, NcI've always wondered if Nazareth used a voice tube effect a la Peter Frampton and Joe Walsh during the bridge of this song!
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