The Sheik Of Araby

Anthology 1 album artworkWritten by: Smith-Wheeler-Snyder
Recorded: 1 January 1962
Producer: Mike Smith

Released: 21 November 1995

George Harrison: vocals, lead guitar
John Lennon: backing vocals, rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney: backing vocals, bass
Pete Best: drums

Available on:
Anthology 1

The Beatles recorded a version of The Sheik Of Araby, a vaudeville song from 1922, during their unsuccessful audition for Decca Records on 1 January 1962.

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The group based their arrangement on a rock ‘n’ roll version released by Joe Brown and The Bruvvers in 1961. George Harrison was a big fan of Brown, and sang lead vocals on The Beatles’ version.

In those days a lot of the rock ‘n’ roll songs were actually old tunes from the Forties, Fifties or whenever, which people had rocked up. That was the thing to do if you didn’t have a tune: just rock up an oldie. Joe Brown had recorded a rock ‘n’ roll version of The Sheik Of Araby. He was really popular on the Saturday TV show Six-Five Special and Oh Boy!. I did the Joe Brown records, so I sang Sheik Of Araby.
George Harrison
Anthology

Brian Epstein had all but dictated which songs The Beatles were to sing at their Decca audition, taking selections from their live show of the time which he thought would be most palatable to the talent-spotters at Decca.

Although The Sheik Of Araby had proved a popular number onstage in Liverpool and Hamburg, in the studio it lacked much of the character that had endeared it to audiences.

Lyrics

Well I’m the Sheik of Araby
Your love belongs to me
Well at nights when you’re asleep
Into your tent I’ll creep

Not ‘alf

The stars that shine above
Will light our way to love
And you’ll rule this world with me
I’m the Sheik of Araby

Well I’m the Sheik of Araby
Your love belongs to me
Whoa, at nights when you’re asleep
Into your tent I’ll creep

A-ha

The stars that shine above
Will light our way to love
You’ll rule this world with me
I’m the Sheik of Araby
Well I’m the Sheik of Araby
Well I’m the Sheik of Araby

2 responses on “The Sheik Of Araby

  1. Bill

    This and “A Picture Of You” were probably George’s most obscure contributions to the group’s stage show. Although not a hit in the US, I actually found a copy of Joe Brown’s “A Picture If You” on a US 45 (on London Records). Very country/western influenced.

    Is it just me, or does Joe Brown on “A Picture Of You” sound a lot like an early Michael Nesmith?? Put a boom-chicka-boom sound on this & it would’ve been perfect for Johnny Cash circa ’62-’63…

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