Lesson #252: Purple People Eaters

Every once in a while something will pop into my head for absolutely no reason. Today, it was the one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater.

Don’t even pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about…that’s going to be stuck in your head all day!

As I’ve gotten older, it has occurred to me that the song is potentially not about flying monsters with one eye, a horn and an appetite for purple people and is actually about a flying purple monster with one eye, a horn and a penchant for human flesh. Despite the rhythm and phrasing suggesting otherwise. But, given the whole ceiling wax thing, it is evident that I cannot trust my six-year-old to have it all figured out. So I looked up the lyrics. They are here.

It turns out that I was not incorrect. The purple people eater is in fact a consumer of purple people, not a purple consumer of people.

A few tidbits about the song: It was composed in an hour and recorded in 1958 by Sheb Wooley and went to number one in the charts.* Also, bizarrely, there was a movie made in the late 80’s based on the song that starred Neil Patrick Harris (yes, Doogie Howser — or Barney Stinson depending on your age).**

I feel this balances out the whole ceiling wax affair.

*Really, how could it not?

**That information is here.

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