Wig-Wam Bam

"Wig-Wam Bam" is a song by British glam rock band The Sweet, written by songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, released as a single in September 1972. It was the first Sweet single on which the band members actually played their instruments, as previous singles featured producer Phil Wainman on drums, and session musicians John Roberts and Pip Williams (later producer of Status Quo albums) on bass and guitars respectively.

"Wig-Wam Bam"
Wig-Wam Bam.jpg
Single by The Sweet
from the album The Sweet
B-side"New York Connection"
Released1 September 1972 (UK)[1]
September 1973 (US)
GenreGlam rock,[2] bubblegum pop[3]
Songwriter(s)Nicky Chinn, Mike Chapman
Producer(s)Phil Wainman
The Sweet singles chronology
"Little Willy"
"Wig-Wam Bam"


The song's lyrics are inspired by Henry Longfellow's Hiawatha poem from 1855.[4] The poem tells the legend of a Native American warrior Hiawatha and his lover Minnehaha. The lyrics also refer to Running Bear and his lover Little White Dove, two characters from the 1959 song Running Bear written by Jiles Perry Richardson.


The song featured a significant change in the band's sound, and is often considered the band's first glam rock single.[citation needed] Also, this was the first Sweet single with bass player Steve Priest singing some parts of the lead vocal: the "try a little touch, try a little too much" line at the chorus. This became an important part of Sweet's style later, and at most of their later singles, they also used this technique, with Priest singing some lines of the song. After the song became a hit, Sweet adopted a glam image, starting to wear glitter, Native American clothes and makeup.


Chart performanceEdit

The song reached No. 4 in the UK singles chart in September 1972.[5]

Cover versionsEdit

  • In 1986, a cover by English pop band Black Lace was released as a single and reached #63 on the UK music charts.
  • In 1989, a cover by English pop musician Damian was released as a single and reached #49 on the UK music charts.
  • In 2000, all-female rock band The Donnas recorded a cover (with different, suggestive lyrics[6]) for the compilations Runnin' on Fumes!/The Gearhead Magazine Singles Compilation[7] and Blockbuster: A 70's Glitter Glam Rock Experience.[8] It was later released as a single in 2002.
  • In 2010, all-female Finnish hard rock band Barbe-Q Barbies released a cover on the album All over You.[9][10]

In other mediaEdit

The song appeared in Rock & Chips.


  1. ^ The Sweet - Wig-Wam Bam / New York Connection - RCA Victor - UK - RCA 2260 45cat.com
  2. ^ Martin Popoff (15 August 2014). The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal?s ... p. 16. ISBN 9781627883757. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  3. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Sweet | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  4. ^ Wig-Wam Bam - Sweet: Listen, Appearances, Song Review - AllMusic
  5. ^ "UK Official Charts". Official Charts Company. 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  6. ^ The Donnas—Wig-Wam Bam lyrics
  7. ^ Runnin' On Fumes! - The Gearhead Magazine Singles Compilation
  8. ^ Blockbuster: A 70's Glitter Glam Rock Experience
  9. ^ Barbe-Q Barbies — Nordic Metal
  10. ^ Barbe-Q-Barbies – All Over You