There is an old Aesop fable, known as “The Scorpion and the Frog,” and like all of Aesop’s fables, there’s a moral somewhere in the mix. A scorpion tried to cross a river, and couldn’t – because scorpions can’t swim. A frog offers to shuttle the scorpion across the river, with the scorpion riding the frog’s back. The scorpion agrees. Once the pair cross the river (or, in some stories, the pair make it halfway across), the scorpion immediately stings the frog, causing it to die. The frog, with its dying croak before he completely croaks, asks the scorpion why, after the frog showed such kindness, did the scorpion kill him. The scorpion said, “Well, that’s just who I am.” I guess the moral of the story was, don’t trust a scorpion.
The fable was referenced in the film The Crying Game, and here’s the clip.
Now, eventually, there was a parallel parable to this story.
In 1966, Johnny Rivers tore through a re-telling of the Scorpion and the Frog, now branded as “The Snake.” Check out this rare performance video, complete with energetic Johnny Rivers guitar playing and hyped-up go-go dancers.
The song was popular enough that it was later covered by soul singer Al Wilson, who had a major R&B hit with “The Snake.” You might know Al Wilson from his big #1 hit “Show and Tell,” but this one was a major Northern Soul stomper.
So … why am I bringing this up?
Well, apparently one person not only knows of this great Al Wilson song, he’s actually quoted it in various public appearances.
Let me share.
But, well, you know, if you’re going to quote the Johnny Rivers / Al Wilson hit … you may have to reap what you sow. Bring in Meidas Touch at 3 … 2 … 1 …
Then again, if you’re an enterprising music remixer, what’s to stop you from snagging an instrumental version of “The Snake” and adding the vocals from some former New York real estate bigwig?
Nothing I know of.
So, what truly is the moral of this story?
Maybe Donald Trump should have gone for some other Johnny Rivers track, possibly “Poor Side of Town” or “Tracks of My Tears” or “Slow Dancing, Swaying to the Music”?
Oh, no. I just got an image in my head that will take some serious Brillo to remove. 😀