Leader of the Pack by The Shangri-Las

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Leader of the Pack by The Shangri-Las

The Shangri-Las Leader of the Pack

Pop Songs

The song “Leader of the Pack” was by The Shangri-Las, a group from Queens, New York, with a tough-girl image. They formed while at Andrew Jackson High School in 1963. They were two sets of sisters. Mary and Elizabeth “Betty” Weiss and identical twins Marguerite “Marge” and Mary Ann Ganser. Their first big success was in 1964 with “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” and then with “Leader of the Pack.” In 1964, “Leader of the Pack” went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #11 in the U.K. The spoken parts and the sounds of motorcycles and breaking glass as well as the orchestration helped to tell the story of this teen drama. It’s a classic of pop sixties music.

The Shangri-Las were a group from until 1968. They were out and about with some of the biggest groups of the time. They performed with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Drifters, James Brown, Herman’s Hermits, and Del Shannon, just to name a few . The Shangri-Las had some successful records with themes regarding alienation, abandonment, loneliness, and death (well, it was the sixties). These included “Give Him a Great Big Kiss,” “Out in the Streets,” “Give Us Your Blessings, “I Can Never Go Home Anymore,” “Past, Present and Future,” and a song dedicated to those fighting overseas in Vietnam titled “Long Live Our Love.”

Here are the lyrics for “Leader of the Pack” by The Shangri-Las:

“Is she really going out with him?
Well, there she is, let’s ask her
Betty, is that Jimmy’s ring you’re wearing? Uhm, hmm
Gee, it must be great riding with him
Is he picking you up after school today? Uhm, umm

By the way, where’d you meet him?
I met him at the candy store
He turned around and smiled at me
You get the picture? Yes, we see
That’s when I fell for the leader of the pack

My folks were always putting him down
(Down, down)
They said, he came from the wrong side of town
(What you mean when you say that he came
From the wrong side of town?)
They told me, he was bad, but I knew he was sad
That’s why I fell for the leader of the pack

One day my dad said, “Find someone new”
I had to tell my Jimmy, we’re through
(What you mean when you say that
You better go find somebody new?)
He stood there and asked me why, all I could do was cry
I’m sorry, I hurt you, the leader of the pack

He sort of smiled and kissed me good-bye
The tears were beginnin’ to show
As he drove away on that rainy night
I begged him to go slow
But whether he heard, I’ll never know

Look out, look out
Look out, look out

I felt so helpless, what could I do?
Rememberin’ all the things we’d been through
At school they all stop and stare
I can’t hide the tears but I don’t care
I’ll never forget him, the leader of the pack

(Gone, gone, gone, gone)
The leader of the pack, now he’s gone
(Gone)
The leader of the pack, now he’s gone
(Gone, gone, gone, gone)
The leader of the pack, now he’s gone
(Gone)
The leader of the pack”

If you are interested in reading about and listening to another song by The Shangri-las: “Give Him a Great Big Kiss.”

Check Out The Groove Pad for More 1960s Music

The Pass the Paisley Groove Pad is a resting stop, a place to┬áchill out and listen to the featured song on the┬ástereo. If the mood strikes you, click on the juke box to access and listen to the 50+ commercial free online songs there. The TV has several channels, with selections updated twice a week. Every now and then, Pass the Paisley hosts an all-request of 1960s and 1970s songs for a Be-In at the juke box in the Groove Pad. Keep on truckin’. Hope you enjoyed “Leader of the Pack” by The Shangri-Las.

2 Comments

  1. […] If you are interested in reading about and listening to another song by The Shangri Las, please click here for “Leader of the Pack.” […]

  2. […] They had other songs, but they did not have charting success. And Red Bird records was busy with The Shangri-Las and The Dixie Cups. The Jelly Beans disbanded in […]

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