Napoleon XIV

Napoleon XIV  (born Jerrold Samuels on May 3, 1938) is an American singer, songwriter and record producer.  He achieved one-hit wonder status with the Top 5 hit novelty song “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” in 1966.  Under the name Scott David (his son’s name), he co-wrote “As If I Didn’t Know” with Larry Kusik, a top 10 hit for Adam Wade in 1961.  Samuels also wrote “The Shelter of Your Arms”, a top 20 hit for Sammy Davis Jr. in 1964.  (More from Wikipedia)

Kim Fowley’s follow-up single to The Trip was a cover of the bizarre novelty songThey’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” that made the charts.  The original version of They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! was recorded in 1966 by Napoleon XIV, the pseudonym of Jerry Samuels.  The lyrics include just about every pejorative and urban legend ever applied to the mentally ill:  berserk, flip my lid, funny farm, men in white coats, basket weavers, maniacal laughter, etc.  The song climbed to #3 on the charts but then plummeted almost out of the Top 40 just two weeks later after radio stations quit playing the record because of its offensive lyrics. 


(January 2015/1)


Last edited: March 22, 2021