Lyrics:Harry B. Smith ,Francis Wheeler Music:Ted Snyder
The song was publishe 1921.
Tin Pan Alley was ever vigilant to cash in on popular trends, whether it be automobiles, airplanes, radio or motion pictures. A 1921 film The Sheik, starring Rudolph Valentino, was perfect fodder, and on the heels of its release music publishers Waterson, Berlin and Snyder published “The Sheik of Araby,” sometimes known as just “The Sheik.”
Valentino’s movie appearance solidified his status as a screen icon, especially among women who were known to swoon during his film appearances. The Sheik was based on a 1919 romance novel by English writer Edith Maude Hull and relates the story of an English girl who is kidnapped and seduced by an Arab sheik. The girl eventually falls in love with him and they marry. She discovers in reality that he is a British aristocrat. Valentino starred in a follow-up, The Son of the Sheik, in 1926, prior to his untimely death.
I'm the Sheik of Araby, Your love belongs to me. At night when you're asleep Into your tent I'll creep.
And the stars that shine above, Will light our way to love. You'll roam this land with me, I'm the Sheik of Araby.
Oh, I'm the Sheik of Araby And all the women worship me. You should see them follow me around. Not bad. Even wives of all the other sheiks, They beg to kiss my rosy cheeks And that ain't bad -- in fact, that's good, I've found. I'm a cad! When I lay down to sleep I'm counting girls instead of sheep From my harem I can't scare 'em out. Why should I? They're beauties from all races, And some have pretty faces. I'm the Sheik who knows what love is all about.