This is one of those songs that I loved to listen to, but dreaded getting caught by my parents as the term “son of a bitch” while regularly spoken by at least one of the adults in the house, was also considered profanity. And yes, somehow listening to a rock song with profanity was treated the same as me actually saying a swear word, and carried the same punishment. Parents!
Anyway, before you see this great LIVE performance of the song I found, here’s more on the interesting background it has from Wikipedia:
“Hair of the Dog” is the title track of Nazareth’s 1975 album Hair of the Dog. It is sometimes called “Son of a Bitch” because of the repeated lyric in the hook (“Now you’re messing with a son of a bitch”). The song is about a charming and manipulative woman who can get men to acquiesce to her every need. The singer is letting her know that she has met her match in him, a self-described “son of a bitch.” The song’s title, which does not appear in the lyrics, is a pun (“hair of the dog” = “heir of the dog” = “son of a bitch”).
As a standalone song, it only charted in Germany, where it peaked at #44. In the United States, because the Hair of the Dog album was a top-20 hit on the album charts, the song received extensive airplay on album-oriented rock stations (despite “bitch” being a borderline profanity) and remains in the playlist of most classic rock formatted stations. In the USA, it was released as the B-Side of Love Hurts.
Here’s Nazareth from 1981 with a great LIVE performance of their classic “Hair of the Dog” in Houston, Texas. (If anyone knows the venue or more about this performance, please let me know!)
UPDATE: A reader let me know that this performance was at the Sam Houston Coliseum, now known as the Barn at Bagby. Thanks for the info!