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‘Oh No!’ How A 60s Girl Group Anthem Took Over TikTok

While the musical snippet has been attributed to everyone from Kreepa to Capone, it’s actually a sample from the 1964 girl group classic ‘Remember (Walking In The Sand)’ by The Shangri-Las.

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Oh No TikTok Trend Shangri-Las
Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

If you’ve spent any time on TikTok in the past year, the musical cue was inescapable: “Oh no, Oh, no, Oh, no, no, no, no, no,” the refrain goes, before some hilarious disaster strikes.

While the musical snippet has been attributed to everyone from rappers Kreepa to Capone (of Capone-N-Noreaga), it’s actually a sample from the 1964 girl group classic “Remember (Walking In The Sand)” by The Shangri-Las.

The 60s girl group is best associated with their No.1 hit “Leader Of The Pack,” with its roaring motorcycle sounds. The Shangri-Las’ songs epitomize teen melodrama, from ill-fated biker boyfriends to non-committal lovers, so it’s no wonder their song has taken off with a new generation.

Remember (Walkin' In The Sand) (The Oh No Song)

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Like many girl groups at the time, the Shangri-Las consisted of all teenagers, two sets of sisters from Queens, New York City, who were all in high school when the group first started. The sisters shot to stardom seemingly overnight thanks to songwriter and producer George Francis “Shadow” Morton, who earned the nickname after lurking around the hallways of the famed Brill Building.

“Remember (Walking In The Sand)” was basically written on a dare. Morton was meeting with the songwriter Ellie Greenwich and her husband and collaborator Jeff Barry, who was giving Morton the cold shoulder.

“Just what is it you do for a living?” Barry asked him,” Morton recalled in an interview with Vanity Fair. “I’m a songwriter – like you,” Mr. Morton replied. “What kind of songs?” said Barry. “Hit songs,” retorted Morton. “Why don’t you bring me one?” Mr. Barry said with skepticism. And with that, Morton frantically made some phone calls and found a bunch of girls from Queens who were willing to record. The only problem was, Morton didn’t have any “hit songs,” so he ended up writing one in his car on the side of the road on his way to the session.

The Shangri-Las

Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns

When Morton needed someone to play the piano part on the song, he asked a young player who happened to be in the building that day to jump on the song. That 15-year-old was the piano man himself, Billy Joel.

“I played on a session with “Shadow” Morton for two songs: “Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand)” and “Leader of the Pack,” Joel recalled in an interview with Rolling Stone in 2005. “We did the recordings before the Shangri-Las sang on them. I’m pretty sure it was me. I saw an interview with Ellie Greenwich [the song’s co-writer], and she said it wasn’t me. I never got paid, though, so it doesn’t make any difference.”

Nevertheless, Shadow got his hit, the song landed at No.5 on the Billboard Hot 100, and has since been covered by Aerosmith and sampled endlessly over the last five decades. Whether chopped up, pitched up, or sampled, the girl group anthem lives on.

See what other classic songs have found new life on TikTok.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. JP

    July 5, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    Aerosmith recorded a version as well.

  2. Alan

    July 29, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    It’s been attributed to Capone because that’s the rapper who first decided to use the instrumental, which was turned from the sample by the legendary producer Ill Will. Kreepa put out a song in 2019 with a very similarly produced beat by Simes Carter that may well have been based off of Ill Will’s idea. Poor research, poor writing, F-. Give hip-hop musicians their proper credit.

  3. Beth Crawford

    August 7, 2022 at 2:26 am

    I could’ve sworn there’s a Led Zepplin song with the “on no” part….

  4. Logan Cadwallader

    June 29, 2023 at 12:03 am

    i hate tiktok OH NO OH ONO OH NO NONONONONONONONO

  5. Logan Cadwallader

    June 29, 2023 at 12:04 am

    i hate tiktok and the OH NO NON OH CHO NONONONONONONONONON

  6. Charlie Palmer,Jr.

    January 24, 2024 at 5:47 pm

    This is great! I was in 4th grade at Chadwell Elementary School in Madison,TN. This is wonderful “Blast from the past! Crank it up,wake the neighbors and call the Law! Let’s get this party started!

  7. Charlie Palmer,Jr.

    January 24, 2024 at 6:03 pm

    Way cool! I was in 4th grade at Chadwell Elementary School in Madison,Tennessee.I remember all the great songs and artists.Nashville Tennessee isn’t called Music City USA for nothing. When I later moved to Hendersonville TN and lived with a bunch of musicians country/rock or you name it! there was never a dull moment! The rent went up somebody’s nose one month but we managed to not get evicted. Party on! But don’t eh caught!

  8. Charlie Palmer,Jr.

    January 24, 2024 at 6:24 pm

    I lived in Hendersonville,tnx summer County in a big 2 story house with a bunch of musicians (The Maples subdivision.) Rock/country/blues! You name it passed through or lived with us for a while.Barefoot Jerry’s guitarist Barry Chance,Steve Riddle,Jody Map his and others. The rent went up some body’s nose one month but Barry’s mom knew we would pull the cash together‍ Never a dull moment. The organ below my loft was a church organ and Jim Crewmen could play as good as Sir Elton John. Steve Riddle played drums! His dad was on Hee Haw. It was great. Never a dull moment!‍ Great memories and unforgettable good friends. Love y’all for ever!‍‍

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