Memphis Minnie
Ruler
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Ruler

Table Of Content (60 songs, 23 soundclips)

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Biting Bug Blues
Black Cat Blues
Bumble Bee (Columbia)
Bumble Bee (Vocalion)
Bumble Bee (No. 2)
Call The Fire Wagon
Can I Do It For You (p.2)
Chickasaw Train Blues
Crazy Crying Blues
Daybreak Blues
Dirt Dauber Blues
Dirty Mother For You
Doctor, Doctor Blues
Down In New Orleans
Down In the Alley
Frankie Jean
Frisco Town
Garage Fire Blues
Georgia Skin
Good Biscuits

Good Girl Blues
Hole In The Wall
Hoodoo Lady
Hustlin' Woman Blues
I'm Going Don't You Know
I'm Gonna Bake My Biscuits
I'm Talking 'Bout You No. 2
If You See My Rooster
I Hate To See The Sun Go Down
In My Girlish Days
Jockey Man Blues
Keep On Eating
Keep On Sailing
Ma Rainey
Me And My Chauffeur Blues
Mean Mistreater Blues
Memphis Minnie-Jitis Blues
Moaning The Blues
Moonshine
My Butcher Man

My Strange Man
New Bumble Bee
New Dirty Dozen
North Memphis Blues
Nothing In Rambling
Outdoor Blues
Out In The Cold
Plymouth Rock Blues
Reachin' Pete
Socket Blues
Stinging Snake Blues
Sylvester And His Mule
Tricks Ain't Walking No More
Wants Cake When I'm Hungry
What Fault You Find Of Me? (Part 1)
What Fault You Find Of Me? (Part 1)
What's The Matter With The Mill
When The Levee Breaks
World Of Trouble
You Can't Give It Away

Ruler

Biting Bug Blues

soundclip


by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from Hot Stuff (1930-1941) (Collector's Edition 1) & Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1935-1941) (Document BDCD-6009), copyright notice

Just a biting bug been following me everywhere I go
Just a biting bug been following me everywhere I go
I'm gonna kill that biting bug, so she won't follow me no more

Just a biting bug been following me from town to town
Just a biting bug been following me from town to town
Yes, she kept on a following me, till my good man have done put me down

I woke up this morning and that biting bug was in my bed
I woke up this morning and that biting bug was in my bed
Till I taken my pistol and I shot that biting bug dead

(spoken: Yes, yes)

Hmmmmm, I won't be worried with that biting bug no more
Hmmmmm, I won't be worried with that biting bug no more
I done stopped that biting bug from following me everywhere I go

Now you girls don't have to worry, because that biting bug is gone
Now you girls don't have to worry, because that biting bug is gone
I done stopped that biting bug from breaking up other women's homes

__________
Note: an insect is is often seen, as in this case, as an image of a male lover in blues lyrics. The insect can also represent unwanted brothers and sisters.

 

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Ruler

Black Cat Blues


by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from Hot Stuff (1930-1941) (Collector's Edition 1) & Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1935-1941) (Document BDCD-6009), copyright notice

I got a big black cat1 who sits in my back door
He catches every rat run across my floor
Now everybody wants to buy my kitty
Everybody wants to buy my kitty
Everybody wants to buy my kitty
I wouldn't sell that cat to save your soul

If it wasn't for that cat, I wouldn't know what I would do
Rats cutting up all of my clothes and shoes2
Now everybody wants to buy my kitty
Everybody wants to buy my kitty
Everybody wants to buy my kitty
I wouldn't sell that cat to save your soul

I been had this old cat, now, for three, four years
Didn't nobody want him till I brought him here
Now everybody wants to buy my kitty
Everybody wants to buy my kitty
Everybody wants to buy my kitty
I wouldn't sell that cat to save your soul

(spoken: Catch a rat!)

Before I got that cat, rats had holes all in my walls
Since I brought her home you can't find no holes at all
Now everybody wants to buy my kitty
Everybody wants to buy my kitty
Everybody wants to buy my kitty
I wouldn't sell that cat to save your soul

You have seen a-lots of cats and you going to see a-lots more
I got one I carries everywhere I go
Now everybody wants to buy my kitty
Everybody wants to buy my kitty
Everybody wants to buy my kitty
I wouldn't sell that cat to save your soul

(spoken: Aw, play it now
Catch a rat!)

__________
Note 1: although there are no direct references to voodoo, luck or magic, for many listeners, then and now, black cats meant bad luck as surely as did walking under a ladder or breaking a mirror;
Note 2: there is a common folk belief that when rats or mice gnaw your clothes, it is a sure sign you are going to move or die. You must get someone outside the family to patch such clothes, rather than do it yourself which would bring even more bad luck.

 

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Ruler

Bumble Bee (Columbia Version)

soundclip

 

by Memphis Minnie
recording of June 18 1929

from probably Bumble Bee (Indigo 2005), copyright notice

Bumble bee1, bumble bee, please come back to me
Bumble bee, bumble bee, please come back to me
He got the best old stinger2 any bumble bee that I ever seen

He stung me this morning, I been looking for him all day long
He stung me this morning, I been looking for him all day long
Lord, it got me to the place, hate to see my bumble bee leave home

Bumble bee, bumble bee, don't be gone so long
Bumble bee, bumble bee, don't be gone so long
You's my bumble bee and you're needed here at home

I can't stand to hear him buzz, buzz, buzz
Come in, bumble bee, want you to stop your fuss
You're my bumble bee and you know your stuff
Oh, sting me, bumble bee, until I get enough

Bumble bee, bumble bee, don't be gone so long
Bumble bee, bumble bee, don't be gone so long
You's my bumble bee and you're needed here at home

I don't mind you going, ain't going to stay so long
Don't mind you going, don't be gone so long
You's my bumble bee and you're needed here at home

I can't stand to hear him buzz, buzz, buzz
Come in, bumble bee, I want you to stop your fuss
You's my bumble bee and you know your stuff
Oh, sting me bumble bee, until I get enough

__________
Note: Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe made their first record in the Columbia Studio in New York on Tuesday, June 18, 1929. One of the songs they recorded was this soon-to-be-famous Bumble Bee. Eight months later, on February 20 and 21, 1930, Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe recorded 12 sides for Vocalion. Although the Columbia version of Bumble Bee was the first version recorded, Columbia did not issue it until after Vocalion had already issued their versions of Bumble Bee, Bumble Bee No. 2 and New Bumble Bee. Memphis Minnie recorded for Vocalion until the label was phased out in 1940;
Note 1: bumble bee, an insect is is often seen, as in this case, as an image of a male lover in blues lyrics. The insect can also represent unwanted brothers and sisters;
Note 2: stinger, a metaphor for the male sexual organ. Stinging therefore meaning having sex.

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Ruler

Bumble Bee (Vocalion Version)

soundclip

 

by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from probably Bumble Bee (Indigo 2005), copyright notice

Bumble bee1, bumble bee, won't you please come back to me
Bumble bee, bumble bee, won't you please come back to me
He got the best ol' stinger2 any bumble bee that I ever seen

He stung me this morning, I been looking for him all day long
He stung me this morning, I been looking for him all day long
He had me to the place once, I hate to see my bumble bee leave home

I can't stand to hear him buzz, buzz, buzz
Come in, bumble bee, I want you to stop your fuss
You're my bumble bee and you know your stuff
Oh, sting me, bumble bee, until I get enough

Hmmm, stinger long as my right arm
Hmmm, stinger long as my right arm
He stung me this morning, I been looking for him all day long

Sometimes he makes me happy, then sometimes he makes me cry
Sometimes he makes me happy, then sometimes he makes me cry
He had me to the place once, I wish to God that I could die

__________
Note: see Columbia version;
Note 1: see Columbia version;
Note 2: see Columbia version.

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Ruler

Bumble Bee No. 2

soundclip

 

by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1935-1941) (Document BDCD-6009) & Blues Masters, Vol. 12: Memphis Blues [93] (Rhino R2-71129), copyright notice

Bumble bee1, bumble bee, where you been so long
Bumble bee, bumble bee, where you been so long
You stung2 me this morning, I been restless all day long

I met my bumble bee this morning as he flying in the door
I met my bumble bee this morning as he flying in the door
And the way he stung me, he made me cry for more

Hmmmm, don't stay so long from me
Hmmmm, don't stay so long from me
You is my bumble bee, you got something that I really need

I'm gonna build me a bungalow just for me and my bumble bee
I'm gonna build me a bungalow just for me and my bumble bee
Then I won't worry, I will have all the honey I need

He makes my honey, even now makes my comb
He makes my honey, even now makes my comb
It's all I want now my bumble bee just to stay at home

__________
Note: see Columbia version;
Note 1: see Columbia version;
Note 2: see Columbia version.

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Ruler

Call The Fire Wagon

 

by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 4 (1938-1939) (Document BDCD-6011) & Queen of the Blues (Sony 65212), copyright notice

I was talking to the people that lives in town
Y'ever had the shack and your clothes burn down?
So call the fire wagon
Call the fire wagon
Call the fire wagon
Ain't no fire wagon in town

Saved my baby and my wardrobe trunk
I lost everything else I had in front
So call the fire wagon
Call the fire wagon
Call the fire wagon
Ain't no fire wagon in town

Standing on the streets in my sleeping gown
Watching that shack and my clothes burn down
So call the fire wagon
Call the fire wagon
Call the fire wagon
Ain't no fire wagon in town

Fast asleep laying in my bed
Lord, this smoke is 'bout to kill me dead
So call the fire wagon
Call the fire wagon
Call the fire wagon
Ain't no fire wagon in town

(spoken: Play it till the fire wagon comes
Yeah)

This big city's all right but I'm so far from town
A shack catches fire, you know it's got to burn down
So call the fire wagon
Call the fire wagon
Call the fire wagon
Ain't no fire wagon in town

Well, the jinx overtaken us, now, and carrying us down
Me and my baby got to leave this town
So call the fire wagon
Call the fire wagon
Call the fire wagon
Ain't no fire wagon in town

 

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Ruler

Can I Do It For You (Part 2)

 

by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1929-1930) (Document 5028), copyright notice

KJ:
I'll buy your wood and coal, buy your wood and coal
Buy your wood and coal, if I can do something to you
Hear me saying, I want to do something to you

MM:
I don't want no wood and coal, I don't want no wood and coal
I don't want nothing in the world you got and you can't do nothing for me
Hear me saying, you can't do nothing for me

KJ:
Buy your shoes and clothes, buy your shoes and clothes
Buy your shoes and clothes, if I can do something to you
Hear me saying, I want to do something to you

MM:
I don't want no shoes and clothes, I don't want no shoes and clothes
I don't want nothing in the world you got, and can't do nothing for me
Hear me saying, you can't do nothing for me

KJ:
I'll buy you a Chevrolet, I'll buy you a Chevrolet
Buy you a Chevrolet, if I can do something to you
Hear me saying, I want to do something to you

MM:
I don't want no Chevrolet, I don't want no Chevrolet
I don't want nothing in the world you got, and you can't do nothing for me
Hear me saying, you can't do nothing for me

KJ:
Buy you a baby calf, buy you a baby calf
Buy you a baby calf if I can do something to you
Hear me saying, if I can do something to you

MM:
I don't want no baby calf, I don't want no baby calf
I don't want nothing in the world you got, and you can't do nothing for me
Hear me saying, you can't do nothing for me

KJ:
Can I do something to you, can I do something to you?
Do anything in this world I can, if I can do something to you
Hear me saying, if! can do something to you

MM:
Naw, you can't do nothing to me, naw, you can't do nothing to me
I don't care what in the world you do, you can't do nothing to me
Hear me saying, you can't do something to me

KJ:
Buy you a sedan Ford, buy you a sedan Ford
Buy you a sedan Ford, if I can do something to you
Hear me saying, if I can do something to you

MM:
I will take a sedan Ford, yes, I will take a sedan Ford
I don't want nothing in the world you got but I will take a sedan Ford
Hear me saying, I'll take a sedan Ford

__________
Note: a duet of Memphis Minnie (MM) with Kansas Joe (KJ).

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Ruler

Chickasaw Train Blues (Low Down Dirty Thing)

 

by Memphis Minnie
recording of September 3 1934

from Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 4 (1933-1934) Document DOCD-5031), copyright notice

I'm gon' tell everybody, what that Chickasaw1 has done done for me
I'm gon' tell everybody, what that Chickasaw has done done for me
She done stole my man away, and blow that doggone smoke on me
She's a low down dirty dog

I ain't no woman, like to ride that Chickasaw
Ain't no woman, like to ride that Chickasaw
Because everywhere she stop, she's stealing some woman's good man off
She's a low down dirty dog

I told the depot agent this mornin', I don't think he treats me right
Told the depot agent this mornin', I don't think he treats me right
He done sold my man a ticket, and I know that Chickasaw leavin' town tonight
He's a low down dirty dog

I walk down the railroad track, that Chickasaw even wouldn't let me ride the blinds
I walk down the railroad track, that Chickasaw wouldn't even let me ride the blinds
And she stop picking up men, all up and down the line
She's a low down dirty dog

Hmm-mmm, Chickasaw don't pay no woman no mind
Hmm-mmm, that Chickasaw don't pay no woman no mind
And she stops pickin' up men, all up and down the line

__________
Note 1: Chickasaw, a member of an American Indian people of Mississippi and Alabama.

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Ruler

Crazy Crying Blues

soundclip

 

by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from With Kansas Joe (Blues Classics 13) & Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 (1931-1932) (Document BDCD-6010) & Bumble Bee (Indigo 2005), copyright notice

I been going crazy, I just can't help myself, ahhhhuuuuhahhhh
I been going crazy, I just can't help myself, ahhhhuuuuhahhhh
Because the man I'm loving, he's loving someone else

(spoken: You know I'm bound to cry)

Ahhhhaaahhhhuuuuhhuh
Ahhhhaaahhhhuuuuhhuh
Ahhhhaaahhhhuuuuhhuh

I was locked outdoors, sat on my steps all night long and cried, ahhhhaaahhhuuuhhhaaah
I was locked outdoors, sat on my steps all night long and cried, ahhhhaaahhhuuuhhhaaah
I'm going crazy, crazy as I can be

I got up this morning, I made a fire in my stove, ahhhhaaahhhuuuhhhaaah
I got up this morning, I made a fire in my stove, ahhhhaaahhhuuuhhhaaah
I made up my bread and sat my pan outdoors

I'm crazy, I'm crazy, just can't help myself, ahhhhaaahhhuuuhhhaaah
I'm crazy, I'm crazy, just can't help myself, ahhhhaaahhhuuuhhhaaah
I'm just as crazy, crazy as a poor girl can be

Ahhhhaaahhhhuuuuhhuh
Ahhhhaaahhhhuuuuhhuh
Ahhhhaaahhhhuuuuhhuh

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Ruler

Daybreak Blues

 

by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from, copyright notice

Come daybreak in the morning, I'm gonna take the dirt road home
Woo, soon daybreak in the morning, I'm gonna take the dirt road home
'Cause these Blue Monday1 blues is 'bout to kill me, sure as you're born

Well, this man pitches a party, every first of the week
I can't cross the floor for other people's feet
Come daybreak in the morning, I'm gonna take the dirt road home

Well, I went to my kitchen, intendin' to eat a bite
The table was crowded from morning till night
Come daybreak in the morning, I'm gonna take the dirt road home

(spoken:
All right, Little Son Joe
Yes, I know, keep on playing
I'll come home)

Hey, now I turned around, aimed to go to bed
There's four at the foot and six at the head
Come daybreak in the morning, I'm gonna take the dirt road home

__________
Note 1: Memphis Minnie used to host very popular parties, so called Blue Monday parties, for Chicago blues singers.

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Ruler

Dirt Dauber Blues

 

by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from, copyright notice

Everybody worrying me, want to know why I'm so crazy about dirt dauber tea1
Everybody worrying me, want to know why I'm so crazy about dirt dauber tea
Because when I was young, they built their nest on me2

Now everybody tells me I need a doctor, I need someone to stay here with me
But I don't need nothing but that dirt dauber tea
Because when I was young, they built their nest on me

Hmmmmm, hmmmmmmmm
Hmmmmm, hmmmmmmmm
Hmmmmm, hmmmmmmmm

And out of all that I crave, all that I seen
I don't want nothing but that dirt dauber tea
Because when I was young, they built their nest on me

When I was down sick in my bed, blind, couldn't hardly see
That dirt dauber flew down in my bed and built his nest on me
That's why I say, "I'm crazy about that dirt dauber tea"

Ahw, dirt dauber's a builder
Ahw, dirt dauber's a builder
Dirt dauber is a builder, he built his nest on me
That why I say, "I'm crazy about the dirt dauber tea"

__________
Note 1: dirt dauber (or mud dauber), any of various wasps that construct mud cells in which the female places an egg with spiders or insects paralyzed by a sting to serve as food for the larva (jummy!).
Dirt daubers figure in a number of (folk medicine) beliefs throughout the South. In Arkansas, the clay from the nests of these wasps was worn to cure sprains, while in Mississippi it was believed that when the wasps built their nests close to the ground, it was going to be a dry year. Most significant are the beliefs, found in Mississippi and elsewhere, that a tea made from the nests will relieve or hasten labor (giving birth to a child) and help expel afterbirth, and that powdered dirt dauber nests will cure a baby's navel that isn't healing properly;
Note 2: "built their nest on me" points specifically to the navel and birth.

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Ruler

Dirty Mother For You

soundclip

 

by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1935-1941) (Document BDCD-6008) & Me & My Chauffeur 1935-1946 (EPM Musique 158822) & Bumble Bee (Indigo 2005), copyright notice

I ain't no doctor, but I'm the doctor's wife
You better come to me if you want to save your life
He's a dirty mother fuyer1, he don't mean no good
He got drunk this morning, tore up the neighborhood

I want you to come here, baby, come here quick
He done give me something 'bout to make me sick
Awwww, dirty mother fuyer, he don't mean no good
He got drunk this morning, tore up the neighborhood

(spoken: Play it, Dennis)

I went down to the station, talked to the judge
He said, "Don't bring me none of that doggoned stuff you heard"
Awwww, dirty mother fuyer, he don't mean no good
He got drunk this morning, tore up the neighborhood

I went down to the office(r), fell out on the floor
He done something to me, now, he won't do no more
Awwww, dirty mother fuyer, he don't mean no good
He got drunk this morning, tore up the neighborhood

(spoken: Play it, Dennis, play it, boy)

Won't you look here, baby, what you done done
You done squeezed my lemon, now you done broke and run
Awwww, dirty mother fuyer, he don't mean no good
He got drunk this morning, tore up the neighborhood

__________
Note 1: mother fuyer?. You mean..., yes, you're absolutely right!. Dirty mother for you and mother fuyer are variations that attempt to take "dirty mother fucker" beyond the censors of that time, successfully. Dirty Red recorded a version called Mother Fuyer and Washboard Sam sang a version with the same title as Minnie's. This is Minnie's earliest known version.

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Ruler

Doctor, Doctor Blues

 

by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1935-1941) (Document BDCD-6008) & Me & My Chauffeur 1935-1946 (EPM Musique 158822), copyright notice

Doctor stopped me from drinking, boys, I can't smoke no more
Doctor stopped me from drinking, boys, I can't smoke no more
And I can't see no peace, seem like nowhere I go

Oh, doctor, doctor, you know I got a lot of faith in you
Oh, doctor, doctor, you know I got a lot of faith in you
I'd trust you everywhere
But it hurt me so bad, when you say if I took another drink, nothing you could do

Oh, doctor, doctor, I ain't drinked in a great long time
Oh, doctor, doctor, I ain't drinked in a great long time
(spoken: Bring us half a pint1)
I'm gonna take a drink of this, if the good Lord don't change my mind

Now, look-a here, doctor, don't you know my mama's done gone blind?
Now, look-a here, doctor, don't you know my mama's done gone blind?
(spoken: I know her trouble)
I was doing the best I could but she wouldn't pay the doctor no mind

Oh, doctor, doctor, tell me what's my trouble now
Oh, doctor, doctor, tell me what's my trouble now
"If you take another drink, I bet they put you in the ground!"
(spoken: Doctor, you all right with me anyhow)

__________
Note 1: pint, 0,476 liter

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Ruler

Down In New Orleans

 

by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1935-1941) (Document BDCD-6008), copyright notice

I'm going back down in New Orleans
I'm going back down in New Orleans
Well, I'm going where I can get my rice and beans1

We are the cooking'est Creoles2 in the world you ever seen
We are the cooking'est Creoles in the world you ever seen
And if you don't believe me, follow me back down to New Orleans

Well, my man is a doctor and he lives off of rice and beans
Well, my man is a doctor and he lives off of rice and beans
That's why he done gone and left me back down in New Orleans

I've got the cooking'est sister in the world you ever seen
I've got the cooking'est sister in the world you ever seen
But she can't cook nothing but them rice and beans

And you can't tell me nothing, baby, that I never seen
And you can't tell me nothing, baby, that I never seen
And if you don't believe me, follow me back to New Orleans

__________
Note 1: rice and beans, though usually "red beans and rice" is used by countless others as an evocation of "back downhome";
Note 2: Creoles, French créole, from Spanish criollo, from Portuguese crioulo, white person born in the colonies. A person of European descent born especially in the West Indies or Spanish America OR a white person descended from early French or Spanish settlers of the U.S. Gulf states and preserving their speech and culture OR a person of mixed French or Spanish and black descent speaking a dialect of French or Spanish.

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Ruler

Down In The Alley

soundclip

 

by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 (1935-1941) (Document BDCD-6010) & Hoodoo Lady (1933-1937) (Columbia CK-46775), copyright notice

I met a man, asked me did I want to pally1
Yes, baby, let's go down in the alley
Take me down in the alley
Take me down in the alley
Take me down in the alley
I can get any business fixed all right

I met another man, asked me for a dollar
Might have heard that mother fuyer2 holler
Let's go down in the alley
Let's go down in the alley
Let's go down in the alley
You can get your business fixed all right

(spoken: Let's go)

When he got me in the alley, he called me a name
What I put on him was a crying shame
Down in this alley
Down in this alley
Down in this alley
Where I got my business fixed all right

You got me in the alley, but don't get rough
I ain't gonna put up with that doggone stuff
Way down in the alley
Way down in the alley
Way down in the alley
Lord, my business fixed all right

(spoken:
Woo, it's dark
Can't see no light
Got to feel my way out this alley
I'm gonna stop, boys, walking late at night)

You took me in the alley, you knocked me down
Now I'm gonna call every copper in this town
You got me down in the alley
You got me down in the alley
You got me down in the alley
Now you got your business fixed all right

(spoken: Boys, I'm sure gonna stop walking,
walking late at night)

__________
Note 1: pally, sharing the relationship of pals, in this case getting intimate, have sex;
Note 2: mother fuyer?. You mean..., yes, you're absolutely right!. Dirty mother for you and mother fuyer are variations that attempt to take "dirty mother fucker" beyond the censors of that time, successfully. Dirty Red recorded a version called Mother Fuyer and Washboard Sam song a version with the same title as Minnie's. This is Minnie's earliest known version.

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Ruler

Frankie Jean (That Trottin' Fool)

 

by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from With Kansas Joe (Blues Classics 13) & Bumble Bee (Indigo 2005) & Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1930-1931) (Document DOCD-5029), copyright notice

(spoken:
One time my papa had a horse, his name was Frankie Jean
Man, that's the running'est horse the world I ever seen
And it just do me good to ride old Frankie Jean
And it do you good to sit and listen at him sometimes
When he's coming down that plank road, almost making his feet talk
Man, that's the singlest-footing horse the world I ever seen
Something kind of like this:

(Instrumental break)

Go on, Frankie Jean, go on
I had him out with me once and he got loose
I couldn't catch him to save my life
I called Frankie Jean and I called him
He didn't seem to pay me no mind
I went and told my papa, "How would you do if you want to catch a horse?"
He said, "How did you do?"
I said, "I called mine; called Frankie Jean and called him
He didn't seem to pay me no attention"
Said, "That's a horse, you can't, you didn't call him right
You must whistle when you want your horse to come to you
Something like this:"

(Full verse whistled)

Then he come single-footing to me
So I took him out again; he got loose from me
I called him and called him
He didn't seem to pay me no attention
I thought about what papa said
You's a horse, I must whistle for you, something like this:

(Full verse whistled)

Then he comes single-footing to me
I had him out on a race once
I had $5000 betting on Frankie Jean
Folks, I wasn't scared at all, 'cause I know he wasn't going to let me lose
'Fore he let me lose, he'd run off all of his shoes
Something like this:

(Instrumental break)

Go on, Frankie Jean

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Frisco Town

 

by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from Before the Blues, Vol. 3: The Early American Black Music Scene (Yazoo 2017), copyright notice

That old 'Frisco train makes a mile a minute
That old 'Frisco train makes a mile a minute
Well, in that old coach, I'm gonna sit right in it
I'm on my way, to 'Frisco town

You can toot your whistle, you can ring your bell
You can toot your whistle, you can ring your bell
But I know you been wanting it by the way you smell
I'm on my way to 'Frisco town

There's a boa constrictor and a lemon stick
There's a boa constrictor and a lemon stick
I don't mind being with you but my mama's sick
I'm on my way to 'Frisco town

I would tell you what's the matter, but I done got scared
I would tell you what's the matter, but I done got scared
You got to wait now, until we go to bed
I'm on my way to 'Frisco town

If you was sick, I wouldn't worry you
If you was sick, I wouldn't worry you
I wouldn't want you to do something that you couldn't do
I'm on my way to 'Frisco town

Well, if you want it, you can get it, and I ain't mad
Well, if you want it, you can get it, and I ain't mad
If you tell me this is something that you ain't never had
I'm on my way to 'Frisco town

Look-a here, you get mad everytime I call your name
Look-a here, you get mad everytime I call your name
I ain't never told you that you couldn't get that thing
I'm on my way to 'Frisco town

I woke up this morning about half past five
I woke up this morning about half past five
My baby turned over, cried just like a child
I'm on my way to 'Frisco town

I got something to tell you, I don't want to make you mad
I got something to tell you, I don't want to make you mad
I got something for you, make you feel glad
I'm on my way to 'Frisco town

Look-a here, look-a here, what you want me to do
Look-a here, look-a here, what you want me to do
Give you my jelly, then die for you
I'm on my way to 'Frisco town

I got something to tell you, gonna break your heart
I got something to tell you, gonna break your heart
We been together so far, we gotta get apart
I'm on my way to 'Frisco town

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Garage Fire Blues


by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1930-1931) (Document DOCD-5029), copyright notice

My house's on fire, where's the fire wagon now?
My house's on fire, where's the fire wagon now?
Ain't but the one thing, I don't want my garage to burn down

I got a Hudson Super Six, I gotta big old model Cadillac 8
I got a Hudson Super Six, I gotta big old model Cadillac 8
I woke up this morning, my Cadillac standing at my back gate

Oh, boys, boys, I got the best chauffeur in town
Oh, boys, boys, I got the best chauffeur in town
He saved my Hudson Super Six, my Cadillac didn't get burned down

Oh, lord, lord, wonder where is my chauffeur now?
Oh, lord, lord, wonder where is my chauffeur now?
'Cause my Cadillac 8 done Cadillac'd out of town

I tell the whole wide world, I ain't gonna walk no more
I tell the whole wide world, I ain't gonna walk no more
I got a Cadillac 8, take me anywhere I want to go

 

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Georgia Skin


by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1930-1931) (Document DOCD-5029) & Four Women Blues: Victor/Bluebird Recordings (RCA 66719), copyright notice

The reason I like the game, the game they call Georgia Skin1
The reason I like the game, the game they call Georgia Skin
Because when you fall, you can really take out again

When you lose your money, please don't lose your mind
When you lose your money, please don't lose your mind
Because each and every gambler gets in hard luck sometime

I had a man, he gambles all the time
I had a man, he gambles all the time
He throw the dice so in vain until he like to lose his mind

Hmmm, give me Georgia Skin
Hmmm, give me Georgia Skin
Because the women's can play, well, so as the men

(spoken:
Georgia Skin is the best game that I know
Georgia Skin is the game that I bet all of my money)

__________
Note: this song was derived in part from Walter Beasley's song Georgia Skin. Gambling was and still is illegal in many states and most of its forms. That didn't keep people from playing a "friendly" game of cards or roll the dices despite the risk of finding themselves in jail or on a road gang for a week, month or year;
Note 1: Georgia skin, a swindling game or trick.

 

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Good Biscuits

soundclip


by Memphis Minnie
recording of 19

from Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 4 (1938-1939) (Document BDCD-6011) & Hoodoo Lady (1933-1937) (Columbia CK-46775), copyright notice

Listen to my song, ladies, please take strictly understand
Listen to my song, ladies, please take strictly understand
Don't let no outside woman make no biscuits for your man

I'm going to give you all the lowdown, lowdown if I can
I'm going to give you all the lowdown, lowdown if I can
Why I'm a single woman today by letting other women feed my man

So the next daddy I get, I'm going to take him to the restaurant
So the next daddy I get, I'm going to take him to the restaurant
Ain't gonna have him going around eating biscuits, whoo, whoo, made up with your nasty hands

I just found out how come I can't keep a man
I just found out how come I can't keep a man
I don't get no one buddy, I have too many a-doggone friends

You don't mean me no good, just a grin when I come in
You don't mean me no good, just a grin when I come in
But if I catch you feeding my man, whoo, whoo, Lord, I'm going to the pen

__________
Note: in this song, as in many others, Minnie again uses food as metaphor. It is presumed that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach and that if you let another woman feed your man, you're going to lose him

 

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Created by:
Bluesman Harry
Page last updated on:
June 8 2000


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