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Can't You Read

soundclip


by Big Maceo Merriweather
recording of 1941-'42
from
Bluebird Recordings 1941-1942 (RCA 66715), copyright notice

Way back in the nineteen hundred and ten
The monkey and the baboon, they came walkin' in
The monkey told the baboon, "Let's shoot a game a pool"
The monkey could shoot, but the baboon wasn't no fool

Next thing came along was a little mule
He said, "You know I'm so mad, I even can't wear no shoe"
Next thing came along, there was Mr. Cat
"We ain't gonna have no such a-stuff goin' on here like that"
Next thing came, was a little mouse,
"Let's all get drunk an' break up this doggone house"

Can't you read, now can't you read
If you keep on readin' I'm bound to put you out

Well, the monkey an' the elephant, they went out for a little drive
The elephant hit the monkey right square in his eye
The monkey looked up with a tear an' a sigh
Said, "Look at here big boy, you oughta get someone your size,
One of these days I'm gonna climb your tree,
Remember big boy you gotta march right under me"
"When you march under me, you better march careful 'n fast,
I'll get me a limb an' break it 'cross your...1

Now can't you read, now can't you read
If you keep on readin', I'm bound to put you out

If anybody just happen to ask you
Where the weddin' gonna be?
Come right down there on Hazen street
Cold down there just about the end of the week
You can get most anything that you care to eat
If you don't like shrimp, just name your dish
They'll even serve you some a that ol' fillet fish

Now can't you read, now can't you read
If you keep on reading, mama, I'm bound to put you out

Yeah, play it Mr. Maceo! (piano)

Well, fifteen cents you know that's the regular price
If you got two fifteen, we'll even serve you twice
Can't you read, now can't you read
If you keep on reading, I'm bound to put you out

__________
Note: vocals by Big Maceo and Tampa Red;
Note 1: "The last line in the 3rd verse is missing a word at the end on purpose. The word is "ass" but he doesn't sing it (rhymes with fast) and I guess the listener is suppose to fill in the blank. Can you imagine they didn't sing "bad words" back then?", Anita Cantor a.k.a. Ooohwebaby.












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