Country Blues > SOTM - Song Of The Month

SOTM--6-June, 2015--"I Got Mine"

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What late?

Sorry, got caught in a work related vortex.

I'd like to convince you all to check out Frank Stokes I Got Mine. Recorded in 1928, it has much older origins.

First, let's here the tune.

The song is performed in standard tuning, Key of C, pitched flat of D. The song is not a blues in it's structure, although it uses only the I, IV and V chords (and their 7ths).

The song consists of 16 bar verses alternating with 16 bar choruses. The last word of the first four bars rhymes with the last word of the second four bars, same with the last two four bars segments of the verses. In the choruses the last word of each of the  four bar segments rhymes with "mine", which becomes challenging after four choruses :D

The song was published first in 1901 as a vaudeville style "coon" song written by John Queen and Charles Cartwell. Here is the original sheet music of the original composition. Warning; the lyrics are quite inappropriate

Here are their lyrics

First verse:

I went out to a nigger crap game it was against my will,
The coons took all my money except one greenback dollar bill,
There was a hundred dollar bet upon the table ; the niggers point was nine,
Just then the coppers stepped through the door but I got mine.


I got mine boys, I got mine,
I grabbed that hundred dollar bill thro' the window I did climb,
Ever since then I've worn good clothes living on chicken and wine,
I'm the leader of all society since I got mine.

Second Verse:

I went out to a turkey feast ; the eatables were fine,
Half hour before the table was set the coons all formed in line,
When they brought that buzzard in their eyes began to shine,
They wouldn't wait but started to grab but I got mine.


I got mine boys, I got mine,
Getting to that piece of fowl I had one horrible time,
One coon grabbed that eagle by the neck ; I snatched on behind,
The coon in front thought he had the whole thing but I got mine.

Third verse:

I went out for to visit my gal the hour it was about nine,
Dressed up like a millionaire and feeling right in line,
I caught her sitting on another nigger's lap ; now that ain't a very good sign,
I told her what I thought of him then I got mine.


I got mine boys, I got mine,
That nigger pulled his shotgun out and used it mighty fine,
I tried to get through the window, but I couldn't get through in time,
I eat my meals from a mantelpiece since I got mine.

Franks Stokes version lyrics

Said I went down to the little crap game, lord that was against my will
I lost every penny that I had in my pocket but a greenback dollar bill
I turned my head, (be)gan to shake my shoulders, thinkin' I was way behind
But just as I jumped in the kitchen door boys I got mine

Chorus: I got mine, boys I got mine
Standin' 'round here tryin' to get somethin' good eat all the time
Said ever since that I've been livin' high, I've been livin' offa chicken and wine
Said I belong to the (crap) (knockdown) society but I got mine

Now when the turkey was brought in, suddenly people all began to grin
I was thinkin' 'bout the good times all would have, I coudn't say exactly when
So the man grabbed the turkey right by the neck, but I swung 'round behind
He might thought he had the whole bottle and gone, but I got mine


Then I went off to work early one morning, that's somethin' never did suit me
I was peepin' through the crack, back in my old lady settin' onna some other man's knee
Well I rapped my baby rap across her head, and he jumped up and cryin'
"Ya even fightin' your old lady, doggone your soul" but I got mine


I went uptown to a little crap game, heard some other police was playin'
That man looked at me never cracked a smile I couldn't get that fella to laugh
So he throwed the dice out on the floor, and the place got fightin' like nines
But just as the police jumped in the back door lord i got mine


Note FS repeated the same chorus throughout the song, whereas in the original the chorus varies.

The song seems to have been quite popular. Se below for discussions of other recordings of this tune.

Tomorrow, some playing tips.


Great topic - I adore Frank Stokes. Looking forward to reading the tips.

The early lyrics are pretty shocking to me which was a surprise.

David Kaatz:
I couldn't bear to wade through the entire thread of Frank Stokes in the original post to see if the Ry Cooder cover of I Got Mine was mentioned there. It's no longer country blues, but Ry is totally respectful yet revisionist. I love it.

The lyrics :

Now I went down to a big crap game,
It certainly against my will.
I lost every doggone nickel I had
But a greenback dollar bill.
Forty dollar bet laid on the floor
My buddy's point was nine
Well, the police they come in there
And caught all of 'em
But I  got mine.

I got mine, let me tell ya
I got mine.
I grabbed that money
Out the back door I went flying
Well, ever since the big crap game
I've been livin' on chicken and wine.
I'm the leader of society
Since I got mine.

I know a barber shop
It's a way cross town
Down on Norfolk street
Onliest place on a Saturday night
That us gamblers gets to meet
Some comes for a haircut
And others come for a strap
And when you see me and my buddies up there, man
We means to shoot some crap
Hollering: "Seven, eleven, won't you come, come, come!!!
If you don't seven, 'leven, dice
You're done, done, done"
If I see the police before he sees me
I'm gonna run, run, run
I'm the leader of society
Since I got mine

Well, I went down to my best gal's house
The hour was just about nine
I wasn't dressed up like Henry Ford
But I was feeling just as fine
I caught her sitting on another man's knee
And I didn't like that sign
Well, I told them what I thought about it, boys
And I got mine

I got mine, I got mine
I grabbed my hat and through the window
I went flying
I ran as fast as I could run
But I didn't get there in time
Because the rascal grabbed a shotgun, Lord
And I got mine

Interesting, Roy Book Binder recorded a version back in the 70s with nearly identical lyrics.

Great choice, GhostRider, and there's a whole lot more story in that first version!


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