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Negros must stop the deluge of filth, which makers of records are marketing among them. The music of the 'Blues' is one thing, but whether good or bad, it is indefensible to put to it all the stench which ingenuity can drag out the under-world and camouflage with words of double meaning. Don't buy them! Don't go to people's houses who do buy them! Don't permit your race newspaper to bear that name and at the same time advertise flagrant immorality set to music. Do anything, do everything, filthy records must go. - Roy Wilkins, (attrib.) editorial in the December 31 1926 edition of the Kansas City Call, probably written by the man who ironically went on to head up the NAACP

Author Topic: Ben Curry/Bogus Ben Covington Lyrics  (Read 946 times)

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Offline banjochris

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Re: Ben Curry/Bogus Ben Covington Lyrics
« Reply #60 on: February 18, 2021, 10:44:25 AM »
John, I think that gives us a reading that makes sense at least and I don't here an "s" either.

DJ, in this case I think he just means a bully, since "fat mouth" isn't exactly a term of endearment!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Ben Curry/Bogus Ben Covington Lyrics
« Reply #61 on: February 18, 2021, 11:20:17 AM »
Re the use of "bully" as an adjective rather than a noun, the only places I've seen it used in blues lyrics in the Teddy Roosevelt sense, it has been used as "bullyin", usually meaning "whopping" as per Robert Wilkins and Frank Stokes. I've never seen "bully" used as an adjective in the TR sense.
All best,

Offline Stuart

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Re: Ben Curry/Bogus Ben Covington Lyrics
« Reply #62 on: February 18, 2021, 01:15:41 PM »
I used Google's "Advanced Search" option and did a search for the "exact phrase," "bully cook," in Google's "Books" category and examples came up from the first few decades of the 20th century. It's used in the sense of fine, excellent, great, accomplished, expert, etc.  So it's definitely attested in that sense, but whether Ben had that in mind is another question.

If it's "lines," then the sense that an expert cook doesn't need a line to help him put a meal together makes sense as John noted.


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