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I got to get drunk, Vi. I'm going to play with Big Joe - Ransom Knowling tells his wife what it takes to play with Big Joe Williams, quoted in Deep South Piano by Karl Gert zur Heide

Author Topic: Sexual innuendo in blues songs  (Read 5326 times)

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Offline Harry

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Sexual innuendo in blues songs
« on: June 08, 2015, 04:19:45 AM »
What are the most memorable blues songs that deal with sexual metaphors, slang terms and double entendres?

I always liked Let Me Roll Your Lemon and Terraplane Blues.




Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Sexual innuendo in blues songs
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2015, 04:45:02 AM »
Such songs, I think, are too numerous to mention. And many, if not most, are not worth mentioning. Not bad if the guitar/piano/harmonica part or singing are unusual or exceptional. The ones you mention are good performances. Bo Carter had some good performances too, but many of his lyrics belonged in the playground. Just my humble and prudish opinion.

Offline StoogeKebab

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Re: Sexual innuendo in blues songs
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2015, 05:52:48 AM »
Anyone heard Will Shade's uncensored dirty dozens? That's less innuendo more rather explicit. As for innuendo, indeed there is a ton of them. I particularly love Chauffeur Blues, mainly for the riff. Lyrically, it's cheeky, I love it. Another clever lyric and performance is Roosevelt Sykes' 2:35 version of Dirty Mother For You on the Southland CD, Dirty Mother For You. It's a little crude and just about the only piece my friends genuinely like to hear me play.

As for the abundance of innuendo, Lonnie Johnson, Lightnin' Hopkins, Leroy Carr, tons of them.
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Offline BroadBottomSheik

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Re: Sexual innuendo in blues songs
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2015, 05:50:13 PM »
Just about everything that was sung by Bo Carter.

Offline oddenda

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Re: Sexual innuendo in blues songs
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2015, 03:31:31 AM »
Might as well go straight to Lucille Bogan's "Shave 'Em Dry" and quit!

pbl

Offline StoogeKebab

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Re: Sexual innuendo in blues songs
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2015, 05:17:51 AM »
Might as well go straight to Lucille Bogan's "Shave 'Em Dry" and quit!

pbl

Hahaha indeed. Similar to my aforementioned Will Shade's dirty dozens from the George Mitchell collection. Who needs innuendo when you go right out and say what you mean?
Confident that I'm probably almost definitely the youngest record label owner in my street

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Offline oddenda

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Re: Sexual innuendo in blues songs
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2015, 08:02:21 AM »
I thought innuendo was Italian for a suppository... who knew??!!

Offline RobBob

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Re: Sexual innuendo in blues songs
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2015, 02:39:07 PM »
Bo Carter, master of the single entendre.

Offline frankie

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Re: Sexual innuendo in blues songs
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2015, 03:03:54 PM »
I thought innuendo was Italian for a suppository... who knew??!!

ba-dum BUM. I'm dyin over here.


Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Sexual innuendo in blues songs
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2015, 03:48:00 PM »
It was pretty good wasn't it? Me too.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Sexual innuendo in blues songs
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2015, 03:48:26 PM »
Hi all,
I think the primary potential for entertainment in this vein, which was mined so heavily, to the point of tedium, is in the unexplored territory of mixed metaphors, like "Pencil In Your Fruit Basket", or "My Wiener Won't Write No More".  Incoherence can be a real attention grabber, and it beats the hell out of same old same old. 
All best,
Johnm

Offline waxwing

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Re: Sexual innuendo in blues songs
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2015, 05:08:07 PM »
Rather than the obvious "wink, wink" entendre, I'm more interested in the sexual allusions that make it seem much more a part of gritty normal life. A good example would be Patton's final verse in Jersey Bull Cow: "I remember one mornin', 'tween midnight and day, I were way up stairs throwin' myself away." To me that line changes the whole song from borderline bawdy hokum to a hard blues.

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Offline Johnm

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Re: Sexual innuendo in blues songs
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2015, 05:17:16 PM »
Yup, I'm with you there, Waxwing,  in much preferring the frank statement of behavior to innuendo, as in Furry Lewis' singing of "Skinny Woman"

I don't want, I don't want no skinny woman, I want a woman with plenty meat, Lord,
She can roll all night long, she don't have to stop to rest (Spoken, Booker White: That's solid, there!)
If I ain't doin' no good, baby, Furry's doin' his actual best

All best,
Johnm

Offline blueshome

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Re: Sexual innuendo in blues songs
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2015, 05:58:01 AM »
Bit of the Puritan going on here I think.

We can never view this kind of thing as the original audiences did. 

I think that the level of amusement and laughter some of these songs must have created  accounts for their continued popularity.

It is not unique to the blues, think how many British folk songs contain double entendres or code word for sex.?

From a personal perspective when I perform some of the smutty stuff it's the women in the audience who really go for it and ask for more.

Offline oddenda

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Re: Sexual innuendo in blues songs
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2015, 10:02:58 PM »
No, the British would NEVER do that!

pbl

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