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Gee, I'm always hungry, can't get enough to eat. I'm just like a savage, I could eat a barrel of meat - Me And My Tapeworm, Sylvester Weaver 1927

Author Topic: Send Me Joan / brothel line?  (Read 226 times)

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Offline arlotone

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  • Posts: 107
Send Me Joan / brothel line?
« on: June 01, 2020, 06:26:30 PM »
I've always loved the 1960's home recording versions of "Send Me John" by Will Shade. George Mitchell's recording is on YouTube:

Don Hill and Dave Mangurian recorded two more versions which are quite upbeat, and one of which even has an audience sing-along. Charlie Musselwhite says this was one of Shade's favorite songs to sing in his later years.

Although the name in the title is always written as "John," Mitchell's traveling partner Roger Brown thinks the name is actually Joan, and the chorus is "Get up Nell and send me Joan." He thinks it refers to a man in a brothel asking for the next prostitute. In both the Hill/Mangurian recordings, Shade introduces the song and it's as easy to hear "Joan" as "John."

Does anyone know of a song lyric with a similar idea, about switching from one prostitute to another in a brothel, that could support this theory?

I looked up the popularity of Nell and Joan over the years, and they were popular enough in Shade's time to be reasonable for this song.

The rest of the lyrics have nothing to do with the chorus, so there's not much help there.

Offline banjochris

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  • Posts: 2173
Re: Send Me Joan / brothel line?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2020, 11:02:34 AM »
Could be "Joan" for sure "Get up Nell" could be a command to a mule or horse, as well.


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