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God takes care of old folks and fools - J.T. Funny Papa Smith, Fool's Blues

Author Topic: Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics  (Read 8262 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics
« on: March 18, 2009, 03:46:59 PM »
Hi all,
Philip McCutcheon, the "Cedar Creek Sheik", recorded "Watch The Fords Go By" on June 15, 1936, at a productive session in Charlotte, NC that yielded 10 titles.  The song is a waltz, and McCutcheon backs it in C position, standard tuning, with a simple "boom-chang-chang" accompaniment.  McCutcheon's songs are quirky enough that it seems a bit amazing that they were commercially recorded.  His lyrics offer some insight into his private universe, in which he resided, equally obsessed with Fords and Miss Etta Prince.  He is simultaneously nutty (I would say knowingly so) and droll.  The way he works actual words into the phonetics of his yodeled refrains is really clever.  I'd venture to say his use of the word "piazza", pronounced "pie-as-uh", is its only appearance in Country Blues or Old-Time lyrics.  All of the Cedar Creek Sheik's titles can be found on the second JSP set of the Complete Blind Boy Fuller. 

   Rock-y-bye, little baby
   Come close your pretty blue eyes
   Set up in your cradle
   And watch the Ford go by
   REFRAIN:  Oh-de-lay-di-ay, de-lay-di-oh, de-lay-ee

   Some folks prays to the altar [SPOKEN: Where you pray?]
   I pray in the middle of the road
   I ask the good Lord from Heaven,
   "Lord, give me a John Henry Ford."
   REFRAIN:  I want a vee-eee-eight, vee-eee-eight, right now, please

   If I ever gets any money
   And get my record all straight
   I'm gwine to put my money
   In one o' these Ford V-8s
   REFRAIN:  I want a vee-eee-eight, vee-eee-eight, right now, please

   Now, Sue's somewhere in Charleston
   And I know she 'bout to be convinced
   If the Lord in Heaven would let me
   I'd married Miss Etta Prince
   REFRAIN:  She's a lay-eee-ay, de-la-dy-oh, de-la-dy

   I'm goin' right to Mr. John Henry [SPOKEN: Mr. John Henry Ford!]
   And get right down on my knees
   I'm gwine ask the captain,
   Please hire me, if you please.
   REFRAIN:  Sing on the ra-di-o, ra-di-o, ra-di"

   Now, rock-y-bye, little baby
   Won't you close your pretty blue eyes
   Now, set up in your cradle
   And watch the Ford go by
   REFRAIN:  Oh-de-lay-dee-oh, de-lay-dee-oh, de-lay-ee

   Now, listen to me, mother
   My loved one, now don't you cry
   Stay right in your piazza
   And watch the Ford go by
   REFRAIN:  Oh-de-lay-dee-ay, de-lay-dee-oh, de-lay-ee

All best,
Johnm
   
   
     
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 07:22:51 AM by Johnm »

Offline dj

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Re: Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2009, 04:55:25 PM »
What's with "Mr. John Henry Ford"?  He came up recently in an Ed Bell lyric.  Mr. McCutcheon uses the name in other songs.  It's always referring to Henry Ford who, as far as I can find out, didn't have a middle name and went by just "Henry Ford".  Is it just a conflation with John Henry, or is something else at work there? 

Offline Johnm

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Re: Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2009, 05:00:51 PM »
I know what you mean, dj.  I recall the Ed Bell lyric in which he talked about John Henry Ford, and it being on a particularly whupped recording, "Rosca Mama Blues".  If nothing else, the Cedar Creek Sheik's use of the same name for Ford would seem to corroborate your hearing of "John Henry Ford" in the Ed Bell lyric.  As for it's significance or origin, I don't really have a clue.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Rivers

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Re: Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2009, 06:57:40 PM »
Probably a private joke  8)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2009, 09:24:01 PM »
The Cedar Creek Sheik tracks are also on the Document set "Never Let the Same Bee Sting You Twice". The notes mention that there has long been debate about whether McCutcheon was black or white, with the notes and Blues and Gospel Records (by including him) siding on the black side of the debate. He sure sounds white to me. Has any further evidence ever turned up?

Offline Johnm

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Re: Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2009, 10:00:56 PM »
Hi Andrew,
I haven't heard any new evidence, but I am amazed that anyone could think McCutcheon was anything other than a white Southerner.  He doesn't sound black at all to me.  I considered mentioning this in the first post in the thread, but didn't, and I'm glad you brought it up.  I am as sure as I could be without seeing him that he was white.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2009, 05:25:56 AM »
The Cedar Creek Sheik tracks are also on the Document set "Never Let the Same Bee Sting You Twice". The notes mention that there has long been debate about whether McCutcheon was black or white, with the notes and Blues and Gospel Records (by including him) siding on the black side of the debate. He sure sounds white to me. Has any further evidence ever turned up?
Like Johnm I too am mystified as to how B&GR come to that conclusion. From memory up until about 25 years ago only one song by this artist was available on a 70s Flyright LP and that sparked the "is he, ainít he, white" debate. I have a nagging feeling that when Document put all these on LP for the first time one reviewer noted that in isolation certain songs could be mistaken as sounding black but the singer just had to be white. I'll see if I can lay hand to the review.

Offline dj

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Re: Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2009, 06:19:16 AM »
Quote
I have a nagging feeling that when Document put all these on LP for the first time...

I don't have the CD handy, but didn't those Cedar Creek Sheik tracks originally come out on Old Tramp or some such label?

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2009, 07:30:33 AM »
Quote
I have a nagging feeling that when Document put all these on LP for the first time...
I don't have the CD handy, but didn't those Cedar Creek Sheik tracks originally come out on Old Tramp or some such label?
You are right it was Old Tramp LP 1211 CAROLINA BLUES GUITAR 1936-51 (Cedar Creek Sheik/Roosevelt Antrim/Sonny Jones/Carolina Slim). To me OT and Document are synonymous.  ;)

Offline Johnm

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Re: Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2009, 08:34:47 AM »
Hi all,
The Cedar Creek Sheik concluded his session in Charlotte on June 15, 1936 with "Jimmy Shut His Store Doors", a sort of sequel to "Don't Credit My Stuff" which immediately preceded it and paved the way for Jimmy's drastic decision.  In the inclusion of his circle of friends, acquaintances and nemeses in his lyrics, the Cedar Creek Sheik treads some of the same territory as Charlie Patton and Sleepy John Estes.  
Once again, the Sheik backs himself out of C position in standard tuning.  One nifty touch:  when he plays an F chord, he adds the G note at the third fret of the high E string, an "add 9".  It sounds good and eliminates the need to flatten out the index finger to fret the first two strings at the first fret.
The Cedar Creek Sheik was really good at phonetic wordplay.  I wish I had come up with his gem from verses two and five.  The conclusion of the chorus provides a real "Huh?" response, right up there with the last line of the chorus of Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy":  "and offers coming over the phone".  Whew, I'm glad I don't have the writing of that one on my conscience.  In his sort of mildly humorous delivery of his songs, the Cedar Creek Sheik brings to mind Willie "61" Blackwell.

   I used to work on a highway road, spend my money with Jimmy
   Highway stop and the money all done, now Jimmy don't wants to see me
   REFRAIN:  Lord, Jimmy shut his store door
   "How you know it?", 'cause he told me so
   Yeah, he wouldn't credit me, he wouldn't credit you
   How in the world Cedar Creek gonna do?
   Jimmy shut his store door then he told me so
   Caused me to wander to Nashville, Tennessee

   When I was broke and didn't have a dime, the women wouldn't call me "honey"
   All the womens tryin' to eat me up, since they get my boneless money
   REFRAIN:  Now, Jimmy shut his store door
   "How you know it?", 'cause he told me so
   Yeah, he wouldn't credit me, he wouldn't credit you
   How in the world Cedar Creek gonna do?
   Jimmy shut his store door then he told me so
   I have to travel to Nashville, Tennessee

   I asked Jimmy just to credit me, looked like he wanted to fight me
   I went to catch Clarence' old grey mule, and the darned old grey mule bite me
   REFRAIN:  Lord, Jimmy shut his store door
   "How you know it?", 'cause he told me so
   Yeah, he wouldn't credit me, he wouldn't credit you
   How in the world Cedar Creek gonna do?
   Jimmy shut his store door then he told me so
   I have to wander to Nashville, Tennessee

   The boys hangin' around Jimmy's b'liquor store, thei' mouth ain't nothin' but a blabber
   (SPOKEN: We went, too)
   I went to Dave Hardee back door and I begged for a bowl of clabber
   REFRAIN: 'Cause Jimmy shut his store door
   "How you know it?", 'cause he told me so
   Yeah, he wouldn't credit me, he wouldn't credit you
   How in the world Cedar Creek gonna do?
   Jimmy shut his store door then he told me so
   I have to travel to Nashville, Tennessee

   When I was broke and down and out, the women didn't want me around
   (SPOKEN: No they didn't)
   Since I got my boneless money, says, "Daddy, you must come around."
   REFRAIN: 'Cause Jimmy shut his store door
   "How you know it?", 'cause he told me so
   Yeah, he wouldn't credit me, he wouldn't credit you
   How in the world Cedar Creek gonna do?
   Jimmy shut his store door then he told me so
   I have to wander to Nashville, Tennessee

   When I used to work on the highway road, spend my money with Jimmy
   Now the highway is stopped and the money all done and Jimmy don't want to see me
   REFRAIN:  Lord, Jimmy shut his store door
   "How you know it?", 'cause he told me so
   Yeah, he wouldn't credit me, he wouldn't credit you
   How in the world Cedar Creek gonna do?
   Jimmy shut his store door then he told me so
   I have to wander to Nashville, Tennessee

Edited, 1/24/10 to pick up corrections from crutch

All best,
Johnm
  
    
    
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 12:00:24 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2009, 04:28:15 PM »
Hi all,
The Cedar Creek Sheik recorded "Don't Credit My Stuff" immediately prior to recording "Jimmy Shut His Store Doors", and he accompanies it in C position in standard tuning as well.  It sounds as though Jimmy was the manager of a store owned by Paul Clements and the responsibilities of the job came to be too much for him.  I'd appreciate any help with the bent bracketed phrase.  The Sheik uses the title phrase several times in the course of the rendition.

   Bob Clemmons told Jimmy right to his face,
   "The boys may be hungry, don't you give 'em a taste.
   REFRAIN:  Don't you credit my stuff, don't credit my stuff."
   Bob Clemmons told Jimmy, "Jimmy, don't you credit my stuff."

   REFRAIN: "Don't credit my stuff, don't credit my stuff"
   Bob Clemmons told Jimmy, "Jimmy, don't you credit my stuff."

   I asked Jimmy for a can of hash
   Say, "You can't get it lest you got the cash.
   REFRAIN: You can't credit no stuff, don't credit no stuff."
   Bob Clemmons told Jimmy, "Jimmy, don't you credit my stuff."

   I asked Jimmy for a loaf of bread
   They say you can't get it, Paul Clements said,
   REFRAIN: "I can't credit no stuff, don't credit no stuff."
   Bob Clemmons told Jimmy, "Jimmy, don't you credit my stuff."

   I asked Jimmy just to credit my one
   Jimmy said, "Philip, I don't credit no one.
   REFRAIN: I don't credit no stuff, don't credit no stuff."
   Bob Clemmons told Jimmy, "Jimmy, don't you credit my stuff.""

   Just walked down Bleecker Street
   Wesley Hotel, nothin' to eat
   REFRAIN: Don't credit no stuff, don't credit no stuff
   Bob Clemmons told Jimmy, "Jimmy, don't you credit my stuff."

   REFRAIN: Don't credit my stuff, don't credit my stuff
   Bob Clemmons told Jimmy, "Jimmy, don't you credit my stuff."

   Jimmy went to Nashville, Tennessee
   Left all the business with Arthur Lee
   REFRAIN: Take care of my stuff, take care of my stuff
   Didn't Jimmy told Arthur Lee, "Arthur take care of my stuff."
  
   SPOKEN: Take care it, Arthur Lee
  
   REFRAIN: Take care of my stuff, take care of my stuff
   Said, Jimmy told Arthur, "Arthur, take care of my stuff."

   I asked Jimmy for a can of hash
   They say you can't get it lest you got the cash
   REFRAIN:  You can't credit no stuff, don't credit no stuff
   Bob Clemmons told Jimmy, "Jimmy don't you credit my stuff."

   Bill Harley killed a hog, gimme the [mill]
   'Tain't much meat, but it be a little good to have
   REFRAIN: Jimmy don't credit no stuff, Jimmy don't credit no stuff
   Bob Clemmons told Jimmy, "Jimmy, don't you credit my stuff."

   REFRAIN: Don't credit my stuff, don't you credit my stuff
   Bob Clemmons told Jimmy, "Jimmy don't you credit my stuff."

   SPOKEN:  Take care of my stuff, Jimmy

   REFRAIN: Take care of my stuff, take care of my stuff
   Bob Clemmons told Jimmy, "Jimmy, take care of my stuff."

   I asked Jimmy for a bottle of dope
   Say, "I can't get it 'cause I might go broke."
   REFRAIN: Don't credit no stuff, don't credit no stuff
   Bob Clemmons told Jimmy, "Jimmy, don't you credit my stuff."

Edited 1/24/10 to pick up corrections from crutch

All best,
Johnm

  
    

    
  
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 12:04:36 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2009, 10:51:05 PM »
Hi all,
The Cedar Creek Sheik performed "I Believe Somebody's Been Ridin' My Mule" accompanying himself out of G position in standard tuning.  His guitar part here involves more complex picking than do most of his accompaniments.  His instrumental signature lick shares its melody with Blind Blake's signature lick for "Police Dog Blues", or even more closely, John Jackson's "Bearcat Blues", which John Jackson played out of the G position like the Sheik's number.  Philip McCutcheon accords a lot of space for instrumental responses to his vocals here.  He yodels the words "believe" and "hoo-ee" in his refrains.  The anti-clerical sentiments expressed here are not that common in Hillbilly recordings.

   REFRAIN:  I belie--ieve somebody been ridin' my mule
   I belie--ie--hieve somebody been ridin' my mule
   Lord, when I try to ride her cuts a doggone fool

   REFRAIN:  Hoo-eee, somebody ridin' my mule
   Hoo--eee, (guitar finishes refrain)

   REFRAIN:  I belie-ie--hieve somebody ridin' my mule
   Because then I try to ride her she cuts a doggone fool

   Preacher went to sister house, "Come here, rest your hat."
   Sister begin to grinnin', like to say, "Sister, where your husband at?"

   REFRAIN: I belie-eve preacher want to ride my mule
   I belie--ieve preacher want to ride my mule
   Because then I try to ride her (guitar finishes refrain)

   REFRAIN:  Hoo-eee (guitar finishes line)
   Hoo-eee, somebody riding my mule (SPOKEN:  How you know?)
   Because then I try to ride here she cuts a doggone fool

   Preacher went to sister house, went to stay all day
   Give the children fifteen cents, "Y'all go in the yard and play."

   REFRAIN: I belie-ieve preacher want to ride my mule
   Because then I try to ride her, cuts a doggone fool

All best,
Johnm
   
   
   
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 07:20:02 AM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2009, 10:02:20 PM »
Hi all,
The first song recorded by the Cedar Creek Sheik was "Ford V-8", and it offers an initial glimpse of his particular interests.  He played it out of C position in standard tuning and it uses a commonly encountered raggy 8-bar blues progression:

   |    A    |    A    |    D    |    D    |    G    |    G    |    C    |    C    |

Frank Hutchison used the same progression for his "Coney Isle".  The Cedar Creek Sheik gives the guitar more solo space on "Ford V-8" than on most of his songs.  He certainly managed to cram a lot of words into the song.

   Soon as I get my record straight
   Put my money in a Ford V-8
   Lord, and I ain't gonna walk no more

   Drive into Charlotte from the Baltimore
   Park my Ford in Miss Etta Prince door
   Lord, gonna play my radio

   SOLO

   Now, Pete and Frances lyin' in the bed
   Pete turned over and Frances said
   Lord, she don't credit no more

   SOLO

   Now, soon as I get my record all straight
   Put my money in the Ford V-8
   Lord, I ain't gonna pray no more

   SOLO

   Some pray to the altar, I pray at the gate
   I start gearin' on the Ford V-8
   Lord, and I sure won't pray no more

   SOLO

   Sue in Charleston, want to be convinced
   Wish I'd married to Miss Etta Prince
   And Lord, then I won't be lonesome no more

   SOLO

   Dave Hardee and Booth Key settin' on a log
   Hands on a trigger, eye on a hog
   Lord, Jimmy ain't gonna credit no more

   SOLO

   Some pray to the altar I pray in the road
   Ask God to give me John Henry Ford
   Lord, I sure won't pray no more

   SOLO

   Some pray to the altar, I pray at the gate
   Ask God to give me one of the Ford V-8
   Lord, and I sure wouldn't want no more

   SOLO

   Some pray to the altar, I pray in the field
   Ask God to give me an Oldsmobile
   Lord, and I sure wouldn't want no more (SPOKEN: Tell the truth)

   SOLO

   Well, soon as I get my record straight
   I'm gon' buy a Ford V-8
   Lord, and I ain't gonna walk no more

   I'll drive in Charlotte from the Baltimore
   Park my Ford in Miss Etta Prince door
   Lord, want to play my radio

Edited 1/24/10 to pick up corrections from Crutch

All best,
Johnm
  

  
  
« Last Edit: January 24, 2010, 12:06:06 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2009, 03:59:46 PM »
Hi all,
The third song recorded by the Cedar Park Sheik at his one day of recording was "Mary Had A Little Lamb".  As on most of his numbers, the accompaniment is played out of C position in standard tuning.  This is definitely one of Philip McCutcheon's less colorful numbers.  Musically, he utilized the melody and many of the lyrics of the Carter Family's "Little Darling Pal of Mine".  Oddly enough, the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb" also turns up in the lyrics to Freddie Spruell's "Mr. Freddie's Kokomo Blues".  I suppose it is possible that the Sheik's reference to "Mary, yella gal of mine" may have contributed to some listeners considering him to be a black musician.  If so, it's a pretty weak reason when weighed against his sound.

   Oh, little Mary, she have a little lamb
   And his fleece was white as snow
   Every way little Mary would go
   Little Mary's little lamb would go

   Oh, little Mary, oh how I love you
   How I love you none can tell
   In your heart you love another
   I love Mary, yella gal of mine

   So you leave me 'cause you wish to
   Never let me cross your mind
   In your heart you love another
   Little Mary, yella gal of mine

   SOLO

   Oh little Mary, you know I love you
   How I love you none can tell
   In your heart you love another
   Little Mary, yella gal of mine

   So you leave me 'cause you wish to
   Never let me cross your mind
   In your heart you love another
   I love Mary, that yella gal of mine

   So you leave me 'cause you wish to
   Never let me cross your mind
   In your heart you love another
   I want Mary, that yella gal of mine

   Little Mary, she have a little lamb
   And his feet was white as snow
   Every way little Mary would go
   Little Mary's little lamb would go

   Maa-ry, you know I love you
   How I love nobody can tell
   In your heart you love another
   I love Mary, yella gal of mine

   I marry on Easter day
   For Thanksgivin', she's gone away
   And I know she's got another
   I want Mary, that yella gal of mine

   Oh little Mary, oh how I love you
   How I love you none can tell
   In your heart you love another
   Little Mary, yella gal of mine

   So you leave me 'cause you wish to
   Never let me cross your mind
   In your heart you've got another
   I want Mary, that yella gal of mine

All best,
Johnm







   
« Last Edit: March 22, 2009, 09:54:24 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

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Re: Cedar Creek Sheik Lyrics
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2009, 02:33:19 PM »
Hi all,
The Cedar Creek Sheik recorded "Buy It From A Poultry Man" immediately prior to "Don't Credit My Stuff".  It is a rude little number--make no mistake about it.  The structure is very loose, and the refrain has something of the sound of a street vendor.  The Sheik backed himself here out of C position in standard tuning, as was most often the case for him.  He starts the song with a vocal impression of a muted trumpet or kazoo.  Talk of the Poultry Man reminds me of Phoebe Snow's hit record from the '70s.   
"Cock", as used in Blues lyrics and vernacular usage is unusual in that depending on the context, it can refer to either female or male genitalia, though in the older usages it is more often used for female genitalia.  In the recently released George Mitchell Collection, Will Shade's unexpurgated version of "The Dirty Dozens" includes the following verse, one people might associate with Charley Jordan's "Keep It Clean, but for one changed word in Shade's version:
   Up she jumped, down she fell, her cock flew open like a mussel shell
In substituting "mouth" for "cock", perhaps Charley was taking his own advice.

   Doo-di-doo, doo-di-doo, doo-di-doo-doo-di-doo-doo

   REFRAIN:  Cock for sale, cock for sale,
   Buy it from the poultry man

   I got a girl who weared a short frock
   One of 'em down the street had a Tyson cock
   REFRAIN: This cock for sale (SPOKEN: Roosters), cock for sale
   Buy it from the poultry man

   I see a gal stand on the street
   Yella gal looked so nice and neat
   REFRAIN: She got cock for sale, cock for sale
   Buy it from the poultry man

   I got married on Sunday night
   Monday night I had a fight
   REFRAIN:  She had cock for sale, cock for sale
   Give it to every man

   Fifteen cent is the price, you know
   Bring me a quarter, you, and you can get two
   REFRAIN: Cock for sale, cock for sale
   Buy it from the poultry man

   See that girl all dressed in red
   The old hen settin' right under the bed
   REFRAIN: Sayin, cock for sale, cock for sale, cock for sale
   Buy it from the poultry man

   I got a gal in Kalamazoo
   She don't wear no, "Yes, she do."
   REFRAIN: She got cock for sale, cock for sale, cock for sale
   Buy it from the poultry man

   You maybe got cock mighty fine
   Nobody cock as good as mine
   REFRAIN: This cock for sale, this cock for sale, this cock for sale
   Buy it from the poultry man

   SPOKEN:  Brown Leghorn cock, Black Giant cock, White Leghorn cock

   REFRAIN: This cock for sale, this cock for sale, this cock for sale
   Buy it from the poultry man

   See the people all in the block
   Ever'body sure loves to buy a cock
   REFRAIN: Buy a cock for sale (SPOKEN: Roosters) cock for sale, cock for sale
   Buy it from the poultry man

   REFRAIN: This cock for sale (SPOKEN: Yeah!), cock for sale, cock for sale
   But it from the poultry man

   SPOKEN:  The preacher love cock

   REFRAIN: That cock for sale, that cock for sale, cock for sale
   Buy it from the poultry man

   I got married on a Sunday night
   Monday night I had a fight
   REFRAIN: I had cock for sale, cock for sale
   Buy it from the poultry man

   REFRAIN:  This cock for sale, this cock for sale, cock for sale
   Buy it from the poultry man

All best,
Johnm