Saturday, July 16, 2011

Show 53 - More Cars



Cars had become one of the centers of American life by the 1920s and plenty of blues musicians we’re singing about them. It’s interesting that Blind Lemon Jefferson sang in several songs about driving cars, something he could never do as a blind man. Booger Rooger Blues starts out about driving and ends up talking about the problems cars cause with women.
I drive to the station, woman, I bid you adieu (I swear it ain’t no use?)
I drive to the station, then I bid you adieu
Tell me, you always got a fatmouth following you

My baby's quit me, man, she done throwed me down
I said my baby's quit me, she done throwed me down
I wouldn't hate it so bad, but that talk is all over town

She's a long tall woman, she got relatives in Arkansas
Long tall woman, she got relatives in Arkansas
She ain't so good looking, but, lord, them dimples is all in her jaw

I cried all night and all that night before
I say, I cried all night and all that night before
Well, it's the best to get single and you won't have to cry no more

I got ten little puppies, I got twelve little shaggy hounds
I got ten little puppies and twelve little shaggy hounds
Well, it's gonna take them twenty-two dogs to run my good gal down

I got a girl in Oak Cliff and Highland Park, Oak Lawn, Lakewoods, ma'am, too
I got a girl in Oak Cliff, Highland Park, Oak Lawn, Lakewoods, ma'am, too
I'm gonna live in Magnolia Station and watch them Mill City women going through

Some joker learned my baby how to shift gears on a Cadillac Eight
Some joker learned my baby how to shift gears on a Cadillac Eight
Sugar, ever since that happened, I can't keep my business straight
Will Batts’ Cadillac Baby starts with the same verse that Lemon ended with:

Somebody learned my baby how to shift gears on a Cadillac Eight
Somebody learned my baby how to shift gears on a Cadillac Eight
Ever since that day, I can’t keep my baby straight
I was ?, I’m gonna let you have your way
Cause baby doll,

I said late one evening, I looked through your keyhole door
Woman you know you done me wrong, I ain’t coming back here no more
I turned right around, these are the words I said
Nobody don’t have to tell me because I heard the spring cry on your bed
In 1931, Memphis Minnie sang about her house burning down, but the only thing she’s worried about is losing her car. Garage Fire Blues:
My house on fire, where's that fire wagon now?
My house on fire, where's that fire wagon now?
Ain't but the one thing I don't want my garage to burn down
 
I got a Hudson Super Six, I got me an old model Cadillac Eight
I got a Hudson Super Six, I got me an old model Cadillac Eight
I woke up this morning, my Cadillac standing at my back gate
 
Hop on boys, I got the best chauffeur in town
Hop on boys, I got the best chauffeur in town
He saved my Hudson Super Six, my Cadillac didn't burn down
 
Oh Lord Lord, wonder where is my chauffeur now
Oh Lord Lord, wonder where is my chauffeur now
Got my Cadillac Eight, done Cadillaced out of town
 
I tell the whole round world I ain't going to walk no more
I tell the whole round world I ain't going to walk no more
I got a Cadillac Eight take me to where I want to go
In 1941, Memphis Minnie was still singing about that chauffeur with some classic double entendre lyrics. Me and My Chauffeur Blues:
Want to see my chauffeur, want to see my chauffeur
I want him to drive me, I want him to drive me downtown
Yes he drives so easy, I can't turn him down

But I don't want him, but I don't want him to be riding these girls, to be riding these girls around
So I'm gonna steal me a pistol, shoot my chauffeur down

Well I must buy him, well I must buy him a brand new V8, a brand new V8 Ford
Then he won't need no passengers, I will be his load

Going to let my chauffeur, going to let my chauffeur
Drive me around the, drive me around the world
Then he can be my little boy, yes, I'll be his girl
Robert Johnson sang some of the most poetic lyrics sexualizing the car as a woman. Terraplane Blues:
And I feel so lonesome, you hear me when I moan
When I feel so lonesome, you hear me when I moan
Who’s been driving my Terraplane, for you since I been gone?
I'd said I flash your lights, mama, your horn won't even blow
(spoken: Somebody's been running my batteries down on this machine)
I even flash my lights, mama, this horn won't even blow
Got a short in this connection, oh well, babe, it's way down below
I'm going to hoist your hood, mama, I'm bound to check your oil
I'm going hoist your hood, mama, mmm, I'm bound to check your oil
I’ve got a woman that I'm loving, way down in Arkansas
 
Now, you know the coils ain't even buzziing, little generator won't get the spark
Motor's in a bad condition, you gotta have these batteries charged
But I'm crying, please, please don't do me wrong
Who been driving my Terraplane now, for you since I been gone?
Mr. highway man, please don't block the road
Please, please don't block the road
'Cause she's reaching a cold one hundred and I'm booked and I got to go

You, you hear me weep and moan
Who been driving my Terraplane now, for you since I been gone?
I'm going to get down in this connection, keep on tangling with your wires
I'm going to get deep down in this connection, oh well, keep on tangling with these wires
And when I mash down on your little starter, then your spark plug will give me fire
Willie ‘61’ Blackwell also explored the car as a woman metaphor in 1941 with Noiseless Motor Blues:
They say you has a noiseless motor and a substantial steering gear
They say you has a noiseless motor, baby, and substantial steering gear
If you ever need a chauffeur, please let me be your engineer
 
If you has good rubber and your emergency brake’s okay
If you has good rubber, baby, and your emergency brake’s okay
And if you ever need a chauffeur, baby, please let me shift your gears
 
I stepped on the starter and the motor turned over slow
I stepped on the starter and your motor turned over slow
 
Well, well, it's the carbon-proof motor, boy, there's a short in some place I know
You said you would be my engine and wanted me for your engineer
You said you would be my engine and wanted me for your engineer
Ramblin’ Thomas explained how not having a car made it tough to hold onto your woman in Hard to Rule Woman Blues:

I've got a girl, I wish I could keep her home at night
I've got a girl, I wish I could keep her home at night
She's always going off on automobile rides
 
She sleeps late every morning, I can't hardly get her woke
She sleeps late every morning, I can't hardly get her woke
She will wake up in one second, when she hears a car horn blow
 
Some of these days, I'm going to be like Mr. Henry Ford
Said, some of these days, I'm going to be like Mr. Henry Ford
Going to have a car and a woman running on every road
 
If you ain't got a car, man, a woman is hard to rule
If you ain't got a car, man, a woman is hard to rule
That's why, I got them automobile blues

Songs:
Booger Rooger Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
Cadillac Baby - Will Batts
Garage Fire Blues - Memphis Minnie
Me and My Chauffeur Blues - Memphis Minnie
Terraplane Blues - Robert Johnson
Noiseless Motor Blues - Willie '61' Blackwell
Hard to Rule Woman Blues - Ramblin' Thomas

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great stuff !! Keep it coming...

KHOATA said...

I was contemplating possible cash outflow, our neighbor drove up in one of his two Pontiac Azteks, a vehicle often voted to a place on the list of the ugliest cars ever made.

jowdjbrown said...

It’s interesting that Blind Lemon Jefferson sang in several songs about driving cars, something he could never do as a blind man. Used cars for sale nj

Elizabeth J. Neal said...

I admired your helpful words. Top class contribution. I really hope you’ll write more. I'll continue looking for. Japanese used car auction

Richard C. Lambert said...

Find great deals on eBay for battery charger car battery charger. Shop with confidence. Get More Info

Elizabeth J. Neal said...

There are several reasons you may want to ship your car rather than drive it. If so, read this. shipping price

Anonymous said...

Car Alarm if you don't want that your car was stolen!