The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #3018   Message #1292624
Posted By: PoppaGator
08-Oct-04 - 05:19 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Stagger Lee / Stack O'Lee / etc.
Subject: RE: Origins: Stagger Lee
Referring back to the original query, from October '97:

The melody common to most of the "folk-music" Stagger Lees, Stack-O-Lees, etc., is markedly different from that used on the Lloyd Price recording. His hit record used a version well-known in the New Orleans boogie-woogie piano tradition, which is markedly different from most of the folk-guitar versions which are so similar to each other (melodically if not lyrically), such as John Hurt's, Taj Mahal's etc.

Also: I've heard lots of folks hereabouts use the term "Stagger Lee" in reference to stumbling drunkards reeling and staggering down the street. Obviously not the original meaning, if you believe even half the research about the incorrigible "bad man," but an interesting contemporary reinterpretation.