The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #15511   Message #2846269
Posted By: GUEST,Jim Crutchfield
21-Feb-10 - 08:23 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Cocaine Blues 4 (Luke Jordan)
Subject: Lyr Add: COCAINE BLUES (Luke Jordan)
In case anybody's still interested, here's my best effort at transcribing the lyrics to this song, reposted from Weenie Campbell. Notes follow.

1. Now go on gal, don't you take me for no fool,
   I'm not gonna quit you pretty mama whilst the weather's cool
   Around your back door, says, Honey I'm gonna creep,
   As long's you make those two and a half a week.

2. Now I got a girl, she works in the white folks' yard,
   She brings me meal, I can swear, she brings the lard,
   She brings me meal, she brings me lard,
   She brings me everything, I swear that she can steal.

3. Now Barnum Bailey Circus it came to town,
   He had his el'phant looking good and brown
   They didn't know it was against the law
   For the monk to stop at a fine drug store
   Just around the corner just a minute too late,
   Another monk setting at the big back gate.
   I'm simply wild about my good cocaine.

4. I call my Cora, hey hey,
   She come on sniffin' with her nose all sore,
   The doctor swore I'm gon' to sell no more,
   Sayin' run doctor, ring the bell,
   The women in the alley.
   I'm simply wild about my good cocaine.

5. Now the furniture man came to my house
   It was last Sunday morn,
   He asked me was my wife at home,
   And I told she had long gone,
   He backed his wagon up to my door,
   Took everything I had,
   He carried it back to the furniture store,
   And I swear I did feel sad.

6. What in the world has anyone got,
   Dealin with the furniture man,
   If you got no dough,
   To stand up for show,
   He certainly will back you back.
   He will take everything from an earthly plant,
   From a skillet to a frying pan,
   If it ever was a devil born without any heart,
   It must have been the furniture man.

7. I call my Cora, hey hey,
   She come on sniffin with her nose all sore,
   Doctor swore I'm gon' to sell no more,
   Sayin coke for horses, not womens or mens,
   The doctor say it kill you but he didn't say when.
   I'm simply wild about my good cocaine.

8. Now the babys in the cradle in New Orleans,
   It kept a-whiffin till it got so mean,
   It kept a-whiffin had to [?stick to the store],
   The judge wouldn't 'low to sell no more,
   Sayin run, doctor, ring the bell,
   The women in the alley,
   I'm simply wild about my good cocaine.

9. I call my Cora, hey hey
   She come on sniffin' with her nose all sore,
   The doctor swore I'm gon' to sell no more,
   Sayin run doctor, ring the bell,
   The women in the alley.
   I'm simply wild about my good cocaine.

NOTES:

2.3   I suspect "she brings me meat", because the word seems to end with an unvoiced stop (k, t, or p), not an l; but on these old, low-fi records terminal consonants often disappear, so I can't tell. Probably the line should go,

   She brings me lard, she brings me meal.
   
in order to rhyme with "steal" in the fourth line.

3.3   This is probably a mocking reference to the Jim Crow laws that were in force in Virginia when Jordan was performing. Black performers from the North could easily get into trouble for going into the wrong establishment. It's a little distasteful today to hear monkey (i.e., "monk") used as a reference to a black man, but black music from this period is full of that kind of thing. ("Monkey Woman Blues", "You Gonna Look Like a Monkey When You Get Old", etc.)

3.4   "Settin'", not "standin'", seems pretty clear to me. I hear "another monk" instead of "another one"--there seems to be a pretty clear "m" in there, at least. The line doesn't make much sense, in any case, so all I can go by is my subjective impression.

4.3 This line and its repetitions (7.3 & 9.3) are troublesome. I don't think it's "The doctor swore I ain't gonna sell her more," as some propose. In this verse it sounds to me like "The doctor swore I'm gwon to sell no more;" then in 7.3 I think I hear "The doctor swore I'm gwon't sell her more;" and then in 9.3 it sounds to me like "I'm gwon't sell no more," again. I suspect the line is properly, "The doctor swore, 'I won't sell no more,'" and that Jordan mixes that up with "ain't going to sell her more" or "I'm going to sell her no more" or something similar.


6.6 Stewie proposes

   He will take everything from an ugly plant
   From a skillet to a fryin' pan.
   
I hear "earthly", and I suspect the line is properly, "He will take everything on this earthly planet," and that Jordan drops the e in "planet", and accidentally sings "from an" a line too soon. Google "earthly planet", and among hundreds of Hindu and Mormon cosmological references, you'll also find a good many 19th Century writers talking about "this earthly planet," as in, "Is there anyone on this earthly planet who . . . ?"

8.1 I have "babys", by analogy to "moms" and "pops". Jordan is clearly singing about one baby ("it kept a-whiffin"), but there's a definite "s" at the end of the word. That could mean "the baby is" just as well, but it wouldn't make any better sense.

8.3 I can't really make this line out, but I'm pretty sure there are more syllables in the second half than "had to fix it so," as proposed by Stewie.

8.4 This line sounds a little odd, and I suspect Jordan fluffs it a little bit. The word I have transcribed as "to" is strangely lengthened, as if he meant to put in another word before (or possibly after) it, but lost it.

Cheers,

Jim Crutchfield