The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #40621   Message #594648
Posted By: Jim Dixon
17-Nov-01 - 10:46 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Yazoo CD- Best of the Memphis Jug Band
Subject: Lyr Add: YOU MAY GO, BUT THIS WILL BRING YOU BACK^
Here is the “coon song” I referred to in item #9 above. The song has little merit, I’m afraid, except for its historical interest. It’s obviously related to the Memphis Jug Band’s song, YOU MAY LEAVE, BUT THIS WILL BRING YOU BACK. The title is practically the only thing they have in common, however. This song makes it clear that “this” means money; the MJB song left “this” undefined. That implies (I think) that it didn’t NEED to be defined – the audience already knew what it meant. But I can’t quite believe that the following song was ever very popular in the black community. Is it possible that the following song and MJB’s song were BOTH derived from some other popular song? Or a popular saying?

YOU MAY GO, BUT THIS WILL BRING YOU BACK (A COON PROPHESY)
(Ben Harney, 1898)

A gambling coon had a fuss with his gal one warm day in the spring.
She had no right for to fuss and fight, for ev'ry dollar home he'd bring.
But things were getting bad for that jap until his luck did change.
She meant to have gone, for it is true, she was packing up her things.
But on that day, luck came his way, and he had money to burn.
He came home soon a happy coon, but on his return,
He saw her trunk packed in the hall. A man was taking it out
When he saw her follow the trunk out, and loudly he did shout:

CHO: "You may go, but this here will bring you back.
You'll be sorry you ever gave me the sack."
It worked her up and got her flurred
She heard these words as out she stirred:
"You may go, but money will bring you back."

The summer passed and winter came. The ground was covered with snow,
When she changed her mind and left her ma and thought straight back she'd go.
So she wrote a note right to this moke, and asked him to take her back.
But she'd no excuse and he's bound to loose buying diamonds and a sealskin sack.
He read the note that she sent, and then he shook his head
And told the boy there was no answer, and went right straight to bed.
And early next morning this gal came a-creeping up to this black man's door,
But she nearly fell dead when he said, "I don't need you never no more.

CHO: You can go. I don't want you to ever come back.
You can stay, old gal, and that is a fact."
As she was leaving, she heard him say,
"You've been a good pebble but been washed away.
You may go. I don't want you to ever come back."

A week ago, a darky went to a chicken coop at night,
And looking in the place, like one of his race, the coon saw a bird in sight.
He made a grab and caught that fowl and started off in the night.
The chicken said "no," and hollered so, the dogs began to bark and bite.
And in a sack with the chicken on his back, he started on a run for home
With dogs a-howling and a-growling and gnawing at his bones.
Old farmer Dunn reached for his gun and out of the house he came.
There was a report and a nigger fell and I heard the old man exclaim,

CHO: "You may run, but the gun will bring you back,
For it's loaded to the muzzle with carpet tacks."
The coon dropped down very lame and blind.
The tacks made him look like a porcupine.
He started right but an ambulance brought him back.