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Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice

Richie 14 Mar 08 - 08:54 PM
Azizi 14 Mar 08 - 11:44 PM
Azizi 14 Mar 08 - 11:48 PM
Azizi 14 Mar 08 - 11:58 PM
Azizi 15 Mar 08 - 12:10 AM
Azizi 15 Mar 08 - 12:14 AM
Azizi 15 Mar 08 - 12:19 AM
Azizi 15 Mar 08 - 12:30 AM
Melissa 15 Mar 08 - 12:47 AM
Richie 16 Mar 08 - 01:08 AM
Melissa 16 Mar 08 - 03:23 AM
Azizi 16 Mar 08 - 08:12 AM
Azizi 16 Mar 08 - 08:16 AM
Azizi 16 Mar 08 - 08:22 AM
Richie 16 Mar 08 - 09:19 AM
Melissa 16 Mar 08 - 05:03 PM
Azizi 16 Mar 08 - 05:38 PM
Azizi 16 Mar 08 - 05:43 PM
Richie 17 Mar 08 - 12:17 AM
GUEST,Joseph de Culver City 17 Mar 08 - 04:13 PM
Richie 28 Dec 09 - 05:14 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Dec 09 - 09:23 PM
Richie 28 Dec 09 - 10:04 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Dec 09 - 10:19 PM
Mzee Simba 29 Dec 09 - 01:27 AM
Richie 29 Dec 09 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,BMG 26 Aug 10 - 02:41 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: RED APPLE JUICE
From: Richie
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 08:54 PM

Here are some lyrics for Red Apple Juice:

Ain't got no use for your red apple juice.
Ain't got no honey baby now,
Ain't got no honey baby now.

CHORUS: Who'll rock the cradle, And who'll sing the song.
Who'll rock the cradle when I'm gone,
Who'll rock the cradle when I'm gone.

Ain't got no use for your red rocking chair
Ain't got no honey baby there,
Ain't got no honey baby there.

Done all I can do to try to live with you,
Send you back to your mama next pay day,
Send you back to your mama next pay day.

Gave her all I made then I laid her in the shade.
What more can a poor boy do?
What more can a poor boy do?

Realizing that some of these are floating lyrics, does anyone want to give their opinion of what this song is about?

What does red apple juice mean in the first verse?

How about "rock the cradle" or "laid her in the shade" ?

Anyone?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Azizi
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 11:44 PM

Richie,

"Red Apple Juice" appears to be a variant of several traditional blues songs about love gone wrong, or love going wrong.

My guess is that the words "red apple juice" literally refer to red colored apple juice {cherry? strawberry? flavored apple juice} that the singer's woman made for him. I don't think that these words mean anything more.

In my next post to this thread, I'll post the lyrics to several similar songs that I found online.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SUGAR BABY (from Dock Boggs)
From: Azizi
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 11:48 PM

Sugar Baby   78 version
(traditional)

Oh I've got no sugar baby now;
It's all I can do for to see peace with you,
And I can't get along this a-way
Can't get along this a-way.

All I can do, I've said all I can say;
I will send you to your mama next payday,
Send you to your mama next payday.

Got no use for the red rockin' chair,
I've got no honey baby now,
Got no sugar baby now.

Who'll rock the cradle, who'll sing the song
Who'll rock the cradle when I'm gone,
Who'll rock the cradle when I'm gone?

I'll rock the cradle, I'll sing the song,
I'll rock the cradle when you gone.
It's all I can do, It's all I can say,

I will send you to your mama next payday.
Laid her in the shade, give her every dime I made;
What more could a poor boy do,
What more could a poor boy do?

Oh I've got no honey baby now;
Got no sugar baby now.
Said all I can say, I've done all I can do,
And I can't make a living with you,
Can't make a living with you.

http://www.angelfire.com/folk/longtimecoming/dockboggs/lyrics/78s/sugar_baby78.html


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Azizi
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 11:58 PM

SUGAR BABY (Traditional, see note below)

I've got no sugar baby now
I've got no sugar honey baby now
I laid her in the shade
I laid her in the shade,
I gave her every dime I made
What else could a poor boy do?
What else could a poor boy do?

Some rounder come along
Rounder come along with his mouth full of gold
Rounder stole my greenback roll
And I've got no sugar honey baby now

Who'll call me honey?
Who'll call me honey and who'll sing this song?
Who'll rock the cradle when you're gone?
Who'll rock the cradle when you're gone?

I'll rock that cradle
I'll rock that cradle and I'll sing this song
I'll rock the cradle when you're gone
I'll rock the cradle when you're gone

Ain't got no use
Ain't got no use for that red rocking chair
I've got no sugar baby now
I've got no sugar honey baby now

"UNCLE EARL LYRICS (2)
This is an unofficial transcription of the words to some of the songs performed by Uncle Earl in live concerts. I apologise for any words or phrases which might have been misheard...

Note: the best known version of this song was adapted by Dock Boggs in the 1920s, but that version did not include the "Rounder" verse, and differs in other respects from the Uncle Earl adaptation [see that version posted above] . For another, significantly different, version see here" [the lyrics for the song posted in my first comment to this thread and the second song referenced in this quote were provided as hyperlinks]

Source: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/farawayhills/lyrics3.html


[second hyperlinked song]:

RED ROCKIN CHAIR

Pull back the curtain let me see the sun

It's been like a long rainy day

I slave and I try but you grumble and you cry

And we can't live together this a way lord lord

And we can't live together this a way

break

I set you in the shade gave you every dime I made

What can a poor boy do

Yes I work every day and you throw it all away

I just can't make a livin for you lord lord

And I can't make a livin for you

break

I've got no use for the red rocking chair

I've got no sugar baby now

And since she's been gone lord I sing this lonesome song

Got no one to rock the cradle for me now lord lord

Got no one to rock the cradle for me now

break…end

http://www.bluegrasslyrics.com/all_song.cfm-recordID=s4031.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 12:10 AM

In my opinion, when the man sings the words "laid her in the shade" he is continuing his lament that he was good to his woman since he made life easy for her by providing a hammock or lawn chair [or red rocking chair, though I think that might have been a reference to an indoor piece of furniture} on which she could lay down in the shade and relax.

Since that man "works every day" but his "sugar baby" [sweetheart] "throws it all away", he is tellin her that he's gonna send her back home to her folks.

As to the words "rock that cradle when you're gone"-I'm wondering if these words refer to an actual cradle? Is he saying that he's gonna keep the baby {who sleeps in the cradle} or is he at least threatening to do so?


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 12:14 AM

That first song posted in this thread reminded me of this song:


WHOSE GONNA SHOE YOUR PRETTY LITTLE FEET

Who's gonna shoe your pretty little feet
Who's gonna glove your hand
Who's gonna kiss your red ruby lips
Who's gonna be your man

Papa's gonna shoe my pretty little feet
Momma's gonna glove my hand
Sister's gonna kiss my red ruby lips
I don't need no man

I don't need no man
I don't need no man
Sister's gonna kiss my red ruby lips
I don't need no man

Fastest train I ever did ride
Was a hundred coaches long
The only woman I ever did love
Was on that train and gone

On that train and gone boys
On that train and gone
Only woman I ever did love
Was on that train and gone

Who's gonna shoe your pretty little feet
Who's gonna glove your hand
Who's gonna kiss your red ruby lips
Who's gonna be your man

Papa's gonna shoe my pretty little feet
Momma's gonna glove my hand
Sister's gonna kiss my red ruby lips
I don't need no man

I don't need no man
I don't need no man
Sister's gonna kiss my red ruby lips
I don't need no man

http://www.ciscohouston.com/lyrics/shoe_your_feet.shtml


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 12:19 AM

Here's another blues song which contains that "honey baby/babe" phrase:

HONEY BABE BLUES

Well I ain't got no honey baby now
I guess she didn't love me anyhow
Well it's oh me and oh my
Ain't got no honey baby now

Well she left me on that early morning train
I'll never see my girl again
Well it's oh me and oh my
Ain't got no honey baby now

Now good girl you ain't no gal of mine
My honey babe done traveled down the line
Well it's oh me and oh my
Ain't got no honey baby now

I'll see you when your troubles are like mine
When you haven't got a nickel or a dime
Well it's oh me and oh my
Ain't got no honey baby now


"Author: na
Version: Doc Watson

Lyrics provided courtesy of Bluegrass Lyrics.Com"

http://www.bluegrasslyrics.com/all_song.cfm-recordID=s4031.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 12:30 AM

I just re-read that chorus to Red Apple Juice:

Who'll rock the cradle, And who'll sing the song.
Who'll rock the cradle when I'm gone,
Who'll rock the cradle when I'm gone.

-snip-

And now I'm thinking these words were voiced by the woman, and not the man.

Also "rocking the cradle" may have a dual meaning or may not refer to an actual cradle at all, but instead have a "coded" sexual meaning. I'm suggesting this because the African American blues phrase "rock & roll" meant "sexual intercourse". If that is so, the woman singing these words might have been wondering who's gonna be loving her man {making love to her man} when she's gone.

Of course, these interpretations may be wrong. But, then again, some of them {all of them?} may be right.

:o)


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Melissa
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 12:47 AM

maybe instead of the juice being red, the apple is red? Unnecessary word added for the sake of a syllable in the line?

I've heard "laid in the shade" in reference to being buried under a tree. It also makes sense that "laid in the shade" could equal "made in the shade"..
I suppose if you wanted to contrive a storyline for the song, you could base it on the idea that the woman died in childbirth--cradle and rocking chair fit into that, but it seems like quite a stretch to me.


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Richie
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 01:08 AM

Hi Azizi and Melissa thanks for your replies.

I was wondering if "Red apple Juice" symbolizes the lover's (usually a woman and I'll use the song sung by a man for this example) sexual fluids or even love.

Basically saying "I've got no use for you now" which is regecting the lover's sexuality which is represented by "red apple juice."

So he leaves her and "rocking the cradle" either refers to his child or "rocking the cradle" also refers to the sex act (ask Billy Idol).

"Being laid in the shade" to me means: "murdering and burying" the lover.

"Take you to your Mama next payday" means: send you home becasue I can't deal with you anymore.

Anymore ideas?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Melissa
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 03:23 AM

Richie:
In the version I'm familiar with, he sings "tell it to your mama next payday" It's pretty clearly a "I've had enough of this and I'm getting out of here" song in that version.

I thought of the juice/fluids thing..and decided maybe it was an unladylike train of thought. I guess if you wanted to, you could use the apple and pull it into an Adam/Eve thing--but, that's stretching it quite a bit.

Why are you trying to unravel meanings for a song that seems to consist of floaters? Is it a semi-scholarly undertaking, or purely for your own amusement?

How does the loose storyline/progression compare to the "Nobody but the Baby" song from Oh Brother?
I think you'd be able to find several songs in the DT that have a rocking chair in them somewhere--might be able to come up with a symbology that fits if you compared them?
There might be some red apples in there too.

You've reminded me that I like to sing "Red Rocking Chair" I'd forgotten all about it.
Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 08:12 AM

Why are you trying to unravel meanings for a song that seems to consist of floaters? Is it a semi-scholarly undertaking, or purely for your own amusement?
-Melissa

I know Melissa, that you asked Richie, and not me. But since Richie asked questions about this song, I've been interested in trying to "unravel" meanings for that song. I like to do that for other songs and rhymes. I like doing it and I think that it's important for professional "scholars" to seek out and respectfully consider the imput of "regular people"-particularly those people who may have a feel for, connection with, or understanding of the culture from which the song composer came.

That said, I thought about the red apple juice/woman's fluids connection, but maybe its just my sensibilities that make me automatically reject that theory as being too yucky. In other words, that theory might be right, but it doesn't feel right to me, and maybe that's because I don't a cultural context where the connection of red apple juice that you drink with a woman's menses wouldn't be considered yucky. I'm assuming that this song came out of an African American culture of the late nineteenth or early 20th century. I've never lived in that culture, but am assuming that folks then might also find that connection to be "distasteful" [sorry for the images that pun might cause}.

**

I don't believe that "laid in the shade" means that the singer {a man} killed his woman and buried her. I continue to atand by my previously stated belief that "laid in the shade" refers to the woman being able to relax {lay down} in the shade [meaing outside in a yard] instead of working backbreaking jobs outside or indoors.
"I got it made in the shade" and "I got it made in the shade where the sun don't shine" are familiar [to me] phrases that may be of African American origin. For people who are used to working long hours outside with the harsh sun shining down on them {or can relate to their ancestors being forced to do that-for instance because they were picking rows and rows of cotton all the live long day} to be able to lay in the shade was a real luxury. Therefore, "I got it made in the shade" or "laid in the shade" as in the song whose meaning we're trying to "unravel", could refer to this relaxed, worry-free state of being, even if the person wasn't actually laying or planning to lay outside in a shady spot.

All that to say that I very much reject the theory that the singer plans to kill his woman and send her body back to her mama. Recall that this song was probably composed by an African American man during a time when a lot of Black people were moving from the South for work in the big cities of the North or the Midwest. People who left home and landed jobs would "send for" other members of their families and for their women to come join them. But if these relatives-and particularly if these lovers/spouses-didn't do well, they could be threatened with or actually be sent back home by the ones who paid the money for them to get to that location in the first place. I know there are other blues songs whose lyrics refer to sending for a woman or another family member and/or sending them back home to mama. My mind just won't let me come up with examples right now, but I know that such examples are out there.

**

With regard to the "Sugar Baby"song that I posted on 14 Mar 08 - 11:48 PM:

It seems to me that the composer was asking himself these questions and then in the next verse answering the questions he raised.

Who'll call me honey?
Who'll call me honey and who'll sing this song?
Who'll rock the cradle when you're gone?
Who'll rock the cradle when you're gone?

I'll rock that cradle
I'll rock that cradle and I'll sing this song
I'll rock the cradle when you're gone
I'll rock the cradle when you're gone

-snip-

Who'll call me honey- The singer realizes that if and when he sends his woman back home to her mama, he not only won't have anyone to call him honey, but he will also have to take care of the kids all by his lone self. I can image the woman saying to the man that knows he won't send her back home because he won't have anybody to call him honey {and-perhaps-she was also alluding to the fact that if she leaves, the man wouldn't have another woman to give him honey-that image is much more acceptable to me than the earlier theory about red apple juice}. Also, I can image that woman using the argument that her man wouldn't send her back home because if he did, who would take care of their children {encapsulated in the question "who would rock the cradle"}. The man knocks down that theory by saying that he'd take care of the children when he sends her back home...As I said in another post to this thread, I think that rock the cradle could mean something sexual. However, in thinking about it further, I'm even more convinced that in the context of this song the "taking care of the kids" meaning fits better than the "having sex" meaning.

I hasten to say that I'm not a prude, really, I'm not! :o)

**

And that mental exercise of trying to unravel that song's meaning was what I consider fun!

Thanks again for providing the opportunity, Richie!


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 08:16 AM

Correction:

In other words, that theory might be right, but it doesn't feel right to me, and maybe that's because I don't know of a cultural context where the connection of red apple juice that you drink with a woman's menses wouldn't be considered yucky.


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 08:22 AM

Ugh, I know that "preview" is supposed to be my friend but I don't like it, and because I don't, sometimes I gotta add these corrections. So here's another one:

"I can image the woman saying to the man that she knows he won't send her back home because he won't have anybody to call him honey..."

**

Any other mistakes of mine will have to fend for themselves.


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Richie
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 09:19 AM

Melissa,


Actually I'm thinking about doing a painting depicting the lyics of this song. I usually include the lyrics in the painting.

And I'm connecting it back to Adam and Eve, the serpent and the red apple, which symbolizes the origin of sin.

There are numerous symbols in this song: the red apple, the red apple juice, a red rocking chair, a baby's cradle, the rejection and seperation of lovers, and the death of a lover.

It's got enough important yet confusing symbols to make a thought provoking painting.

Azizi,

You are certainly are an innovative thinker. I appreciate your concepts and thoughts. I consider Sugar Babe to be a different song. Obviously the lyics floated.

I play two different versions of 'Red Apple Juice' the first version I published two years ago and the second will be published in a different book at some point.


Thanks,

Anyone else?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Melissa
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 05:03 PM

Richie:
Will you include the 'payday' verse in your painting?

It's probably slightly off-topic, but a friend of mine was preparing for her turn at doing Services for Temple, and for some reason she was using a translation dictionary to translate the Torah portion. It happened to be the part about "I am a jealous G-d" and her literal translation turned out to be "I am a red G-d" So, mostly unrelated, but the 'red' part popped into my mind while I was thinking about all that juice and stuff.

Azizi:
You know, that response to me sort of looks like you're implying that I'm disgusting for admitting the possibility of fluids and possibly taking offense at my use of the word 'unravel'.
I asked the 'semi-scholarly/amusement' question out of curiosity and also so I would know whether it was time for me to sit back and read, or whether this was a thread for me to continue posting. I'm not interested in dates...I AM interested in storyline/connections/patterns/history. There would be no need for me to chime in with my bits of random input IF the goal was to find out origins of the song itself. It was not meant in any way as an insult to anyone.


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 05:38 PM

Melissa, I'm sorry that you took my comments that way. I certainly didn't mean them that way.


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Azizi
Date: 16 Mar 08 - 05:43 PM

Oops! I didn't mean to hit submit. I meant to add that in no way did I mean any offense to you, Melissa, or to anyone else by what I wrote about the Red Apple Juice song or by the use of the word "unravel".


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Richie
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 12:17 AM

Melissa,

I doubt I will use the payday verse in the painting. I've already got too many images to coordinate as it is. If I did it would be a scene with a tearful woman left at her mother's as her lover leaves.

We'll see.

Thanks for your imput.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: GUEST,Joseph de Culver City
Date: 17 Mar 08 - 04:13 PM

I probably don't have to preface this by stating: 'this is just a wild guess", but I do so state. It seems to me that lyrics are often obscure when there is a religious cultural taboo or controversy that cannot be expressed without causing some degree of consternation. I wonder if the "red apple juice" could refer to a well-known (but still hotly-debated)event in the book of Genesis which features a man, a woman and an apple (forget the snake, if possible)?

Pace, Josephus


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Richie
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 05:14 PM

Hi,

I finished my painting and did an mp3 of the song singing it and playing guitar:


http://bluegrassmessengers.com.temp.realssl.com/red-apple-juice--version-14-bluegrass-messengers.aspx

The link is under the heading ARTIST.

Hope you like it,

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 09:23 PM

This (in the minor version Richie refs to in his admirable & extensive clickie notes) was the song that the late & much lamented Isla Cameron would always sing at end of her set at Ballads&Blues at the Princess Louise in 1956-7-ish, in teasing defiance of Ewan MacColl's rule about Brits not singing American songs, always smiling roguishly at him the while — he once threatened her at the end with 50 lashes, in a voice more in sorrow than in anger. I sang her version, in her memory, as final track to my Brewhouse record Butter&Cheese&All [BH8904].


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Richie
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 10:04 PM

Hi,

Thanks for letting me know about your experience with the song. I'll look around for Isla Cameron's version. If you have your version I'd liek to include it on my site- if you have an MP3 you can share.

I'm putting a minor version on Youtube and my web-site soon. It's sung by Cari Norris as learned from her grandmother Lily May Ledford. There are several Kentucky versions in minor that I've heard- they are fairly similar.

It's already been video taped but not on youtube yet. It's part of my artwork, live video performances and educational video series I'm doing to promote traditional music.

This is the video I did to teach the song to others:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f2EURMgydk

I'm also doing TAB on my site. The TABs are just handwritten for now.

Richie


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Dec 09 - 10:19 PM

Richie - thank you. Not good at MP3s or dots &c; but if you would care to PM me your steam-mail address, I will gladly send you copy of my Brewhouse record (originally on cassette, but I have had it remastered on to CD as I had run out of all but 2 original copies & more & more of friends I offered to dub for had no longer cassette players).

Best & Happy New Year - Michael


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Mzee Simba
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 01:27 AM

Just thought I'd mention that I followed your link and saw the painting and listened to the recording, and I think they're both very fine! I was a bit surprised that it was a bluegrass site though, since I always think of that song as old-timey, and in my head I hear it as either a two-finger picking or claw-hammer banjo tune.


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Subject: RE: Lyric meaning: Red Apple Juice
From: Richie
Date: 29 Dec 09 - 10:04 AM

Hi,

Thanks. Most of the paintings in my Bluegrass Series are of old-timey songs. Many old-time songs of the Monroe Brothers or Stanley Brothers have become bluegrass standard songs.

I'll post the old-time banjo version soon.

Richie


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Subject: Lyr Add: SUGAR BABY (Dock Boggs)
From: GUEST,BMG
Date: 26 Aug 10 - 02:41 PM

I think Red Rocking Chair becomes Red Apple Juice because of the rhyme with "I've got no use..."

The Dock Boggs version of this song makes it most clear, this is a song about a prostitute. He is paying for sex. In another version the rounder steals his money and he can't afford to have sex, leading to his further frustration.

"Laid her in the shade, gave her every dime I made"

"And I can't make a living with you"

Red Rocking Chair, Red Apple Juice etc are euphemisms for sex. Rocking in the first half of the 20th century almost always eludes to Moses on the rock where he sees Israel, and simultaneously means the sex act. It is a common double entendre in blues and later became a music genre name (see Sister Rosetta Tharpe "Rock Me"). Not the first American music genre named after something sexual: Jass.

The banjo as we know was originally an instrument invented by african slaves in America, we know that Dock Boggs followed around an African American named "Go Lightning" to learn his picking style, there is no reason the sexual double entendre style didn't make it into bluegrass, country etc.

SUGAR BABY (Dock Boggs, traditional)

Sugar Baby

Oh I've got no sugar baby now
All I can do is to seek peace with you
And I can't get along this a-way
Can't get along this a-way

All I can do, I've said all I can say
I'll send it to your mama next payday
Send you to your mama next payday.

I got no use for the red rockin' chair,
I've got no honey baby now
Got no sugar baby now

Who'll rock the cradle, who'll sing the song
Who'll rock the cradle when I'm gone
Who'll rock the cradle when I'm gone?
I'll rock the cradle, I'll sing the song
I'll rock the cradle when you gone.

It's all I can do
It's all I can say,
I will send you to your mama next payday

Laid her in the shade, give her every dime I made
What more could a poor boy do
What more could a poor boy do?

Oh I've got no honey baby now
Got no sugar baby now

Said all I can say, I've done all I can do
And I can't make a living with you


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