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Lyr Req: Lyrics for Rex Griffin 'Ready to Reform'

Irthlingz 30 Mar 24 - 08:06 PM
Irthlingz 30 Mar 24 - 08:42 PM
Joe Offer 06 Apr 24 - 05:13 PM
cnd 07 Apr 24 - 06:16 PM
Joe Offer 07 Apr 24 - 06:31 PM
cnd 09 Apr 24 - 09:54 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Lyrics for Rex Griffin 'Ready to Reform'
From: Irthlingz
Date: 30 Mar 24 - 08:06 PM

I'm getting most of it, but in the third verse there's a line ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ae0bRnTVNPE

I got in jail on Christmas day
Too much gin and wine
I think I'm 'bout ready to obey the laws
If get free then I'll believe in Santa Claus
I mean, I'm ready to reform.

There's just one thing I'm thankful for
I've got no bills to pay
But the fleas and the cooties sure bite hard
I done quit scratchin' cause I'm too darn tired
I mean, I'm ready to reform.

Man in his BVDs goin' down the street
No hat on his head, no shoes on his foot
You oughta seen them women ???
I thought I heard 'em say, "What kind of man is that?"
I mean, I'm ready to reform.

Some sellin' whiskey, some sellin' beer
Some sellin' gin and wine
Some sellin' peaches to support their man
In fact some sellin' everything they can
I mean, I'm ready to reform.

When I get out of this calaboose
Gonna lay off beer and wine
I used to think water's made to wash your face
But that's all I'll be drinkin' when I leave this place
I mean, I'm ready to reform.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lyrics for Rex Griffin 'Ready to Reform'
From: Irthlingz
Date: 30 Mar 24 - 08:42 PM

It seems this is a variant of "The Panic Is On"

https://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=4590

and the last part of that line would be "in their flats" - which I guess means "in their apartments"?

And here's a version that has "curvin' in they flat"
https://20thcenturyhistorysongbook.com/song-book/the-great-depression/the-great-economic-disaster/

Which is similar to what's in "I'm Ready to Reform". But what does
"curving" mean here?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lyrics for Rex Griffin 'Ready to Reform'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Apr 24 - 05:13 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lyrics for Rex Griffin 'Ready to Reform'
From: cnd
Date: 07 Apr 24 - 06:16 PM

Here's how I hear it:

No hat on his head, no shoes on his feet
You oughta seen them women curling in their flats

My first thought was that flats could also be a type of shoe -- as opposed to high heels.

A second guess is that they're curling with excitement/anticipation/laughter in their apartments (as you suggested) at the idea of a man walking in public in his underwear. But I don't like this line of thought because this is a western song, where most people wouldn't be thinking of apartment flats. However, the original was by Hezekiah Jenkins, an obscure singer who seems to have traveled predominantly around the south, southwest, and midwest, but did have a stint in NYC, especially around the time the song came out. He was best known as a minstrel performer (link).

The third, most likely guess (in my opinion, at least) that I thought of is that it's describing women using curlers to get their hair to curl in an attempt to look nice, either an attempt to to woo the garbless man or look nice for their husbands who aren't yet home.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lyrics for Rex Griffin 'Ready to Reform'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Apr 24 - 06:31 PM

Thanks, CND. Anyone else have corrections to add? I'll keep this as a "lyrics request" thread for a while. Anyone who'd like to can post a complete transcription with all the suggested changes. If it's good, I'll rename this to an ADD thread.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lyrics for Rex Griffin 'Ready to Reform'
From: cnd
Date: 09 Apr 24 - 09:54 AM

On another listen, I think he does say "curving" rather than curling. Not any closer to divining a definition, I'm afraid.


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