They Didn’t Use Words Like That In My Day

I write lyrics fast.

Always have done.

The words pouring out of me at an alarming rate.

Whether this just comes randomly, or I’m making myself do it in a room full of musicians hungry for some kind of structure.

Consequently, I’ve written a lot of song lyrics down the years.

A great pile I’ve had to spend some hours rewriting, tweaking- once I’ve started singing and the true testing begins.

These are all the ones for the Devil’s Jukebox.

Most of them are completely original, a few have kept some lyrics from the original numbers – as nearly all our songs are adaptations of material from the 1920s and 1930s, and some have melodies so famous that changing the chorus would jar on the ear. Of course, the ones I’ve not changed at all, I’ve not transcribed here.  

When they have remained largely or wholly the same in just the chorus, then I’ve always tried to bring a fresh perspective to the song in the verses.

I’ve also fought hard when adapting those original songs to honour the level of depravity that was present in a lot of songs at the time  - I hate the white-washing of the past, the idea that it was a world of white picket fences and homogenous family-friendliness, and hope I’ve managed to walk the line between celebrating ribaldry and excising any of the morally offensive gubbins that can lurk in the corners of some vintage material. If there is any offense to be taken, it’s in the outlook of a few of the protagonists I’ve created- a clue: if I’m singing a song which has a dwarf in it and I use the word ‘midget’- a non-scientific, offensive slang term, then that’s a hint the narrator in the song is going to be a jerk! A lot of my protagonists are dubious individuals- there are pimps, charlatans and hucksters galore, but a lot of nice guys who just love to swear, too. Foul language and prurience really has nothing to do with a lack of human decency, or a respect of sexual equality- well, that’s what I’ve always firmly f**king believed, ladies and gents and anyone else who cares to listen. Having said that I've also developed, as we've played more family friendly events,

a whole panoply of substitute lyrics for venues and audiences that are more faint of heart - the ones below being the unexpurgated versions.

Anyway, hope you enjoy reading these, and if there’s any reference that puzzles- because there is an awful lot of high-falutin’ literary stuff I’ve tried to hide,

in what are basically three minute popular songs about screwing and drinking, then I guess you could ask me?

Either that or write it on a postcard and send it to Istanbul, I’ve heard that it’s lovely this time of year...

 

 

AIN’T THE WAY

That ain’t the way to do it, you know you shouldn’t do it,

If you’re gonna do it that way

Well you can shuffle and squawk, you can talk, talk, talk

You know there’ll be hell to pay

Well you can tell me not to stick it in,

But my big old nose is gonna do it again

 

That ain’t the way to do it, you know you shouldn’t do it,

If you’re gonna do it that way, I mean,

 If you’re gonna do it that way.

Well, Willie the weasel, he came from Chicago

We all wondered what he’s doing round here

The preacher, the teacher, even less savoury creatures,

Wouldn’t let their daughters go near

So, Willie put his sister out on the street

Now she’s so bow-legged she can’t make ends meet

 

Well, that ain’t the way to do it, you know you shouldn’t do it,

If you’re gonna do it that way

Sweet Miss Daisy was an awful nice lady, but she never had a beau… no romance

Still, she sure looked sweet from her head to her feet

In a three-piece suit and a battered chapeau

Still, she must have loved fashion, the way she looked girls up and down

All I ever seen her give a man was a frown

 

That’s the way to do it, if you’re gonna do it

If you wanna do it that way

Pig Bodine, he came out of the Navy, full of tall tales of the sea

His wife took a knife, said “I’ll take your life

If you don’t stop that tomfoolery…”

She said now “I’m accommodating to a lot of different stunts

But only on my back boy, and not on my front…

 

That ain’t the way to do it, you know you shouldn’t do it,

If you’re gonna do it that way I mean, you know you shouldn’t do it that way…”

A TALE OF SAINT MARHER

And so, I was dreaming again that I was rowing past the first floor of the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, beating oars

 To a blue rhythm, a slow drag, where many years before I’d sweated shifting scenery…

When past the stage door came floating by the thunder sheet, a huge sliver of crashing tin

That we’d hung up on the rafters to stir up amongst the wind

The sound of storm’s bellow, the rumble and the roar,

For that Scottish play without a name and that damn bird ever crying “Never more…”

In a voice that sounded like a twisted crow

That had sold both its wings for the promise of snow,

In a sweltering heat that ebbed and flowed, but never abated in the endless rain,

As the waters swelled higher, bleeding oil and tar, higher, higher again, still…

‘Till, I wondered, if inside the theatre’s walls, the rackety clackety wheel

Of the hand-cranked wind machine was bobbing loose beneath that swell,

And perhaps you could swim down, down, down, through that dirty roiling hell

Of muddy tears, old tin boxes and ticket stubs and pull against the tide,

Where once the usherette named Pearl cut the gloom with a torch’s lidless eye…

And grasp the handle, turn the wheel back, back from windward, and raise the dead alive,

Steal that promise of endless bad weather that we’d stirred up with our lies,

The ball bearings that we’d rolled ‘cross canvas to make pounding, pounding, mule-kicking rain,

The trick with jelly roll, corn starch and baking tray that had seemed at first insane,

But made you swear you could see footsteps appearing in snow,

On the hottest, cruellest month in Mississippi that records had ever shown…

Each and every performance we gave, from the last to the first,

Ferrying a subtle incantation, laughter in the dark, a mariner’s curse,

That snaked across the orchestra pit and wound its wicked way

Through the lips of every strutter, in every single play…

Can you hear it with your one good ear?

What is that noise, what is that noise now? Ma Ruin or the wind?

Whistling through the violet hour like the tune’s something you could sing…

When the rusty moon wears the face of a bloated corpse and bird’s throats grow dry with fear,

Melancholic desperation,

 The murmur of lamentation, the lament of murmuration…

The sky burned black with beating wings,

With all those invocations from which we can’t escape,

The words left unspoken so we cannot take them back,

The footsteps that we can’t unmake, white powder turned to black,

The truth that feels much more the lie than anything we’ve faked,

The nights spent chasing rivers at the bottom of a lake,

Where once there was time for redemption, and now we’re just too late…

Every day so long until they’re gone, that thirst for end that we dreamt would never, ever, ever be slaked,

Yet, still… the levee has to break.

And time and tide waits for no man, from that we can’t awake…

And so I was dreaming past the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, beating oars to a blue rhythm, a slow drag…

BALLAD OF CALICO JONES

Once there was time for redemption, once there was whisky and wine

Once there was a crossroads, now just the end of the line.

And I’m sawing the trees with a femur, I’m digging up Calico Jones

They gave me their prayers and a Davey lamp, and then they took all of my clothes

Out in the pines there are whispers, out in the pines there is fear

They gave me until tomorrow, they gave me the tip of my ear

 

In a box, a box, an old tin box

How rusty the hinges, how rusty the lock

That holds the relic that lies there in state

Whispering sweet nothings, telling my fate

 

Well, once there was time for dancing, once there was time for love

I once stole a child from the circus, well, that’s what I thought he was-

But have you ever seen a twelve-inch pianist dragged away from his old baby grand?

Well he wasn’t the world’s tallest midget, least till he did a handstand

Upside down like Houdini, his feet peering over the grave

His head way below the daisies and I’m using him just like a spade

 

On a box, a box, an old wooden box

How rusty the nails, how rusty the socks

Of poor Calico Jones as he lies there in state

Whispering sweet nothings, telling my fate

 

I can’t hear him, I can’t hear him, no, no, no matter how hard I try

With the ear that’s attached to my head, but the other one hears him just fine

 

In a box, a box, an old tin box

How rusty the hinges, how rusty the lock

That holds the relic that lies there in state

Whispering sweet nothings, telling my fate

(Repeat x 4)

 

 

CIRCUS LOVE

You know I’m Bobo Bolinsky, I hammer the stake

Though no amount of bravado will dream her awake

‘Neath the torn candy stripe of the big top tent

As hot faces shine in malcontent

You know I treasure my dear these charming wedding gifts

Love’s such a cunning mesmerist

Still a man like me’s big enough to resist

You can’t swallow my pride in the palm of your fist

 

In a freak show, circus love,

In the sawdust, confetti, the screams and the blood

She’s just a three-ring show, human porcupine

And in come the midgets just to fill in time…

in time!

 

Ten to two surrender, her arms stretch back

She’s a blank clock, a face that’s all cracks

Higher than the skin on the pachyderm’s sack

‘Till the lolling tongue and the fade to black

 

In a freak show, circus love,

Sawdust confetti, the screams and the blood

You’re just a three-ring show, human porcupine

And in come the midgets just to fill in time…

X2

 

 

 

COUNTRY GAL

Country gal, country gal, I love my little country, my little country gal

I love my little country, my little country girl.

 

Ass and a mule, ass and a mule, she got a big old ass, and a stubborn mule

I don’t ride that mule but her ass I surely do

 

Going to a hoedown, sweet lord I’m going to a ho…

I’m going to a ho way down in Natchez town

I’m a rambling man but I’d never leave my little country gal.

 

Country gal, country gal, I love my little country, my little country gal

I love my little country, my little country girl.

 

CRAZY GAL

Ever since I met you, honey, can’t you see,

 you done put your voodoo on me,

I love you, crazy gal, I love you crazy gal

 

Like a lush loves the low life and gin sure loves vermouth,

Like an Alabama mama’s boy loves his one last tooth

I love you, crazy gal, I love you crazy gal

 

Like the devil loves the sinner and the sin,

Like a preacher loves Saint Peter, if he lets him in

I love you, crazy gal, I love you, crazy gal

 

So, take my heart, it’s tattered and torn

Take my hand and put in somewhere warm

I love you, crazy gal, I love you, crazy gal

 

Like a tea head loves the weed with roots in hell

Like the girls on Bourbon Street, sure love their well, well, well

I love you, crazy gal, I love you, crazy gal

 

So, take me down to Maryland and swing me from a bough,

Cover me in lukewarm pitch and tie me to a cow

I love you, crazy gal, I love you, crazy gal

 

DREAMING IN BLUE

I’m dreaming, dreaming in blue

Dreaming of you, just driftin’ out to sea

I’m dreaming, drifting along, singing this song

Drifting out to sea

 

Well I know that the moon above is just a rusty tub (tug- 2nd time),

And I know all the stars that shine are just like jellyfish in a cold cold brine

I’m dreamin’, drifting along

Dreaming and drifting

Drifting out to sea

X2

EVERYBODY LOVES MY BABY

Rhinestone dreams and bitter hacks, soft shoe shuffle stage door quacks

Another shot of saccharine, the Sandman’s on his way

In puncture marks and silken hose, up on the ledge half comatose

Why scream to grab the headlines baby, when you’re finer than Fay Wray… Hey!

Everybody loves my baby, but my baby don’t love nobody but me,

Nobody but me,

Everybody needs my baby, but my baby don’t need nobody but me,

That’s plain to see.

When baby takes me in her arms it’s opiated bliss

To tango off this mortal coil with one last steely kiss, yes, yes, yes…

Everybody loves my baby, but my baby don’t love nobody but me,

nobody but me…

Everybody needs my baby, but my baby don’t need nobody but me,

That’s plain to see.

Eight floors up she’s tapping out a Broadway melody, suicliding down the edge

of sweet mortali-teeheehee

Everybody loves my baby, but my baby don’t love nobody but me,

nobody but me…

 

EVERYBODY’S DRINKING

Everybody’s drinking & f**king, sucking that liquor & f**king,

Drinking, f**king, everybody’s doing it now hey, hey, hey…

Everybody’s drinking & f**king, sucking that liquor & f**king,

Drinking, f**king, everybody’s doing it now

 

Well I gave my niece just a little nip, ‘cos she likes her liquor swell

I can’t tell you what else I gave her, ‘cos they’d lock me up in jail, well…

 

Everybody’s drinking & f**king, sucking that liquor & f**king,

Drinking, f**king, everybody’s doing it now…

Sister Sarah’s in the choir, she loves to moan and wail

I can’t tell you what else she loves, but we’re both going hell, well…

 

Everybody’s drinking & f**king, sucking that liquor & f**king,

Drinking, f**king, everybody’s doing it now…

 

From the west coast to the east coast, it’s a righteous stroke of luck,

That all those young girls love to yell, “Daddy let’s get drunk & f**k, yeah…”

Everybody’s drinking & f**king, sucking that liquor & f**king,

Drinking and f**king and licking and sucking and everybody’s doing it now, hey!

 

FOOTSTEPS IN THE HALL

​Waiting for those footsteps in the hall, waiting for those footsteps in the hall,

Midnight’s come and gone, I can hear the nightjar’s song, and

I’m waiting for those footsteps in the hall

 

I can hear her laughter in the dark, I swear I hear her laughter in the dark,

I can smell the summer rain, hear her calling out his name

I can hear her laughter in the dark

 

I buried my boy on Xmas Day, I buried my boy on Xmas Day

My wife followed in the spring… And I couldn’t do a damned thing

And I’m waiting for those footsteps in the hall

GILDED CAGE TANGO

Sailors serenade the sin-soaked sidewalk, neon fizzes in a red cascade

As fiery Conchita turns to smoke ‘neath the marquee of ‘The Gilded Cage’

Behind that door with the diamond window, the cabaret recklessly reels

As Tokyo Slim sips pink champagne from Fifi’s rhinestone cha-cha heels

 

In her top hat and cat-o-nine tails, she does the Tijuana tango

And the seven veils

You can see it all in the heat of the night

It ain’t illegal, just a trick of the light…

 

Olympia Mounts does her double act,

If she weren’t so statuesque, she’d surely break her back

And when she unsnaps that snap, she’s tattooed from Beaver Creek

To regions yet unmapped

 

In her top hat and cat-o-nine tails, she does the Tijuana tango

And the seven veils

You can see it all in the heat of the night,

It ain’t illegal just a trick of the light

X2

 

Old Mother Nietzsche cracks the whip, with ostrich feathers at her hip

But it’s a Judas in drag, apocalipstick kiss, and every trick sure sticks with a twist

 

In her top hat and cat-o-nine tails, she does the Tijuana tango

And the seven veils

You can see it all in the heat of the night,

It ain’t illegal… yeah right!

GLAD WHEN YOU’RE DEAD

Well, I’ll be glad when you’re dead, you lousy bum

Glad when you’re dead you lousy bum

You think that you got class, you can kiss my country ass

I’ll be glad when you’re dead, you lousy bum

 

Well, I’ll be glad when you’re dead, you lousy bum

Glad when you’re dead you lousy bum

You give numbskulls a bad name, with that thing you call a brain

I’ll be glad when you’re dead, you lousy bum

 

Bury ‘em, Jim

I’ll be glad when you’re dead you f**king hump!

I’ll be glad when you’re dead you f**king hump!

You and your crew of bitches

Are gonna be sleepin’ with the fishes

I’ll be glad when you’re dead you f**king hump!

 

I said now, f**k you, f**k you, f**k you, f**you, f**k you, f**k you, f** you f**k you, f**ck… you… f**k you, f**k you, Arrrgh…

I’ll be glad when you’re dead you motherhumper

I’ll be glad when you’re dead you motherhumper

You lousy two-bit prick

Ho, schmo, bastard ball licking, co*k sucking, shit-biscuit finger-dick

I’ll be glad when you’re dead you mother-f**ker

Oh kiss my ass…

 

 

Gods At The Helm

God’s at the helm, Devil’s in the boiler-room

God’s at the helm, Devil’s in the boiler-room

I’m gonna gild my morphine, sink that ship real soon

I’m gonna tie one off, slip right over the side

I’m gonna tie one off, slip right over the side

And when the bubbles come up, then you know I’m fried.

I’m going down down, down down

Down down down down

Down down down down

Lord, Lord Lord I’m Davey Jones bound

Going down, going down

God’s at the helm, and the Devil’s in the boiler-room

God’s at the helm, and the  Devil’s in the boiler-room

I’m gonna gild my morphine, sink that ship real soon…

 

 

HEY PRETTY MOMMA

Hey pretty momma when you shake that thing, Lordy Lordy Lord

Hey pretty momma when you shake that thing, Lordy Lordy Lord

When you wear that dress, the sun shine through

Lord have mercy, what the Lord gave you

Hey pretty momma when you shake that thing, Lordy Lordy Lord

 

Hey pretty momma when you shake that thing, Lordy Lordy Lord

Hey pretty momma when you shake that thing, Lordy Lordy Lord

It ain’t your gumbo, your rice and peas

It’s that hot jelly-roll brought me to my knees

Hey pretty momma when you shake that thing, Lordy Lordy Lord

Now shake it!

 

Hey pretty momma when you shake that thing, Lordy Lordy Lord

Hey pretty momma when you shake that thing, Lordy Lordy Lord

When you do the ‘Black Bottom’ or the ‘Boston Bend’

 I can see you smilin’ at both ends

Hey pretty momma when you shake that thing, Lordy Lordy Lord

 

Hey pretty momma when you shake that thing, Lordy Lordy Lord

Hey pretty momma when you shake that thing, Lordy Lordy Lord

You can burn my biscuits, bust my broom

As long as I get my boom, boom, boom

Hey pretty momma when you shake that thing, Lordy Lordy Lord

I mean, Lordy Lordy Lord!

 

HOODOO WIGGLE

Had me a gal she sure could shake, like an old jalopy without no brakes

Lord have mercy built like a truck, and all she ever wanted to do was…

That Hoodoo Wiggle, she do the Hoodoo Wiggle

The Hoodoo Wiggle ‘till the meat shake off her bones.

 

Had me a gal so damn small, likes it in the kitchen and in the hall

Likes it best up against the wall, even though she’s only four feet tall

She do that Hoodoo Wiggle, the Hoodoo Wiggle

Do the Hoodoo Wiggle ‘till her feet don’t touch the floor

Let’s wiggle it…

 

Had me a gal about 18. She was sweet, but the judge was mean

Told me, “Son, you’re gonna get life for taking my daughter as your ‘wife’”

Do the Hoodoo Wiggle, the Hoodoo Wiggle

The Hoodoo Wiggle put me where I am.

 

 Got me a gal about six foot three, met her in the state penitentiary

One day soon she’s gonna marry me, won’t somebody set me free

From doin’ the Hoodoo Wiggle, the Hoodoo Wiggle

Don’t wanna do that goddam wiggle no more, no more…

 

HUSTLER’S BLUES

Here come the blues, blues knockin’ on my door

Here come the blues, blues knockin’ on my door

My baby come back home ‘bout a quarter to four

She said, “Come on sugar poppa, come on let me in,

Got you plenty lovin’, won’t you let me sin?”

I said “Hold up pretty momma, what you knockin’ for? Get your ass back in that street, don’t you know what that thing’s for? Sure, shake your money maker…”

 

Here come the blues, blues knockin’ on my door

Here come the blues, blues knockin’ on my door

My baby come back home way after four

She said, “Come on sugar poppa, come on let me in,

Got you plenty dollar and a bottle of good gin…”

I said “Hold up pretty momma, what you knockin’ for? Get your ass back in here, your Daddy ain’t mad no more… Sure ‘Nuff.”

 

​JUDGEMENT DAY BLUES

Autumn came early, Summer came late

Bank’s got a plan called leavin’ it to fate

I said, how long do I have to pray,

Am I gonna get what’s coming ‘fore the Judgement day?

 

A nickel is a nickel, a rich man’s a liar

The eagle on your dollar’s just a bird on a wire

I said, how long do I have to pray,

Are we gonna get what’s coming ‘fore the Judgement day?

 

One nation under God, indivisible and free- but

Someone’s digging my potatoes and it sure as hell ain’t me

I said, how long do we have to pray,

I wanna get what’s coming ‘fore the Judgement day?

 

One man, one vote, one Devil and one deep

Justice sure is seasick and Liberty she weeps

I said, how long do we have to pray,

Will we get what’s coming ‘fore the Judgement day?

  

So, ‘till the blood runs like gold in the coffers of the damned

And every man gets forty acres that ain’t built on shiftin’ sand

I said, how long do will we have to wait,

They gonna get what’s coming ‘fore the Judgement day!

KING OF THE KAZOO

I am the King of the Kazoo, you wanna blow me? Join the queue

From here to Kalamazoo, I am the King of the Kazoo

And I’m a low down syncopator, a hoodoo voodoo fakir

Hadacol is my Lord and Saviour, set ‘em up, I’ll pay you later

 

I am the King, the King, the King of the Kazoo

And there is nuttin’ nuttin’ nuttin’ you can do

When to your ear I glue, this big big big big big big big kazzoo

 

LET’S GET DRUNK & F**K

Met a young girl just the other day, tried to woo her the old fashioned way,

You should have heard just what she says, she said, “Let’s get drunk & f**k”

She said, “Now Daddy, don’t you flip your wig,

Don’t want romance that’s just a trick

Don’t want the rose, just want the prick…”

she said, “Let’s get drunk & f**k”

They don’t beat around the bush no more, they just jump right in,

 Get covered in sin, roll around the floor

I took her home, it weren’t that far, bur could she wait to get out the car?

Took my hand put it under her bra and said, “Let’s get drunk and f**k…”

 

Ever since she was a baby child, she knew one day she’d be awfully wild,

She said, “Don’t stop poppa, you’ll get me riled… let’s get drunk & f**k.”

In the cloisters of her all girl’s school, at lights out she weren’t nobody’s fool

You could scream with no respect for the rules, “Let’s get drunk & f**k!”

Now she don’t eat around that bush no more, she just jump right in,

Get covered in sin, roll around the floor

Now she’s full-grown she can’t decide if she likes her men skinny or four feet wide,

She knows she don’t care if they’re circumcised,

Let’s get drunk & f**k!

 

Staggered out her car at quarter to four, She said, “I’m bowlegged but I still want more,

You can come in, but use the back door… Let’s get drunk & f**k”

When I woke up I was all alone ‘till I answered the telephone,

Lord I picked up the receiver and I heard her moan, “Let’s get Drunk & f**k” Now she said,

“You’re not like those other matadors,

They just jump right in, get covered in sin, roll around the floor…

In the mornin’, in the afternoon, by the light of the silvery moon,

If you don’t come quick, you can come back soon…

Let’s get drunk and f**k!”

 

​IT’S TRUE

​Like a lullaby or an alibi, it’s true, so true

Like a secret shared or a soul that’s bared, so true… so nearly true

And in a universe that is so absurd, where the things we say aren’t what we do

Take my hand my dear, dance away the fear, it’s nearly true, so true

 

Life’s a cruelty of sweet ecstasy, it’s true, so true

When every day’s so long, at least ‘till you’re gone

It’s true so true

And in a universe that is so absurd that the things we say aren’t what we do

Take my hand my dear, wipe away a tear, it’s true, so true

 

And in a universe that is just a curse, where the things we say aren’t what we do

Take my hand my dear, dance away the fear, it’s nearly true, so true

 

And in a universe that slips from bad to worse where the things we say are what we do,

Take my hand my dear, wipe away a tear, it’s true, so true

LIQUOR & SIN

Liquor & sin my whole life, liquor & sin my whole life,

Gin joints and honkytonks and wild, wild women

Liquor & sin my whole life,

 

I got the tears of Mary, I got the blood of Christ

I got the blessed waters of paradise

I got the holy spirit 100 proof

I’m gonna dance buck naked on the churchhouse roof

I’m gonna baptise my spirit in wine wine wine-

Spo-dee-o-dee ‘till the mission bell chime,

Speaking in tongues sure give me the Tallahassee Blues

Kick off my Sunday shoes

 

Once I was lost, now I’m found, once I was lost, now I’m found,

Oh I wish you had left me back in the gutter…

With liquor & sin my whole life

 

Oh give me sin, Lord give me sin, Lord give me sin my whole life

Give me cigarettes and whisky and wild, wild women give me sin my whole life

Lord give me sin, Lord give me sin, Lord give me sin my whole life

I’ll take my sister for my wife, give me sin my whole life

Give me sin my whole life!

MISSISSIPPI CATHOUSE BLUES

When all alone, you pine and moan, feeling blue, and love is just a faded memory

There’s place that you can go to lift your soul, somewhere you can find some company…

 

Way down on the Delta, just where the crossroads meet

You can smell that jasmine, oh so very sweet

Folks come for miles around, they’re having a ball

You can hear Ma Ruin shout “Come one, come all!”

 

Grab that old piano, light another fat cigar

Put your money on the table, just like your dear Papa

I got a feeling I can’t lose, the Devil in my shoes

When I get those Mississippi cathouse blues

X2

 

​​​​MR BLUES

They call me Mr Blues, though some other names have been used,

Roll the dice, I don’t think twice, hell what else can you do?

I’ll never settle down, Lord I’m always ramblin’ around

Born to be a wild one, nobody’s baby child Ma’am

They call me Mr Blues

 

They call me Mr Blues, ain’t just the pills I abuse

Up all night, folks say it ain’t right, hell what can they do?

Down by the levee, I sleep in my grand-pappy’s Chevy

I get an urge to roam when I hear that whistle moan

And I’m long gone Mr Blues

 

They call me Mr Blues, heads I win, tails you lose,

I tear it up, with Lady Luck, I don’t give a skipbopdebopdabopbop,

Out beneath the stars, face down in the swankiest of bars,

Home’s both near and far when you’re born in a box-car

They call me Mr Blues

 

OLD NICKELODEON

Who put the poison in the red cherry wine?

The Shadow knows, but he’s forgot his lines

With a hook and a claw, a sock full o’ dimes

Don’t whisper his name ‘cos that’s the secret sign

Lord have mercy it’s Old Nickelodeon

He walks with a limp, but is it his own?

Goes to sleep when you wake, sleeps on a bed of bones

The truth’s just a pimp for the lies he’s sown,

Behind your eyelids where you lay your home

I said now, Lord have mercy it’s Old Nickelodeon

 

Lucky strikes up the band, you’re sure feelin’ fine, fine, fine

But it’s all smoke and mirrors, open-mouthed mime

You can’t fight it, it’s just your time,

You got a face that fits, though it ain’t your crime

Lord have mercy it’s Old Nickelodeon’s

 

His eyepatch is rusty, his suit’s made of lint,

His matches are wet and his monocle squints

It’s a terrible wig or a worse looking tint

But on days with a ‘Y’ that boy can’t take a hint,

I say now, Lord have mercy it’s Old Nickelodeon

PIG MEAT MAN

​Lord, I’m the Pig Meat Man, pig meat for sale,

Lord, I’m the Pig Meat Man, pig meat for sale

I’ve got hocks and chitlins in this here sack,

But it’s my pig meat sausage keeps ‘em coming back

I’m the Pig Meat Man, pig meat for sale

 

Lord, I’m the Pig Meat Man, pig meat for sale

Lord, I’m the Pig Meat Man, pig meat for sale

Sell it by the pound, sell it on the bone,

I come round in the day when your sweet daddy ain’t home

I’m the Pig Meat Man, pig meat for sale

 

Lord, I’m the Pig Meat Man, pig meat for sale

Lord, I’m the Pig Meat Man, pig meat for sale

Some of them grunt, some of them squeal

I don’t care, long as they pay their bill

I’m the Pig Meat Man, pig meat for sale

 

RAMBLIN’ MAN

I got to go where the road takes me, Lord I’m a ramblin’ man

Out on the lone and level sea, Lord I’m a rambling man

Lord I’m a rambling man

Sailing across the violet sands

Lord I’m a ramblin’ man

Oh Lord I’m a rambling man,

Under the thunder where the river once ran

Lord I’m a rambling man

 

The only shadow that the desert knows

Lord I’m a ramblin’ man

Where all that has passed is but the wind that blows

Lord I’m a ramblin’ man

 

Lord I’m a rambling man

Sailing across the violet sands

Lord I’ma ramblin’ man

Oh Lord I’m a rambling man,

Under the thunder where the river once ran

Lord I’m a rambling man

 

​​​SHANGHAI MESS AROUND

Oh that Shanghai Mess Around, originated way down in Chinatown

When the moon come up, ain’t no lie,

You’re gonna do it, though you don’t know why

Kickin’ the gong in the middle of the night

Just to whet your appetite

 

Then you ease your way into ‘The Golden Duck’,

Like a real tough cookie, with a fortune of luck

Jade green dress, pearl black eyes

Your hands are shaking, not as much as your thighs

Hear that sweet music in your blood,

Like the Yangtse bursting on the Mississippi mud

 

Just behind that red wooden door

There’s an old stone lion with a coin ‘neath its paw

You rub it three times for luck

You wake up on your Ma’s kitchen floor…

In the mornin’

Oh, that Shanghai Mess Around, syncopated way down in Chinatown

Four in the morning comes the rising sun,

                           The rooster’s crowing though you’ve just begun           

Lord have mercy, you’re having a ball

I said now oh, oh, oh you can hear them call,

Shanghai syncopation, makes you do that Mess Around

 

 

SONG OF THE SEA

Yes, I’ve sailed the seven seas senseless

I shook the finger off the monkey’s paw

I’ve roared just like a Kat man du

I’ve even been slung out of Singapore

 

But no matter where I’m bound dear,

Your arms are where I long to be

I’m gonna jump this boat, that’s all she wrote

Lord you better hope this tea-chest floats

‘Cos baby you’re the one for me.

 

Yes, I’ve seen your face in every sunset

And in the bottom of each whisky glass

I’ve wept just like a fool may do

When I’ve thought how much I’ve missed your ass

But no matter where I’m bound dear

Your arms are where I long to be

I’m gonna hold you tight, every night

Consummate our bliss in the pale moonlight

‘Cos baby you’re the one for me

Hotcha!

 

 

ST JAMES INFIRMARY

I went down to St James Infirmary,

With a red hat and a bottle of rye

She was lain out on along white table,

Hallelujah! Here’s blood in your eye.

 

Jezebel, Jezebel God bless you

For all you done done to me

You know there ain’t so many steps in St Louis,

From the whorehouse to the cemetary.

 

So come and wrap her in a wooden kimono,

Paint her like a china doll

With her lips as red as bluebells

And her heart as white as coal

 

I went down to St James Infirmary,

With a red hat and a lock of hair

You know there ain’t so many steps in St Louis,

From the courthouse to the electric chair.

 

SWEET GEORGIA BROWN

​Who blew up the Hindenburg? Sweet Georgia Brown

Who stole that baby from the Lindberghs? Sweet Georgia Brown

Who sailed that ship into an iceberg? Sweet Georgia Brown

That terrible girl, she’s going to hell

Dancing on the tabletops, Sweet Georgia Brown

Mata Hari stole her chops- Sweet Georgia Brown

She’s an anarchist, a regular anti-christ

Lock up your daughters and your wives from…

Sweet Georgia Brown

 

Who stopped Rasputin talking? Sweet Georgia Brown

Who shot that archduke in the Balkans? Sweet Georgia Brown

She’s an anarchist, a regular anti-christ

Lock up your daughters and your wives from…

Sweet Georgia Brown

 

TOMORROW’S ALREADY GONE

​You know, tomorrow’s already gone, tomorrow’s already gone

Sweet regret, grave to manger,

Absinthe makes the heart grow stranger

Intoxicated fools, we reel down those avenues

Painted dreams, faded lives,

Is this hell or paradise?

Who cares if it’s right or it’s wrong?

Tomorrows already gone…

 

You know, tomorrow’s already gone, tomorrow’s already gone

Can’t deny Paris to Persia,

Familiarity sure breeds inertia

Intoxicated fools, we reel down those avenues

Painted dreams, faded lives,

Is this hell or paradise?

You claim this is no swan song?

Tomorrows already gone…

 

 

WHISKY & WOMEN

Whisky & women sure made a mess of me

Whisky & women sure made a mess of me

Lord have mercy, no way I’d rather be

Hey, hey all you young men leave whisky & women be

Hey, hey all you young men leave whisky & women be

Leave ‘em alone, there’s gonna be more for me

 

Like a fox in a henhouse, like a hog at the trough

Like a mule kickin’ in your stall, I just can’t get enough

Whisky & women sure made a mess of me

Lord have mercy, no way I’d rather be

Lord have mercy!

 

Jesus went walkin’ turned water into wine

Jesus went walkin’ turned water into wine

Wine ain’t whisky, he’s sure no friend of mine

 

The Devil went walkin’ she took me by the hand

The Devil went walkin’ she took me by the hand

Down in her crossroads she showed me the promised land

 

Like a fox in a henhouse, like a hog at the trough

Like a mule kickin’ in your stall, I just can’t get enough

Whisky & women sure made a mess of me

Lord have mercy, no way I’d rather be

 

YESTERDAY’S GRAVE

Rum and coke, a twist of lime,

I’m dancin’ with the devil on the edge of a dime

She said, “Hey honey child, what’s your sign?”

You know that kinda question oughtta be a crime

Still I’m doin’ time in her lazy arms

Layin’ down the long stretch with my usual charm

Another day of heartache greasin’ the palms

From here to Gilead you know there ain’t no balm

 

 I said now-

Round and round in circles ain’t no way to be saved

The road of good intentions is all I’ve paved

And when the sun comes up, I’m gonna grab my spade

Dig up tomorrow from yesterday’s grave

 

Dumb and broke, no twist this time

I’m dancing with the angels just for a rhyme

She said “I got the inclination if you got the time…”

I said, “I’d call a cab but I ain’t got a dime.”

Still I’m doing the horizontal mambo

The flamin’ fiery femme fatale fandango

You know, my finger-work’s slicker than Django’s

Ear today and gone tomorrow just like Van Gogh

 

I said now-

Round and round in circles ain’t no way to be saved

The road of good intentions is all I’ve paved

And when the sun comes up, I’m gonna grab my spade

Dig up tomorrow from yesterday’s grave

 

 

YOU MAY WEEP

​I was raised by wolves in a liquor store,

If my Daddy was the Devil, then my Ma weren’t sure

I said now, you may weep, but what’s the point in that?

 

Well, you can bet your bottom dollar when we ride into your town,

We’re gonna raise the dead and burn the firehouse down

I said now, you may weep, but what’s the point in that?

 

I’ll testify, I’ll testify

On my Tijuana Bible, boys, I just can’t lie

I said now, “You may weep, but what’s the point in that.”

X2

 

My heart belongs to Texas, my soul to Tennessee

I met a gal in New Orleans who got the best of me

I said now, you may weep, but what’s the point in that?

 

There’s one born every minute susceptible to jive

Have you got two tens for a five?

I said now, you may weep, but what’s the point in that?

 

I’ll testify, I’ll testify

On my Tijuana Bible, boys I just can’t lie

I said now, you may weep, but what’s the point in that?

X2

 

And that’s your lot!

Looking back at these now, two things strike me. One- I don’t swear as much as I thought I did & Two- I sing the word ‘Lord!’ an awful lot...

So, maybe I should have joined the clergy like I originally intended, after all...

Management & Booking

​Email:  devilsjukebox@hotmail.com

Phone: 07896186293

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