BLUES LYRICS and HOODOO:

SUPPLEMENTARY TRANSCRIPTIONS

from HOODOO IN THEORY AND PRACTICE
by catherine yronwode




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TITLE: Hoodoo Lady
MATRIX NO.: C-1264-1
SINGER: Memphis Minnie (Lizzie Douglas)
COMPOSER(S):
DATE OF REC.: 18 Feb 1936
ORIGINAL ISSUE(S): Vocalion 03222
REISSUE(S): Hoodoo Lady (1933-1937) (Columbia CK-46775); Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1930-1931) (Document DOCD-5029); Me & My Chauffeur 1935-1946 (EPM Musique 158822)
TRANSCRIPTION:
HOODOO LADY
by Memphis Minnie

Hoodoo Lady, how do you do?
They tell me you take a boot and turn it to a brand new shoe
But don't put that thing on me
Don't put that thing on me
Don't put that thing on me
'Cause I'm going back to Tennessee

Hoodoo Lady, you can turn water to wine
I been wondering where have you been all this time
I'm setting here, broke, and I ain't got a dime
You ought to put something in these dukes of mine
But don't put that thing on me
Don't put that thing on me
Don't put that thing on me
'Cause I'm going back to Tennessee

Spoken: Boy, you better watch it 'cause she's tricky.

Hoodoo Lady, I want you to unlock my door
So I can get in and get all my clothes
But don't put that thing on me
Don't put that thing on me
Don't put that thing on me
'Cause I'm going back to Tennessee

Now, look-a here, Hoodoo Lady, I want you to treat me right
Bring my man back home but don't let him stay all night
And don't put that thing on me
Don't put that thing on me
Don't put that thing on me
'Cause I'm going back to Tennessee

Spoken: Boy, she's tricky as she can be. Better watch her, too.

Why, look-a here, Hoodoo Lady, I'm your friend
When you leave this time, come back again
But don't put that thing on me
Don't put that thing on me
Don't put that thing on me
'Cause I'm going back to Tennessee

Spoken: Boys, I'm scared of her!
TRANSCRIBED BY: Paul & Beth Garon in Garon, Paul: Woman with Guitar: Memphis Minnie's Blues, New York: Da Capo Press, 1992, p. 158
Orthographical changes only by Gorgen Antonsson (antonsson.se@mbox304.swipnet.se)

DISCOGRAPHY BY: Gorgen Antonsson (antonsson.se@mbox304.swipnet.se), 14 Sep 1997

PRINTED TRANSCRIPTIONS: Paul & Beth Garon. // In: Garon, Paul: Woman with Guitar: Memphis Minnie's Blues, New York: Da Capo Press, 1992, p. 158

COMMENTS BY CAT: Although "that thing" is never named, the idiomatic phrase "don't put that thing on me" refers to a specific form of conjure in which a hoodoo uses physical means -- generally a powder containing minerals, roots, and herbs -- to curse or jinx the victim, often, specifically, the victim's sex life. See the same phrase in Don't Put That Thing On Me by Cliford Gibson (1927).

FURTHER INFORMATION: The following web pages can be consulted for more details about the topics referenced in this song:
V.1 hoodoo lady (a practitioner)
V.1 - V.5 that thing (conjure)
V.1 - V.5 that thing (a jinx, crossing, mess, or trick)
Sp.1 she's tricky (she lays tricks)


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Individual acknowledgements for transcriptions and discographical data appear on each song-page, but i want to note that this Blues Lyrics and Hoodoo archive would never have been possible without the contributions of Gorgen Antonsson, who generously shared with me the format and content of his own personal lyrics archive, and Alan Balfour and Chris Smith, who have devoted a great deal of time to supplying me with tapes, transcribed lyrics, and detailed discographical information. Additionally, i wish to thank the kind members of the prewar blues e-list who have aided my research in innumerable ways. If you have missing data to supply, hear a substantially different take on a transcription, or want to let me know about a song that has been overlooked in these pages, please contact me through the prewar blues e-list: http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/pre-war-blues.


COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Due to certain social, economic, and political paradigms in place at the time of their composition, many early blues songs were improperly copyrighted or not copyrighted at all. Many bore no composer credits. Many were ripped off by unethical music publishers who falsely claimed authorship and copyrighted them in their own names. Many that were once copyright-protected are now in the public domain due to publishers' or composers' failures to properly renew the copyrights. Many have since been ripped off by unethical performers or music publishers who have pretended to be the composers for the purpose of securing a belated copyright or who have claimed "arranger's" credits on songs they falsely swore were "traditional" when in fact the songs were composed by the people who originally performed them on record. It is my sincere belief that the song transcribed on this page bears the implied moral copyright of its composer, whoever that may be. If you believe that you control the copyright by virtue of authorship or legal legerdemain, you may contact me in a civil and polite manner and i will attempt in good faith to satisfy your needs in the matter of obtaining formal permission to quote the lyrics in this scholarly publication.

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