Sunday, April 3, 2011

No Cover Songs, and Good Cocaine

On Monday nights I play at open mic night at Sacred Grounds Coffeehouse.  The last time I was there, I saw something that kind of torked me off.  They had signs all over the place that said, "No Covers!  Original Music Only!"  I wondered why in the world would they do that?  Well it turns out it's due to money.  They have to pay for copywrited material.  So I understand that.  I'm not happy about it, but I understand it.

So me being the 24/7 smartass that I am, I decided to try and find a way around it.  Then it hit me.  The Simpons did it first!  I remember an episode of "The Simpons" where they drove down the street singing public domain songs.  I remember Bart singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."  So I thought, "Let me sing some public domain songs!  That'll teach them... something.  I don't know what, but it will teach them some sort of lesson."

So I start looking through a list.  It turns out my favorite old song, "You Are My Sunshine" is not a public domain song.  A song has to be written in the year 1922 or before for it to be public domain.  It started to look like my search was a bust until I ran across this interesting old blues song called "Good Cocaine" by a white bluesman from West Virginia named Dick Justice.  He actually worked as a coal miner in Logan County, West Virginia not far from where my family lives. 

The song was originally recorded by Luke Jordan.  An (African American,) bluesman from Appomattox County, Lynchburg, Virginia.

I kind of liked the tune when I listened to it, and thought it would be a great fun song to play at Sacred Grounds.  Then I found the lyrics.  Oh no.  It then occured to me, hey Adrian.  It was written in the 1920's.  They may use a few words/ terms that are not exactly politically correct today.  Here are the lyrics.

Go on gal, don’t take me for no fool
I ain’t gonna quit you, pretty mama, while the weather’s cool
Around your back door, honey, I’m gonna creep
Just as long as you bring me two-and-a-half a week

I’ve got a girl, she works in the white folks yard
She bring me meal, I swear she brings me lard
She brings me meal, honey she brings me lard
She bring me everything honey that a girl can steal

Lord a vaudeville circus rider came to town
They got a dancer lookin’ nice and brown
They didn’t know it was against the law
For the monkey’s to stop at a five cent store
Well, just around the corner, just a minute too late
Another one standin’ at the big back gate
I’m simply wild about my good cocaine

I stood my corner, hey hey!
Here come Sal with a nose all so’
Doctors said she couldn’t smell no mo’
Lord run doctor, ring the bell
The women in the alley…
I’m simply wild about my good cocaine

Furniture man came to my house, was last Sunday morn
Asked me was my wife at home
Said she’d long been gone
Backed his wagon up to my door
Took everything I had
He carried it back to the furniture store
Honey, I did feel sad

What in the world has any man got, now
Messin’ with the furniture man?
Got no dough, stand for sho’
Certainly will back you back
Take everything from an earthly plant
From a skillet to a frying pan
If there ever was a devil born without any horns
Musta been the furniture man

I hear you mama, hey hey!
Here come Sal with a nose all so’
Doctors said she couldn’t smell no mo’
Lord go doctor, ring the bell
Women in the alley…
I’m simply wild about my good cocaine

Lord the babies in the cradle in New Orleans
The doctors kept a-whiffin’ til the baby got mean
Doctor whiffed until the baby got so’
Mama said she couldn’t smell no mo’

Lord go, Doctor, ring the bell,
The women in the alley…
I simply wild about my good cocaine
I’m simply wild about my good cocaine

I’m simply wild about my good cocaine

So it kind of hit me... I don't know if I should sing this or not.  I mean, they are kind of, well really, really liberal down there at Sacred Grounds.  But I don't think some people would approve of the lyrics calling some folks monkeys, and working in the white folks yard.  Not to mention all the cocaine in the song.  But darn it, it's kind of catchy.  Here's a youtube video with it.

Okay, I have no idea why it is so tiny, but feel free to follow this link:

So, I wonder if I should go through with it, or should I chicken out?  I mean, I do want to be able to play there not to mention just walk through the door in the future.  It's a tough job being a smartass.

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