Winin' Boy Blues

Lyrics: Traditional/Jelly Roll Morton
Music: Traditional/Jelly Roll Morton

Played by Bob Weir with Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart as "Bob Weir & Friends" on 17 November 1978 at a Hunger Week Benefit in Chicago. Bob Weir has also played it on a handful of other occasions, most recently in the Furthur Festival jam on 28 July 1996.

Just a winin' boy, don't deny my name
Just a winin' boy, don't deny my name, deny my name
Winin' boy, don't deny my name
Pick it up and shake it, like Stavin' Chain (note 1)
Winin' boy, don't deny my name

Lookie here, sister, sister, dirty little sow (note 2)
Say now, sister, sister, dirty little sow, little sow
Sister, sister, dirty little sow
Wants to be a bad girl, but she don't know how
Winin' boy, don't deny my name

Just a winin' boy, don't deny my name
Just a winin' boy, don't deny my name, deny my name
Winin' boy don't deny my name
Pick it up and shake it like Stavin' Chain
Winin' boy, don't deny my name

Just a winin' boy, don't deny my name
Notes
(1) there is some doubt what "Stavin' Chain" means. One dictionary of slang says it is "a ladies' man, a wanderer." But I have also seen references to it being a chain used to make barrels by holding the staves together until an iron band could be fitted, and then being used as the name for the leg-chains used to tether prisoners.
(2) it's not clear what Weir says at the end of this line - it's not 'sow'. He sings something else and then says 'whoops' - there's laughter from the others. (thanks to Matt Schofield for this)

Roots
"Winin' Boy Blues" was first recorded for Alan Lomax by "Jelly Roll" Morton in 1939, and Morton then recorded it commercially for Bluebird in 1940. Many recordings credit Morton as the composer, though it is possible Morton heard it as a folk tune during his younger days in New Orleans. (Thanks to Steven Barr for this info).


Futher Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography

 


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