Blues for Bad Girls, Part 1: Don’t Start Me to Talking, Stop Watching Your Enemies
Dady Chery

Koko_Taylor

By Dady Chery

Haiti Chery

So many superb blues for bad girls! This was a tough choice. In the end, I picked Etta James’s marvelous rendition of “Don’t Start Me to Talking,” and one of Koko Taylor’s many excellent versions of “Stop Watching Your Enemies.”

Among Etta’s many talents was her ability to own traditionally male songs. Here she delivers Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Don’t Start Me to Talking” like no man could.  As ever, her band is tight, with John “Juke” Logan (harmonica), Mike Finnegan (a singer’s dream pianist), Bobby Murray and Josh Sklair (guitars), Sametto James (bass), and Donto James (drums). This song is from an essentially perfect 2004 album titled Blues to the Bone.

VIDEO: Etta James version (3 min)

Lyrics of Don’t Start Me to Talking

By Sonny Boy Williamson

I’m going down the road, stop at Fannie Mae’s
Gonna tell Fannie what I’ve heard her boyfriend say

Don’t start me to talking
I’ll tell everything I know
Gonna break up this signifying
Everybody’s got to go

Jack gave his wife two dollars,
To go down town, get some margarine
Gets out on the street, old George stopped her
He knocked her down and blackened her eye
She came back home and told her husband a lie

Don’t start me to talking
I’ll tell everything I know
I’m gonna break up this signifying
Cause somebody’s got to go

She borrowed some money to go to the beauty shop
He honked his horn and she began to stop
Said: take me baby, around the block
I’m going beauty shop walking
where I can get my hair in a sock

Don’t start me talking
I’ll tell everything I know
I’m gonna break up this signifying
Somebody’s got to go

 

Then there is Koko Taylor’s delivery of “Stop Watching Your Enemies,” which is her own song.  Her fantastic band: Criss Johnson (guitar),  Jim Dortch (keyboards), Jerry Murphy (bass), Ray “Killer” Allison (drums), Elmer Brown II (trumpet), Edwin Williams and Orville McFarland (trombone).  From her classic 1990 album Jump for Joy.

VIDEO: “Stop Watching Your Enemies” (5 1/2 min).

Lyrics of Stop Watching Your Enemies

By Koko Taylor

Hey girls
Just a word of advice
If you think it can’t happen to you
Better think about it twice

I just want tell ya’ll
What happened to me
While I was watching my enemies
My man was taken from me

Well I come home this mornin’
Straight from my job
I saw someone leavin’
Right out of my backyard

I went inside
Couldn’t beleive what my eyes had saw
Another woman’s nightgown
And her dirty under draws

I found out later
It was my so called friend
So the minute that I’m leaving
That’s the minute she steps right in

Ohhh stop watchin’ your enemies
Keep an eye on your so called friends
They’re the one to break your heart
And take your man at the end

I got something to tell you
Bet you may not know
It ain’t the one that you don’t like
But the girl that’s right next door

It’s lay awake at night
While you tryin’ to sleep
And all day long
While’s you gone
She come down from A to Z

Ohhh stop watchin’ your enemies
Keep an eye on your so called friends
She’s the one to break your heart
And take your man at the end

You can drive my car
You can eat my bread
I don’t want no one
Laid up in my bed

I’ll loan you my money
And even wear my clothes
But when you messd with my man
Girl you’re steppin’ on my toes

Ohhh stop watchin’ your enemies
Keep an eye on your so called friends
They’re the ones to break your heart
And take your man at the end

Keep your eyes open girls

You can drive my car
You can eat my bread
I don’t want no woman
Laid up in my bed

I’ll loan you my money
And even wear my clothes
But when you messd with my man
Girl you’re steppin’ on my toes

Ohhh stop watchin’ your enemies
Keep an eye on your so called friends
They’re the ones to break your heart
And take your man at the end

Ohhh stop watchin’ your enemies
Keep an eye on your so called girl friends
They’re the ones to break your heart
And take your man at the end

Ohhh stop watchin’ your enemies
Keep an eye on your so called friends

 

These two songs turn out to be an excellent commentary on this week’s news at Haiti Chery. First, there was the revelation that the Rwanda 1994 genocide might have been triggered by Rwanda’s own armed forces (FAR) firing two French missiles, which France was forbidden from selling and which would have required high-level approval, on their own president’s plane then blaming the killing on the Tutsi rebels and abetting a massacre of the Tutsi. Second, there was the meeting of Latin American UNASUR friends of Haiti who decided on a gradual, rather than immediate, withdrawal from their participation in the country’s military occupation by United Nations forces (MINUSTAH). The stated reason is that UNASUR does not want to destabilize (the nightmarish state of affairs in) Haiti, but the lure of foreign exchange might have had more to do with it. Yeah! “Don’t start me talking… I’m gonna break up this signifying. Somebody’s got to go!”

Source: Haiti Chery | Featured photo: Koko Taylor

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