Fattening Frogs For Snakes

Hoochie Coochie Man

for Willie Dixon & Muddy Waters

Now it’s 1954
& Willie Dixon,
the Tadd Dameron of the blues,
born near Vicksburg, Mississippi

July 1, 1915,
one of 14 children,
has a song for Muddy Waters to record
for their common employer,

Leonard Chess. Willie Dixon says:
”Through many generations
there has been people that felt like other people

could tell them some of the past
or the future—even back
in Biblical days. Just from
thinkin’ about

all these different things
I got the idea
for this song
[‘Hoochie Coochie Man’].

”Muddy was working in this big joint
at 14th & Ashland
& I went over there
to take him the song.

We went in the washroom
& sang it over & over
until he got it. It didn't
take very long. Then he said,

’Man,
when I go out there this time,
I'm gonna sing it.’
He went out & jumped on it,

& it sounded so good
the people kept on applauding
& asking for more,
& he kept on

singing
the same thing
over &
over again”—

”The gypsy woman told my mother
before I was born,
’You got a boy child comin’,
he gonna be a son - of - a - gun.

He gonna make pretty womens
jump & shout,
Then the world wanna know
what this all about.’

”But you know I’m here —
Everybody knows I am.
Well, you know I’m the Hoochie Coochie Man,
Everybody knows I am.

”I got a black cat bone
I got a mojo tooth
I got a John the Conquer root
I got to mess with you

”I'm gonna make you girls
lead me by my hand
Then the world will know
the Hoochie Coochie Man

”But you know I’m here —
Everybody knows I am.
Well, you know I’m the Hoochie Coochie Man
everybody knows I am

”On the seventh hour
on the seventh day,
on the seventh month,
the seventh doctor say,

’He was born for good luck.’
And that you'll see —
I got seven hundred dollars
Don’t you mess with me

”Because you know I’m here
Everybody knows I am
Well, you know I’m the Hoochie Coochie Man,
Everybody knows I am.”

— Detroit
March 21, 1982/
New Orleans
November 26, 1995