Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Minnie the Moocher

What a great song, and I just found out what it meant ... I mean the original 'Minnie the Moocher' by Cab Calloway. He recorded it in 1930, just on 50 years before it was used in The Blues Brothers. I was wondering what 'kick the gong' meant, and found it here. It means to smoke opium, and when Minnie did it, she had opium dreams of all kinds. And I guess we all know what a 'coker' is. That Minnie was quite a bad gal (but she had a heart as big as a whale).

But even more interesting, maybe, is the use of the word 'bloke', which I thought was English and Aussie, but not American. Hmmm ...

Hey folks here’s the story ’bout minnie the moocher
She was a lowdown hoocie coocher
She was the roughest toughest frail
But minnie had a heart as big as a whale

Hidehidehidehi (hidehidehidehi)
Hodehodehodeho (hodehodehodeho)
Hedehedehedehe (hedehedehedehe)
Hidehidehideho (hidehidehideho)

She messed around with a bloke named smokie
She loved him though he was cokey
He took her down to chinatown
And showed her how to kick the gong around

Hidehidehidehi (hidehidehidehi)
Whoah (whoah)
Hedehedehedehe (hedehedehedehe)
A hidehidehideho (hidehidehideho)

She had a dream about the king of sweden
He gave her things that she was needin’
He gave her a home built of gold and steel
A diamond car with platinum wheels

A hidehidehidehidehidehidehi (hidehidehidehidehidehidehi)
Hodehodehodehodehodehodeho (hodehodehodehodehodehodeho)
... (...)
... (...)

He gave her his townhouse and his racing horses
Each meal she ate was a dozen courses
Had a million dollars worth of nickels and dimes
She sat around and counted them all a million times

Hidehidehidehi (hidehidehidehi)
Hodehodehodeho (hodehodehodeho)
Hedehedehedehe (hedehedehedehe)
Hidehidehideho (hidehidehideho)

Poor min, poor min, poor minnie


Anonymous Darwin Smith said...

Another reference to "kicking the gong" is found in the Humphrey Bogart-Lauren Bacall movie "To Have and Have Not." In it Hoagy Carmichael sings a song about a man who had "20 hears privilege taken away from him when he kicked old Buddha's gong." I suspect there are other such references in music from the 30's and 40's and 50's.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Pip said...

We have such erudite readers! Thanks, Darwin, for the interesting info.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The song was/is "Hong Kong Blues" by Hoagy Carmichael. The lyrics changed over the years but the original stated "...sweet opium won't let me fly away."

10:13 AM  

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