more on "allegory"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 5 06:07:00 UTC 2010

The *Stones* had a cover of this?! Surely, you jest! Hmm. I see that
they did. There's something weird about their cover, though. They

"She _hurt_ my nose open"

But The Valentinos sing,

"She _had_ my nose open."

I know what it is to *have* one's nose open. But what does it mean to
*hurt* someone's nose open? To break someone's nose?

Bobby married Sam "Mr. Inflection" - of course, he should have been
called, "Mr. Melisma" - Cooke's widow.

He - like, IME, most other people with this surname - pronounced it
"Wo Mack." However, in Texas and Oklahoma, the preference seems to be
for "Wummuck," whether the bearer of the surname be black or white.

The Wikipedia piece reminds me of Otis Blackwell - not to be confused
with "Bumps" Blackwell. He once wrote a song for Elvis and tossed it
over the transom. Elvis bought it and the royalty checks were so big
that Blackwell tossed his own career into the trash - he was an R&B
one-hit wonder with "Daddy Rollin' Stone" - and wrote exclusively for
Elvis, until the latter's death, at which point he retired, living off
his royalties. Blackwell and Elvis never met. Since Elvis had bought
his first offering without knowing who he was, he felt that the only
way to insure that Elvis would continue to buy his offerings was to
avoid ever meeting Elvis or even seeing him in person, lest the spell
be broken and his mojo cease to work, even with the addition of a
black cat's bone and some John-the-Conquerer root.


On Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 10:18 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: more on "allegory"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 11:38 PM -0500 2/3/10, Wilson Gray wrote:
>>You got that right! I'm still trying figure out what we're supposed
>>get out of the fact the torturer is a black American: to borrow from
>>an old R&B song, "The tables turned and now it's your turn to cry," so
>>to speak? Meant as an on-the-qui-vive directed to the Aryan
> And here I always thought it was the Stones.  Go know. I am indebted
> Wilson, with a chorus from Wikipedia, for setting me straight.  It
> was the Valentinos (or more accurately, the Womacks, written by Bobby
> and Shirley W.) who wrote and first cut the song.  Nice anecdote
> about it, though, featuring the intercession of none other than
> Murray the K:
> The Valentinos' original version of the song was played to the
> Rolling Stones during their first North American tour in June 1964 by
> a New York radio DJ named Murray the K. After the band heard the song
> they recorded it nine days later at Chess Studios in Chicago. Years
> later Bobby Womack said in an interview that he told his manager that
> he did not want the Rolling Stones to record their version of the
> song, that he told Mick Jagger to get his own song. His manager
> convinced him to let the Rolling Stones record a version of the song.
> Six months later when he received the royalty check for the song he
> told his manager that Mick Jagger can have any song he wants. The
> Rolling Stones' version of "It's All Over Now" is the most famous
> version ever cut of the song. It was the band's third single released
> in America, and stayed in the Billboard Hot 100 for ten weeks,
> peaking at #26. Months later it appeared on their second American
> album 12 X 5. It was first released as a single in Great Britain,
> where it peaked at # 1 on the Disc Weekly charts, giving the Rolling
> Stones their first number one hit ever.
> ObADS:  There's a line in the song I had always heard as
> "[Well, she used to run around
> With every man in town]
> -->She spent all my money, playing her half-assed game(s)"
> and it always struck me as surprising that they were able to get away
> with it in the mid-60s, but according to the posted lyrics, that's
> just a "kiss-this-guy"/"bathroom-on-the-right" type reanalysis on my
> part for the actual line:
> Well, she used to run around with every man in town
> She spent all my money, playing her high class game
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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