the meat and the motion

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jan 28 03:31:12 UTC 2010

At 5:07 PM -0800 1/27/10, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>On Jan 27, 2010, at 4:27 PM, Larry Horn wrote:
>>At 3:37 PM -0500 1/27/10, Charles Doyle wrote:
>>>It's not the meat, it's the motion. 1951 The saying may have entered
>>>oral tradition from the title and recurring line of a
>>>rhythm-and-blues song written by Henry Glover and recorded by The
>>>Swallows: "It Ain't the Meat (It's the Motion)." Or, the song may
>>>have been built around an existing proverb, as yet undiscovered.
>>>Proverbial uses of the expression do not appear in print until the
>>>1980s, after Maria Muldaur's popular rendition of the song in 1974
>>>had nudged it--and the saying--toward the (white) mainstream.
>>>Interestingly, in the song the term _meat_ refers sexually to a
>>>woman ("It ain't the meat, it's the motion / Makes your daddy want
>>>to rock");
>>I distinctly remember Maria (D'Amato) Muldaur singing "...that makes
>>your mama want to rock".  I don't have that one on my iTunes,
>>curiously, although I have 15 other songs of hers, but that's my
>i do [have it on my iTunes], and she has "mama".
Thanks.  But now I really have to get it myself--when I checked the
local public library listings, none of the usual albums containing
the song ("Waitress in a Donut Shop", "Meet Me Where They Play the
Blues", soundtrack from The L Word Season 3) were available, but I
see I can find it on a CD (along with songs of Dusty Springfield, Pat
Benatar, Luther Ingram et al.) called "Music for Lonely Housewives".
They've got me pegged!


The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list