Find Me A Good Lookin’ Woman

I picked a challenging song for today, because ‘C.C. Rider’ has been performed by so many groups, and each version is slightly different having different lyrics and different tempos and also the song goes by different names, being either ‘C.C. Rider’ or ‘See See Rider’.  Big Bill Broonzy (whose real name is William Lee Conley) was an American blues singer, songwriter and guitarist whose career began in the 1920s, playing country blues to mostly African-American audiences.  Broonzy was one of the first singers of what would later be called the blues and he claimed that around 1908 he learned to play the blues from an itinerant songster named ‘See See Rider’, who was a former slave, that played a one-string fiddle.  The song is listed as ‘traditional’, meaning that no one knows who wrote it.

During the Civil War, C.C. stood for Calvary Corporal, and riding is a common metaphor for sexual intercourse that shows up in the blues.  A rider is a sexual partner, a steady lover and the term easy rider is also used as See See Rider or C.C. Rider.  This blues metaphor for a sexual partner originally referred to a traveling bluesman who hung a guitar on his back.

In 1924, Ma Rainey was the first to recorded this song and she made a solo version, as well as one with Louis Armstrong and with Lester Young.  This is a dirty blues song that often refers to a woman who has liberal sexual views, either she had been married more than once, or she developed some particular skill at sex.  One theory is that the term refers to a prostitute and the relationship that she has with her pimp.  Riding as a euphemism for sexual intercourse was common in English for centuries, particularly in the Black community of the past.

‘C.C. Rider’ is an enduring blues standard that has been recorded by many legends, including, B.B. King, Bessie Smith, Big Bill Broonzy, Bill Haley and The Comets, Blind John Davis, Bobby Rydell, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Carl Perkins, The Chamber Brothers, Charlie Rich, Cher, Chuck Berry, Chuck Willis, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Georgia White, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Fahey, John Lee Hooker, the Kingsmen, LaVern Baker, Leadbelly, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Little Willie Littlefield, Lou Rawls, Ma Rainey, Mississippi John Hurt, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, Odetta, The Orioles, Peggy Lee, Ray Charles, Richie Havens, Robert Jr. Lockwood, The Spencer Davis Group, The Who, The Youngbloods, Wee Bea Booze and the version that I am using is by The Animals.  In 1966, C. C. Rider by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels served as the theme song for the 1970 Joe Namath-Ann-Margret movie, C.C. and Company.  Elvis opened many of his concerts in the 1970s with See See Rider, which he based on LaVern Baker’s 1962 hit rendition.

The arrangement of the Animals song was credited to their pianist Dave Rowberry, which got to number 10 on the US pop charts in 1966 and went to number one on the Canadian RPM chart and number eight in Australia.  This was the last single before the Animals disbanded in September 1966.  The lyrics in the Animals version are longer than most other versions of this song.  It seems to be about a girl named see see rider who left this man.  He has the blues and now he is also going away.  He says that he will be back in the Fall, unless he finds a good lookin’ woman, then he won’t be back at all.  He loves her and he needs her because she knows how to keep him satisfied.  He wants her to keep on riding and he says that he is ready for a ride now.  The song ends with a line “I’m Joe Jackson, I’m leavin’” and I have no idea why is Joe Jackson is in this song.

Oh see, see see rider
Girl see, what you’ve done
Oh, oh, oh see see rider
See what you’ve done now
You’ve gone away and left me,
Lord, now and now the blues have come, oh yes, they do
Oh, well I’m goin’, goin’ away baby
And I won’t be back till fall
Oh yes I am, going away baby
And I won’t be back till fall
If I get me a good lookin’ woman
No, no, no, I won’t be back at all, all right
And I see, see see rider, I love you, yes I do
And there isn’t one thing darlin’
I would not do for you
You know I want you see see
I need you by my side
See see rider, ough, keep me satisfied
Oh see see rider, see see rider, see see rider
See see rider, see see rider, see see rider
You keep on ridin’, keep on riding
Here I come baby, look out, beat it, all right
Don’t lose it now, come one, come on, yeah
Here she comes, she’s all right,
She’s so fine, she’s all mine
See see, come on, can we take a ride now, hey
Well, I’m goin, goin’ away baby
And I won’t be back till fall
Oh yes I’m goin’, going away baby
And I won’t be back till fall
If I find me a good lookin’ woman
No, no, no, I won’t be back at all
And that’s the truth baby
Listen, I’m going, all right
Somebody told me, somebody told me
I’m Joe Jackson, I’m leavin’
All right, all right, ough!

Written for 10/7/18 Helen Vahdati’s This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time Song Lyric Sunday Theme where the prompt is “find/found”.

17 thoughts on “Find Me A Good Lookin’ Woman

    1. By the way, where the hell are you. Your blog is telling me that my comment was posted at 7:15 pm, but it’s 12:15 where I am. I thought you are in Florida, where it would be 3:15 pm. Is your laptop’s clock set correctly? Or is your WordPress time zone set correctly?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. so many versions of this song. I appreciated the backstory on this one. Once I know the story, the song usually sounds a little bit different from how I remembered it. CC Rider, Sex, Drugs, and RocknRoll! That explains a lot about why there are so many different covers.

    ~Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s