You Should Have Heard Just What I Seen


Telly Savalas played a New York detective in the TV show Kojak which aired from 1975 to 1978 and he was known for saying, “Who Loves Ya, Baby?”, but way before that back in 1956, Bo Diddley wrote and recorded a song that is credited to his birth name Ellas McDaniel called ‘Who Do You Love’.  This song did not chart and Bo Diddley only had one Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 ( a song titled ‘Bo Diddley’ that was backed with ‘I’m a Man’) and only one album of his charted on the Billboard 200, but Bo achieved worldwide fame and respect as a member of the founding of rock and roll and his songs were covered by many diverse artists.  In 2017, Diddley was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame.

This song is an upbeat rocker, using a combination of hoodoo-type imagery and boasting, but the original did not use the signature Bo Diddley beat rhythm.  Bo said that the idea for this song came to him while he was in Kansas City, when he heard a group of children trying to out-brag one another in an African like chant, and he wanted to develop words that would suit it.  Bo Diddley recalled that he was inspired by the Muddy Waters 1954 hit ‘I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man’, and he wanted to outdo songwriter Willie Dixon’s lyrical swagger, by telling this chick how much of a badass he was, so she can go tell the cat she’s hanging with that this dude is way beyond cool.  This guy walks 47 miles of barbed wire, uses a cobra-snake for a necktie and lives in a house made out of rattlesnake hide.  He sings about a skull, a tombstone, a graveyard, and a scream in the night, which all convey a sense of foreboding.

The use of the homonym “who do” is an allusion to “hoodoo”, a traditional African American spirituality popular in Louisiana and Mississippi.  It is a witchcraft practice, a folk magic belief that events can be influenced by its use and it often makes use of natural and supernatural elements in order to create and effect change in the human experience.  Bo Diddley was born on December 30, 1928 and he appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on November 20, 1955, about a year before Elvis Presley did.  He died of congestive heart failure on June 2, 2008 at the age of 79.

I walk 47 miles of barbed wire
I use a cobra-snake for a necktie
I got a brand new house on the roadside
Made from rattlesnake hide
I got a brand new chimney made on top
Made out of a human skull
Now come on take a walk with me, Arlene
And tell me, who do you love?

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

Tombstone hand and a graveyard mine
Just 22 and I don’t mind dying

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

I rode around the town, use a rattlesnake whip
Take it easy Arlene, don’t give me no lip

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

Night was dark, but the sky was blue
Down the alley, the ice-wagon flew
Heard a bump, and somebody screamed
You should have heard just what I seen

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

Arlene took me by my hand
And she said oh bo, you know I understand

Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?
Who do you love?

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the theme is “Could/Might/Should/Would”.

20 thoughts on “You Should Have Heard Just What I Seen

      1. No as my seat was next to a few of my friends and they told me it was empty the whole time. I should have bought another ticket and moved up to my original seat. I think the thief was only interested in the money that was in my wallet and I am sure it wasn’t that much.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Back in the day when people didn’t have a lot of money, they would use an old cigar box for the base and usually a broom handle or other soft wood to make a handle. After doing a little cutting, tooling, sawing, drilling and some sanding, all they had to do was add some wire strings and they had themselves a guitar.

    Like

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