Fly All Over Your Town

The song ‘Good Morning Little Schoolgirl’ was first recorded by Sonny Boy Williamson (John Lee Curtis Williamson) on May 5th 1937, at The Leland Hotel in Aurora, Illinois.  Williamson was an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter and he is usually credited as the writer of this song.  He was the original “Sonny Boy”, as another harmonica player that came along later and used the same name.  This song became staple diet for both Chicago Bluesmen and British Blues bands in the 1950s and 60s.  It has even been called “the first rock and roll record”, but then again so have many other songs.  This song is among the most recorded blues songs in history and it was ranked #11 of the greatest blues songs of all time according to Digital Dream Door’s Rick Varner.

On June 1, 1948, Sonny Boy Williamson died at the age of 34, from a vicious beating after a performance at the Plantation Club near his home.  He had seventeen holes in his head that came from being struck with an ice pick.  The official police report indicated that he was robbed and beaten as he walked home.  Sonny Boy suffered from a speech impediment which caused his speech to slur, so he adapted his singing style to accommodate his handicap.  This gave Williamson’s singing an alluring, bluesy feel, which was impossible to replicate.  Blues historians unanimously say that Sonny Boy was the most influential harmonica player of his generation, and his revolutionary approach helped to establish the Blues harp as a feature instrument in a band setting.  He was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1980.

This song was Sonny Boy’s first recording session for Bluebird and he was accompanied by Big Joe Williams and Robert Lee McCoy on guitars.  On this version it was billed as ‘Good Morning, School Girl’, whereas later versions have tended to insert that word “little’ in the title to reflect the lyrics of Sonny Boy’s version.  In some cases, later versions have even credited the second Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller) as the composer of the song.

The song’s melody, like so many blues tunes, was a reworking of an earlier song, in this case, ‘Back and Side Blues’, a 1934 blues song recorded by Son Bonds and in this one he sings, “Don’t need no schoolgirl” at the end of this song.  ‘Good Morning Little School Girl’ was recorded by Leroy Dallas and His Guitar in 1948 under the title ‘Good Morning Blues’.  In September 1959 Alan Lomax recorded Mississippi Fred playing ‘Good Morning Little Schoolgirl’.  In 1959, John Lee Hooker recorded this on the album Country Blues of John Lee Hooker.  Texas bluesman Smokey Hogg recorded a version in 1950, which he called ‘Little School Girl’ and  that made it to #5 on the Billboard R&B chart.  Big Joe Williams an American Delta blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, notable for the distinctive sound of his nine-string guitar took his turn at recording this in 1961 and Lightnin’ Hopkins an American country blues singer, songwriter, guitarist and occasional pianist, from Centerville, Texas who Rolling Stone magazine ranked at #71 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time recorded this in 1962.  Two memorable recordings of this song were done in 1964, one by Muddy Waters and the other by Rod Stewart.  Muddy Waters recorded this on his brilliant album, The Folk Singer.  ‘Good Morning Little School Girl’ was 19-year-old Rod Stewart’s first ever Decca single.

Junior Wells’ Chicago Blues Band recorded this song on his album Hoodoo Man Blues in 1965 and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band recorded it in 1966.  Chuck Berry recorded this live at the Fillmore Auditorium in 1967, but it did not get released on a record till 1989 and the Grateful Dead also recorded this in 1967.  Some great covers came out in 1969 by Johnny Winter, Ten Years After, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Taj Mahal.

Don Level and Bob Love, an R&B duo known as, Don and Bob recorded a song called ‘Good Morning Little School Girl’ in 1961, but this song has different chord changes and lyrics, although it does use the line, “Good morning little school girl.”  The Yardbirds covered this version with their second single that they recorded with Eric Clapton in 1964 and it made it to #44 on the UK charts and spent a month on the best-seller list.  The writer’s credit on their version is H.G. Demarais, aka Dee Marais, who was a Louisiana, record label owner/distributor and business associate of Leonard Chess.

The blues existed before the modern-day standards of political correctness and some of these old songs may sound creepy, be in poor taste, or they might simply be just dark.  This song is not about a school romance where two kids are flirting with each other on the way to school, as the man that is greeting the little school girl is an adult.  He is not offering to carry the girl’s books for her, or trying to sit next to her in class, or offering to buy her a soda after school, as he has more devious intentions.  These lyrics are being sung by a man that wants to seduce an underage girl and these lyrics are likely to make many people feel uncomfortable.  It is pretty clear that this guy is up to no good and he is intending to do something wrong, as he wants this girl to lie to her parents about being with him.

Good morning little schoolgirl, can I come home with you?
Tell your mama and your papa I’m a little schoolboy too
Come on now pretty baby I just can’t help myself
You’re so young and pretty I don’t need nobody else
Good morning little schoolgirl, can I come home with you?
Don’t you hear me crying?
I’m gonna leave you baby about the break of day
On account of the way you treat me, I got to stay away
Come on now pretty baby darling come on home
You know I love you baby, I got to get you all alone
Good morning little schoolgirl, can I come home with you?
Can’t you hear me crying?
I’m gonna buy me an airplane and fly all over your town
Tell everybody baby, lord knows you’re fine
Come on pretty baby now, I just can’t help myself
You’re so young and pretty I don’t need nobody else
Good morning little schoolgirl, can I come home with you?
Don’t you hear me crying?
Good morning little schoolgirl, can I come home with you?
Good morning little schoolgirl, can I come home with you?
Tell your mama and your papa I’m a little schoolboy too
I’m a schoolboy, too. Hey, I’m a schoolboy, too
I want to be your chauffeur, I want to ride your little machine
I want to be your chauffeur, I want to ride your little machine
I want to put a tiger, baby I want to put a tiger, baby
I want to put a tiger, baby, hey in your sweet little tank
Hey baby now yes I do ha, yes I do
Hey I got to hey, I got to come on home with you
Tell your mama, tell your papa, tell your mama and your papa
Hey, I’m a schoolboy, too, hey, hey, I’m a schoolboy, too
Ha oww, I’m a schoolboy, too, ow, I wanna keep your company
Hey I wanna keep your company

Written for Song Lyric Sunday prompt End/Finish/Over/Stop.

15 thoughts on “Fly All Over Your Town

  1. The original is still my favorite!

    My aunt had tons of photos of Fred McDowell and claimed we were related–and we probably were, he looks a lot like my dad and uncles–but no one ever told me how we’re related and they’ve all passed on.

    Nice selection!

    Liked by 1 person

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