Look For Your Dinner

This post is about the traditional song ‘On The Road Again’, not the Willie Nelson classic, or the Bob Dylan song, or the Canned Heat song with the same name.  It was played by the Grateful Dead in 1966 (and before that when they called themselves Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions), then it was dropped until it was reintroduced for a spell in the early 1980s, primarily in acoustic sets.  It was sung by Jerry Garcia in the 60’s with slightly different lyrics from the ones used when Bob Weir sang this in the 80’s.  The lyrics “fat girl” were changed from the original “black girl” which was sung by the Memphis Jug Band an American musical group active from the mid-​1920s to the late 1950s.  There’s often some confusion about another part of this song which is in the chorus, where some people say it is “natural born easy, on the road again”, or “natural born ease, been on the road again”, or “natural born, he’s been on the road again”, or even “natural born easement on the road again”.  I went with the lyrics from the Bob Weir version of this song that say, “Natural born eastman on the road again”.  My research says the Eastman was a hustler who lived by his wits and worked as a pimp.

Most recordings credit Will Shade, of the Memphis Jug Band, as the writer of the song, but others list the song as being traditional.  The Lovin’ Spoonful version of the song is credited to John Sebastian, although it is based on the Memphis Jug Band song.  Robert Hunter, the Grateful Dead’s lyricist thought that the band needed a road song, so he wrote ‘Truckin’’ for them.  Since bands travel from place to place to perform, being on the road is a way of life for many groups and I guess being constantly on the road influenced the American road song.  Until recently traveling by car, or bus was the normal way for people to get to their destinations, and the landscape that they passed must have motivated what they wrote about.  Jack Kerouac wrote his On the Road book which became very popular.  Every form of US music whether it be Country, Blues, Gospel, Soul or Rock n Roll has songs about the road.  The road is a metaphor for the journey of life, and it is what keeps us on the right path.

This was a very early American Road song that was around before Robert Johnson’s ‘Crossroads Blues’, Nat ‘King’ Cole’s ‘Route 66’ and Woody Guthrie’s ‘Going down the road feeling Bad’.  Some of my all-time favorite road songs are Roger Miller ‘King Of The Road’, Ray Charles ‘Hit The Road Jack’, The Allman Brothers ‘Ramblin’ Man’, Simon & Garfunkel ‘Homeward Bound’, Creedence Clearwater Revival ‘Lodi’, John Denver ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’, Bob SegerTurn the Page’, Bruce Springsteen ‘Thunder Road’, Steve Earle ‘Copperhead Road’, The Pretenders ‘Middle Of The Road’, Bob Dylan ‘Highway 61 Revisited’, Eagles ‘Seven Bridges Road’, Elton John ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ the Beatles ‘Long and Winding Road’ and The Traveling Wilburys ‘End Of The Line’.

Would not my fat girl tell you the reason why?
Fat girls will even do things on the sly
Look for your dinner to be good and hot
She never even put a stew-bone in the pot

Chorus
She’s on the road again, sure as you’re born
Natural born eastman on the road again
She’s on the road again, sure as you’re born

Friend comes by, says he’s looking for his hat
Wants to know where’s your husband’s at
Say I don’t know, he’s on the way to the pen
Come on pretty momma let’s get on the road again

[chorus]

I went to my house, my front door was locked
Went round to the window, found my window was locked
Jumped right back, I shook my head
Big old rounder in my folding bed
Shot through the window, broke the glass
Never seen that little rounder run so fast

[chorus]

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the theme is Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Snack, Supper.

16 thoughts on “Look For Your Dinner

    1. It seems to be about a guy who is with this girl who spends a lot of her time on the road and it never explains why. She might be overweight and she is definitely a bad cook. The guy comes home and finds her in bed with another man and chases him away.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Talking ’bout he’s mad
    Let’s take it to the stage, Jack, come on
    And get up for the down stroke
    Get up for the down stroke
    Everybody get up

    Get up for the down stroke
    Everybody get up
    Get up for the down stroke
    Everybody get up
    Get up for the down stroke
    Everybody get up
    Everybody get up

    Get up for the for the down stroke
    Everybody get up
    Get up for the down stroke
    Everybody get up

    Party
    It’s all about party, yeah
    Having a party, y’all
    Get up for the down stroke
    Get down on the real side

    Get up for the down stroke
    Everybody get up
    Get up for the down stroke
    Everybody get up

    Get up for the down stroke
    Everybody get up
    Get up for the down stroke
    Everybody get up

    Get up for the down stroke
    Everybody get up
    Get up for the down stroke
    Everybody get up
    Woo, hoo hoo

    I don’t care about the cold, baby
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re too much
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re hot
    Look at what you’ve got

    (repeat x6)

    I don’t care about the cold, baby (Get up for the down stroke)
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re too much (Everybody get up)
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re hot (Get up for the down stroke)
    Look at what you’ve got (Everybody get up)

    (repeat x3)

    I don’t care about the cold, baby (Get up for the down stroke)
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re too much (Everybody get up)
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re hot (Get up for the down stroke)
    Look at what you’ve got

    I don’t care about the cold, baby
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re too much
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re hot
    Look at what you’ve got

    I don’t care about the cold, baby
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re too much
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re hot (Party, baby, party)
    Look at what you’ve got (You’re hot, let’s take it to the stage)

    I don’t care about the cold, baby
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re too much
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re hot
    Look at what you’ve got

    I don’t care about the cold, baby
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re too much
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re hot (Get up for the down stroke)
    Look at what you’ve got (Everybody get up)

    I don’t care about the cold, baby (Get up for the down stroke)
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re too much (Everybody get up)
    ‘Cause when you’re hot, you’re hot (Get up for the down stroke)
    Look at what you’ve got (Everybody get up)

    Source: Musixmatch

    Songwriters: George Clinton / William Collins / George Worrell / Clarence Haskins

    Up For The Down Stroke lyrics © Bridgeport Music Publishing, Southfield Music Inc

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool choice! Seems like from they lyrics that “on the road” means out cheatin😉
    All those other road songs you listed are great!
    I’m not a big fan of Country, but Life Is A Highway by Rascal Flatts is a fun song too. I first heard it in the Disney Pixar movie Cars😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes that is a great song Angie. We had the prompt of Avenue/Boulevard/Drive/Lane/Road/Street for June 2, 2019, but there are so many good road songs, that I think we will do this again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The original host of Song Lyric Sunday Helen Vahdati had the prompt of Outer Space – including planets, stars and moons back in August of 2017, so the October 10, 2021 theme will be Heavenly Bodies, Planets, Moon, Sun, Stars suggested by King Ben’s Grandma. Thanks for your suggestion Angie.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My 15 yo son, playing DJ in the car yesterday put on Truckin. I had no idea kids still like the Grateful Dead. I tried to get a conversation going about them, but he would have none of that.

    Liked by 2 people

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