A Dirty Song Called All That Meat and No Potatoes? (and Lyrics)

There once was a time when you could take a dirty phrase to make a classy hit song out of it. I don’t know when it ended, but it was certainly alive in the 1940s when this song came about! This is the Louis Armstrong version, with Velma Middleton and the Louis Armstrong Orchestra, not the original Fats Waller version (at the end) that wasn’t nearly as good.

.

Hey Pops! What’s wrong Daddy?
You look like somethin’ botherin’ you
Ain’t nothin’ botherin’ me honey
That a piece of roast beef can’t fix up

A man works hard then comes on home
Expects to find stew with that fine ham bone
He opens the door, then start to lookin’
Say, Woman, what’s this stuff you cookin’?

Now all that meat and no potatoes
I just ain’t right, dey like da green tomatoes
Here I’m waitin’
Palpitatin’
With all that meat and no potatoes

All that meat and no potatoes
All that food to the alligators
Now hold me steady
I’m really ready
Now all that meat and no potatoes

I don’t think that peas are bad
With meat most anything goes
Yes, I look into the pot
I’m fit to fight
‘Cause, woman, you know that mess just ain’t right

Oh, Pops!

All that meat and no potatoes
Just ain’t right, like green tomatoes
Woman, I’m steamin’, yeah!
I’m really screamin’
All that meat and no potatoes

Say, I don’t think that beans are bad
With meat most anything goes
I look into the pot
And what a sight!
Oh, woman, you know that without rice
Beans just ain’t right

Oh, Pops!

All that meat and no potatoes
Just ain’t right, like green tomatoes
Now woman, I’m steamin’
And I’m really screamin’
All that meat and no potatoes

.

 

Louis Armstrong & Velma Middleton

 

When I first heard this song, I found it really groovy, and I still do, but I thought to myself, why would someone write such a great song about meat and potatoes?

Well, after some researching, I found out.

The title of this song, All That Meat and No Potatoes, was a slur from the early 1940s that was used to described a big figured attractive woman with small breasts. Gee, don’t you wish English was still that classy these days?

Hey, some people will never be classy, but you could help them by giving them language like this rather than, well, you use your own choice words.

Anyhoo, the story regarding how this song came about was that Fats Waller liked some female vocalist he was working with, except that she was all that meat and no potatoes. So he wrote a song about it.

Awww. Wasn’t that romantic? 🙂

But you’ve got to give credits to Fats, and his manager Ed Kirkeby. They wrote a good song on the literal end of things, expressing discontent with cooking that had a lot of meat and no potatoes, as a metaphor for Fats’ feelings towards this woman.

Then Louis came along and just took it to another level. Compare the version above to the version below.

It might be jazz, but I’ll tell ya, can Louis rock it or what???

The Louis Armstrong version of this song goes on my list for Best Songs I Heard for the First Time in 2010. I make a list every year. Please click here for links to other songs I have put on this list so far.

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