“Railroadin' and Gamblin'”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1940 (recording, Uncle Dave Macon)
Keywords: prison gambling railroading nonballad nonsense
Found in: US(SE)

Description

Uncle Dave Macon surrealism. Singer has been in the state house and the court house; he is broke from gambling. Chorus: "Railroadin' and gamblin'/Pickin' up chips for mammy/Lawd, lawd, lawd/Take your feet out the sand, stick 'em in the mud."

Long description

More Uncle Dave Macon surrealism. Singer has been in the state house (prison?) and the court house, and is broke from gambling despite his mother's advice. "Lawd, that preacher got, ain't that a sin/Johnny get your whiskers cut, here comes the wind." Chorus: "Railroadin' and gamblin'/Pickin' up chips for mammy/Lawd, lawd, lawd/Take your feet out the sand, stick 'em in the mud." You figure it out.

Notes

Almost certainly of minstrel origin; a few lines are in dialect. While I use the keyword "nonsense," I suspect there was meaning in the song once. - PJS

Recordings