“Salty Dog”


Floating verses linked by the words "Honey, let me be your salty dog," e.g. "Pulled the trigger and the gun said go/Shot rung over in Mexico"; "Two old maids lyin' in the bed/One turned over to the other and said/You ain't nothin' but my salty dog."


A "salty dog" was a sexual partner. - PJS

In bluegrass circles, this is credited to the Morris Brothers, but the Jackson recording seems to eliminate this possibility. - RBW

Several labels independently credit Jackson as the author. - PJS

Cross references


  • Allen Bros., "A New Salty Dog" (Victor 23514, 1931; Bluebird B-5403, 1934; Montgomery Ward M-4750, c. 1945; RCA Victor 20-2132, 1947; on RCA Victor LPV-552 (LP), GoingDown); "Salty Dog, Hey Hey Hey" (Vocalion 02818, 1934); probably also "Salty Dog Blues" (Columbia 15175-D, 1927)
  • Bo Carter [pseud. for Bo Chatmon] "Be My Salty Dog" (Bluebird B-7968, 1938)
  • Jimmie Davis, "Davis' Salty Dog" (Victor 23674, 1932)
  • Papa Charlie Jackson, "Salty Dog Blues" (Paramount 12236, 1924; Broadway 5001 [as Casey Harris], c. 1930)
  • McGee Brothers, "Salty Dog Blues" (Vocalion 5150, 1927)
  • Morris Brothers, "Let Me Be Your Salty Dog" (Bluebird B-7967, c. 1938) "Salty Dog Blues" (RCA Victor 20-1783, 1945)
  • Paramount Pickers, "Salty Dog" (Paramount 12779/Broadway 5069 [as Broadway Pickers], 1929)
  • Jimmy Revard Oklahoma Cowboys, "Dirty Dog" (Bluebird B-6992, 1937; rec. 1936)
  • Clara Smith, "Salty Dog" (Columbia 14143-D, 1926)
  • Stripling Brothers, "Salty Dog" (Decca 5049, 1934)


  1. Cohen/Seeger/Wood, pp. 184-185, "Salty Dog Blues" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Silber-FSWB, p. 79, "Salty Dog" (1 text)
  4. Roud #11661
  5. BI, CSW184


Alternate titles: “A New Salty Dog”
Author: Probably Charlie Jackson
Earliest date: 1924 (recording, Papa Charlie Jackson)
Found in: US(SE,Ap)