“Take a Whiff on Me”


The singer "Walked up Ellum and... come down Main / Tryin' to bum a nickel, just to buy cocaine / Ho, ho, honey take a whiff on me." The singer devotes considerable energy to seeking women and drugs, with slight success and open disregard for the risks


"Ellum" ("Elem," "Deep Elem") refers to Elm Street in Dallas, the heart of that city's red light district. The various versions of this song, naturally, differ considerably in local color. - RBW

The recording "Tell It to Me" presents another classification problem; also known as "Let the Cocaine Be," it has a chorus "Tell it to me, tell it to me/Drink corn likker, let the cocaine be" that other "Take a Whiff on Me" songs do not, and sometimes different verses. I'm joining them primarily because many versions of "Tell It to Me" include the "Honey, take a whiff on me" refrain, but a case could also be made for splitting. - PJS

Cross references


  • Anonymous singer, "Take A Whiff On Me" (on Unexp1)
  • Freeny's Barn Dance Band, "Croquet Habits" (OKeh 45524, 1931; rec. 1930; on StuffDreams1)
  • Grant Brothers & Their Music, "Tell It to Me" (Columbia 15322-D, 1928; on RoughWays1)
  • Memphis Jug Band, "Cocaine Habit Blues" (Victor V-38620, 1930)


  1. Randolph-Legman I, pp. 130-132, "Take a Whiff on Me" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  2. Lomax-FSUSA 89, "Take a Whiff on Me" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 186-188, "Honey, Take a Whiff on Me" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Scarborough-NegroFS, p. 277, "Oh, Ho, Baby, Take a One On Me!" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Roud #10062
  7. BI, RL130


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1928 (recording, Grant Brothers)
Keywords: drugs sex
Found in: US(Ap,MA,So)