Skinny Leg Blues

My take on Skinny Leg Blues is that it is a revenge story. The singer has been raped by the man she is singing to and now she is coming to kill him. All the stuff about skinny legs and slowness put forward the idea that her revenge is inevitable: I am coming for you. The second verse lines “I’ve got little bitty legs, keep up these noble thighs” seems to indicate virginity—”between a woman’s thighs” is a common euphemism for coitus. The rest of the song is self-explanatory. In the end the song means one thing: Don’t mess with Geeshie.

Geeshie Wiley was not Dinah Washington: it is not always easy to understand what she is singing. For example, I’m not sure she’s saying “keep up these noble thighs”. Nevertheless, here is my best effort at transcribing Skinny Leg Blues:

And I’m a little bitty Mama, baby and I ain’t built for speed
Crying I’m a little bitty Mama, baby and I ain’t built for speed
Oh, and I ain’t built for speed
I’ve got everything that a little bitty Mama needs.

I’ve got little bitty legs, keep up these noble thighs [?]
I’ve got little bitty legs, keep up these noble thighs
Oh, keep up these noble thighs
I’ve got something I don’t need, just like a bullhorn cry [?!]

And when you see me coming, pull down your window blind
And when you see me coming, pull down your window blind
You see me coming, pull down your window blind
So your next door neighbor, sure can hear you whine

I’m gonna cut your throat baby, gone look down in your face
I’m gonna cut your throat babe, gone look down in your face
Oh, I’ll look down in your face
I’m gonna let some lonesome graveyard, be your resting place.

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