Saturday, 5 August 2017

Dance Around in Your Bones by Joan Lennon

I live in Scotland, so I am rarely troubled by being too hot.  But the summers were scorchers where I grew up and I now have a son living in Indonesia - and when I visit oh how I wish I could follow the delectable Lee Morse's advice!  Which advice is that, I hear you ask?  Listen up -




I've combined the various versions of the lyrics that the internet has to offer for you.


Dancing may do this and that
And help you take off lots of fat
But I'm no friend of dancing when it's hot
So if you are a dancing fool
Who loves to dance, but can't keep cool
Bear in mind the ideas that I've got

When it gets too hot for comfort
And you can't get ice cream cones
T'ain't no sin to take off your skin
And dance around in your bones
When the lazy syncopation
Of the music softly moans
T'ain't no sin to take off your skin
And dance around in your bones

The polar bears aren't green up in Greenland
They've got the right idea
They think it's great to refrigerate
While we all cremate down here
Just be like those bamboo babies
In the South Sea tropic zones
T'ain't no sin to take off your skin
And dance around in your bones

When you're calling up your sweetie
In those hothouse telephones
T'ain't no sin to take off your skin
And dance around in your bones
When you're on a crowded dance floor
Near those red hot saxophones
Ah, t'ain't no sin to take off your skin
And dance around in your bones

Take a look at the girls when they're dancing
Notice the way they're dressed
They wear silken clothes without any hose
And nobody knows the rest
No more singing in the bathtub
With those television phones
T'ain't no sin to take off your skin
And dance around in your bones

Now, we are gathered by the river
Listen to your Deacon Jones
T'ain't no sin to take off your skin
And dance around in your bones
You must all go in that water
Let me hear your sinful groans
T'ain't no sin to take off your skin
And dance around in your bones

Do what I say right away, wicked sinners
For this is your judgement day
Come andele in the river with me
Wash your sins away
Throw away your gin and razors
Throw away your gambling bones
For t'ain't no sin to take off your skin
And dance around in your bones


There are definitely bits I had to look up.  Andele, for example, is, according to Wiktionary, American slang for hurry up; come on; get a move on!  Gin and razors could refer to a cocktail of gin and cayenne pepper, which seems to me a ghastly thing to do to gin, so definitely worth throwing away.  But who is Deacon Jones?  Other than a preacher who conveniently rhymes with bones?  And why were telephone boxes so hot?  Let me know if you've got any ideas.  And what about that reference to television phones way back in 1929?  Wow!

One last tidbit - in the comments of the instrumental version of 'Taint No Sin by Fred "Sugar" Hall and His Sugar Babies here, I learned that this was Ray Bradbury's favourite song as a boy.  ("Zen in the Art of Writing")  


Lee Morse, American jazz and blues singer and songwriter (1897 - 1854)


Joan Lennon's website.
Joan Lennon's blog.
Walking Mountain.


3 comments:

Caroline Lawrence said...

What a fun post, Joan!

P.S. Anybody who remembers Speedy Gonzalez ("The Fastest Mouse in all Mexico") from Looney Toons cartoons knows *andale* is Spanish for 'hurry up!' But he made his first appearance over 60 years ago in America so you are forgiven. :-)

Joan Lennon said...

There's no place you can't learn something, eh?

Maureen said...

Probably Morse died in 1954?