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Mannish Boy
Muddy Waters Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Oh, yeah
Oh, yeah

Everything gonna be alright this mornin'
Now, when I was a young boy
At the age of five
My mother said I was gonna be
The greatest man alive
But now I'm a man
I'm age twenty-one
I want you to believe me, honey
We having lots of fun

I'm a man (yeah)
I spell M
A, child
N
That represent man
No B
O, child
Y
That spell mannish boy
I'm a man
I'm a full-grown man
I'm a man
I'm a rollin' stone
I'm a man
I'm a hoochie-coochie man

Sittin' on the outside
Just me and my mate
I'm made to move
Come up two hours late
Wasn't that a man?
I spell M
A, child
N
That represesnt man
No B
O, child
Y
That spell mannish boy
I'm a man
I'm a full-grown man
I'm a man
I'm a rolllin' stone
I'm a man
Full-grown man
Oh, well
Oh, well

Overall Meaning

The blues classic "Mannish Boy" by Muddy Waters is a lively celebration of manhood and virility. The song opens with a couple of "Oh, yeah" refrains as Waters sings that "everything gonna be alright this mornin'." The lyrics of the first verse reflect on Waters' childhood when his mother told him that he was going to be "the greatest man alive." Now that he's grown up, he declares that he's a man and he's having lots of fun. As the chorus kicks in, Muddy Waters proclaims that he's a man who spells "M-A-N" and, pointedly, "no B" before reiterating that he's a "mannish boy." In the second verse, Waters sits outside with his friend, waiting, but then he starts to move around a bit. He further declares his manliness, repeating his spelling and proclaiming himself a "full-grown man" and "a rolling stone."


"Mannish Boy" is a joyous celebration of manhood and virility. The lyrics emphasize Waters' strong, masculine energy, much of which is linked to his sexual prowess. The song showcases Waters' dynamic, gravelly vocals and gritty guitar work, boasting an irresistible rhythm and catchy riff. It is a testament to Muddy Waters' influence on rock music, inspiring countless musicians who followed in his path. The song has been covered by various artists, including The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. It remains one of the most recognizable blues standards of all time.


Line by Line Meaning

Oh, yeah
Expression of excitement or approval


Everything gonna be alright this mornin'
Optimistic outlook for the day ahead


Now, when I was a young boy
Referring to childhood memories


At the age of five
Specific age of childhood


My mother said I was gonna be
Recollection of a mother's prophecy


The greatest man alive
Heightened expectation of future greatness


But now I'm a man
Transition from boyhood to adulthood


I'm age twenty-one
Confirmation of adulthood age


I want you to believe me, honey
Assertive tone, seeking validation


We having lots of fun
Enjoying current lifestyle


I'm a man (yeah)
Confident self-identification


I spell M
Alphabet recital for emphasis


A, child
Term of endearment used in spelling


N
Letter 'N'


That represent man
Explanation of what the letters spell


No B
Letter 'B' not included in spelling


O, child
Term of endearment used in spelling


Y
Letter 'Y'


That spell mannish boy
Summary of the letters spelling out a term for self-description


I'm a full-grown man
Confirmation of manhood status


I'm a rollin' stone
Descriptive term for personal lifestyle


I'm a hoochie-coochie man
Self-proclaimed title in reference to intimate prowess


Sittin' on the outside
Location in a particular setting


Just me and my mate
Companionship in the setting


I'm made to move
Personal nature of restlessness


Come up two hours late
Informal reference to tardiness


Wasn't that a man?
Rhetorical question of self-realization


Oh, well
Expression of indifference or resignation




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management
Written by: Ellas Mcdaniel, Melvin London, Mckinley Morganfield

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@Tarantulisimo

Muddy Waters – vocals; guitar
Bob Margolin – guitar
Pinetop Perkins – piano
James Cotton – harmonica
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith – drums
Charles Calmese – bass guitar
Johnny Winter – guitar; miscellaneous screams, shouts, yells, & affirmations

*This is the 1977 version, produced by Johnny Winter. Muddy Waters recorded the original version in 1955, but he re-recorded the song numerous times during his lifetime with various producers -- each take slightly different, but ALL bad-ass!!!



All comments from YouTube:

@AMH793

Muddy Waters granddaughter was in my high school band. She severely underestimated how famous this guy was. Our band director flipped out when she told us.

@robsonsacramento2051

This world is really small and weird. I live in Brazil and I have known his songs for decades. But his granddaughter has no idea of ​​the giant who was her grandfather.

@linel1937

Lol. Wish I could've seen the band director's face. Lol

@linel1937

Mostly what my grandfather listened to was Muddy Waters and Bobby Blue Bland

@juliac9080

It begs the question, was she also as talented?

@JigiHendrix

This is actually quite common, when it's your family you humanize them. Or get all these stories "your grandfather used to sing the blues like no other" As a kid you'll just think, "oh great...(old people music, yuck)" and maybe think it's redundant.

101 More Replies...

@DmarcusBaus

This is my favorite song to listen to while I’m passing a kidney stone.

@jetpackjbd

OWWWWWWW!

@theubomb321

I just saw that scene lmao 🤣

@shotgun517

Sh*t, you're better than me, I couldn't pass mine had 4 surgeries to remove them twice on each kidney!

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