Sweet Rhode Island Red
Ike & Tina Turner Lyrics


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Born in Louisiana in a town called Franklin
I was fully matured by the time I reached the age of ten
A mulatto girl is what they called me
And us mulattos had no trouble at all with men
All men say that I'm as sweet as honey
'Cause I'm thirty-four, thirty-eight and twenty-two at the tummy

They called me Sweet Rhode Island Red
Sweet Rhode Island Red
Sweet Rhode Island Red
Sweet Rhode Island Red
Sweet-y is what they said about Sweet Rhode Island Red

Tried to live a life I thought I wanted me to
I went to church, finished school, was a member of a [?]
But old pastor [?] and Nathan Jones
They were just too hard headed to leave me alone
They said that I was sweet as honey
'Cause I'm thirty-four, thirty-eight and twenty-two at the tummy

They called me Sweet Rhode Island Red
Sweet Rhode Island Red
Sweet Rhode Island Red
Sweet Rhode Island Red
Sweet-y is what they said about Sweet Rhode Island Red

I was seventeen when I moved to New Orleans
'Cause living in the city has always been my dream
People laughed, said it was a shame and a pity
When old mayor Daley gave me the key to the city
He too said that I was as sweet as honey
'Cause I'm thirty-four, thirty-eight and twenty-two at the tummy

They called me Sweet Rhode Island Red
Sweet Rhode Island Red
Sweet Rhode Island Red




Sweet Rhode Island Red
Sweet-y is what they said about Sweet Rhode Island Red

Overall Meaning

The song Sweet Rhode Island Red by Ike & Tina Turner tells the story of a woman who has struggled all her life because of her racial and ethnic background. She was born in Louisiana into a mixed-race family and as a child, she was already very mature for her age. As a mulatto, she did not have any trouble with men, which led to the nickname Sweet Rhode Island Red. The song describes how men find her sweet as honey due to her age and curvy body.


The woman tried to live a life she thought she wanted, going to church, finishing school and being a member of a community. However, she found it hard to escape the attention of some men who were stubborn and refused to leave her alone despite her attempts to avoid them. She moved to New Orleans at the age of 17 because she dreamed of living in the city. People laughed and judge her, but she was eventually given the key to the city by Mayor Daley.


The song describes the struggles of a woman who has been objectified by men all her life, yet has still managed to rise up and achieve her dreams. It highlights the discrimination and prejudice that many mixed-race women face in their lives, while also showing the resilience and strength that they possess.


Line by Line Meaning

Born in Louisiana in a town called Franklin
I was born in Franklin, Louisiana, and that's where I grew up.


I was fully matured by the time I reached the age of ten
I grew up quickly and learned a lot by the time I was ten years old.


A mulatto girl is what they called me
I have mixed racial heritage and people often referred to me as a 'mulatto girl'.


And us mulattos had no trouble at all with men
People thought that being of mixed race meant that I had an advantage in attracting men.


All men say that I'm as sweet as honey
Men find me very attractive and sweet.


'Cause I'm thirty-four, thirty-eight and twenty-two at the tummy
I have a curvy and attractive figure with measurements of 34-38-22.


They called me Sweet Rhode Island Red
People started calling me 'Sweet Rhode Island Red' for my charm and beauty.


Tried to live a life I thought I wanted me to
I tried to live the life I thought was expected of me.


I went to church, finished school, was a member of a [?]
I did everything that most people would expect of me, including going to church, finishing school, and joining a group or club.


But old pastor [?] and Nathan Jones
However, a pastor and man named Nathan Jones kept harassing me and trying to get my attention.


They were just too hard headed to leave me alone
They were persistent in their pursuit of me, even when I tried to ignore them.


They said that I was sweet as honey
These men, like many others, found me very attractive and charming.


'Cause I'm thirty-four, thirty-eight and twenty-two at the tummy
They were enamored by my curvy and attractive figure.


I was seventeen when I moved to New Orleans
I moved to New Orleans when I was just seventeen years old.


'Cause living in the city has always been my dream
I always wanted to live in a big city and New Orleans was my dream destination.


People laughed, said it was a shame and a pity
Some people criticized me for moving to the city at such a young age and thought it was a pity.


When old mayor Daley gave me the key to the city
Despite some criticism, I was recognized for my charm and beauty by the mayor who gave me the key to the city.


He too said that I was as sweet as honey
The mayor, like many others before him, found me very attractive and charming.


'Cause I'm thirty-four, thirty-eight and twenty-two at the tummy
My beautiful figure and curves caught the attention of many people, including the mayor.


Sweet-y is what they said about Sweet Rhode Island Red
All in all, people referred to me as 'Sweet Rhode Island Red' because of my beauty, charm, and curvy figure.




Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: TINA TURNER

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

Anne Frank Archive

The follow up single to "Nutbush City Limits". Just as with "Nutbush", Tina wrote this track herself. It reached the #106 position in the USA, but it was a moderate hit in Italy (#17) and Germany (#43).

ROUGHCANE

i would like the see those charts from that year 1974 in germany and italy

Leonard Fortes

Native Rhode Islander and I love this! Go Little Rhody!

Christian Petzold

Even John Waite did a smokin' cover of this gem👌

Steve Justice

Rest in peace, beautiful woman

Yvon Douville

Original review from 1974., Please note the amazing comment of that song well suited for discos! Cash Box (1974/03/16 p. 36b). IKE & TINA TURNER (United Artists 409W)Sweet Rhode Island Red (3:08) (Huh Music/Unart Music, BMI—T. Turner)Ike and Tina follow their hard driving "Nutbush City Limits” with this equally super driving rocker. Not only does Tina do what she does best (and that is most definitely belt), but Ike gets some super licks in on his extra funky guitar. Item should perk up most any programmers playlist and make the disco crowd a very happy lot. Watch this one climb to the top soon. Flip: no info, available.

Jonathan Bryant

Tina was extraordinary

Artur The Lioncub

What a mess he did. Such a musical talent. He had it all...

Sinibaldo Cosimi

super

Robert Beightler

Un f**** believable!

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