Blue Yodel No. 9
Jimmie Rodgers Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Standing on the corner, I didn't mean no harm
Along come the police, he took me by the arm
It was down in Memphis, corner of Beale and Main
He says "big boy, you'll have to tell me your name"

I said "you'll find my name on the tail of my shirt
I'm a Tennessee hustler, I don't have to work"
Listen all you rounders, you better leave my women alone
'Cause I'll take my special and run all you rounders home

My good girl loves me, everybody knows
And she paid a hundred cash dollars just for me a suit of clothes
She come to the joint, a forty-four in each hand



She said "stand aside all you women and men
'Cause I'm looking for my man"

Overall Meaning

The lyrics in Jimmie Rodgers's Blue Yodel No. 9 depict the story of a poor, hardworking man who finds himself in trouble with the law. He tells the story of his encounter with the police officer while standing on the corner of Beale and Main in Memphis. The man states that he did not mean any harm, but the police officer took him by the arm, demanding to know his name.


The singer of the song claims to be a Tennessee hustler, asserting that he does not have to work hard to earn a living. He warns all the "rounders" to leave his women alone because he is willing to use his "special" to run them off. The man's good girl loves him, and she pays $100 for him to have a suit of clothes. She enters the joint with a gun in each hand looking all around for her man.


This song's lyrics lend insight into the world of poverty and hustling in the early 1930s in America. The song captures the essence of a society struggling to survive during the Great Depression, with men and women forced to hustle and resort to illicit means to earn a living. With its catchy yodeling and bluesy guitar riff, Blue Yodel No. 9 became a classic in American music history.


Line by Line Meaning

Standing on the corner, I didn't mean no harm
I was standing on the corner, minding my own business and not causing any trouble.


Along come the police, he took me by the arm
Then a police officer came over and grabbed me.


It was down in Memphis, corner of Beale and Main
This occurred on the corner of Beale and Main in Memphis.


He says "big boy, you'll have to tell me your name"
The police officer asked me to identify myself.


I said "you'll find my name on the tail of my shirt
I replied that my name was written on the back of my shirt.


I'm a Tennessee hustler, I don't have to work"
I told him I was a hustler from Tennessee and didn't need to work.


Listen all you rounders, you better leave my women alone
I warned all the men hanging around to stay away from my women.


'Cause I'll take my special and run all you rounders home
I threatened to use my weapon to chase them all away.


My good girl loves me, everybody knows
I have a loyal girlfriend who everyone knows about.


And she paid a hundred cash dollars just for me a suit of clothes
She even bought me clothes as a gift.


She come to the joint, a forty-four in each hand
Once she showed up with two guns.


She said "stand aside all you women and men
She demanded everyone move out of the way.


'Cause I'm looking for my man"
So she could find and protect me.




Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing
Written by: JIMMIE RODGERS

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

Josh Loney

Everybody’s here to understand a reference..
But does anybody else catch the reference to another old time gem, “Frankie and Albert”?

Blue Yodel No 9:
“My good gal loves me, everybody knows
And she paid one hundred dollars, cash
Just for me, a suite of clothes
She come to the joint, a forty four in each hand
She said, “stand aside all you women and men, cause I’m looking for my man”

Frankie and Albert:
“Frankie was a woman, everybody knows
She paid one hundred dollars, just to buy her man a suite of clothes
But her man, lord, he’s done her wrong
So Frankie went walking
She did not go for fun
Wearing her apron, and carrying a smoking forty one
To shoot her man, cause he’s done her wrong
So Frankie dropped by the saloon, and called for a bottle of beer
And asked the loving bartender, “has my loving my been here?
He’s my man, worried he’s doing me wrong”



Davey Carfax

I'm not entirely certain, but my interpretation of the "reference" Colter mentions is that the scenario and interaction he has with the cop in 13 Silver Dollars reminds him of a song, Blue Yodel no.9. The first verse is as follows: "Standin' on the corner, I didn't mean no harm
Along come a police, he took me by the arm
It was down in Memphis, corner of Beale and Main
He says, "Big boy, you'll have to tell me your name"

[Refrain]
Dee-oh-dee-lay-ee, eh-ee, oh-dee-lay-ee"

In Colter's song he seems to set up a scenario that hearkens back to the story told in Blue Yodel no. 9.



All comments from YouTube:

Eric Sukiennik

the fact that we are all looking for the reference Colter Wall makes proves he is cooler then we could ever be.

Darkfangedsword88

Hey dude for sure brother

Gabriel Magee

The fact you know why I’m here

Matthew Allred

2 years later this is still true

Kpm 06

Yep 😂

Blinker Fluid Supply

Fact

67 More Replies...

Wayne Hoobler

To Who It May Concern: This evening in the parking lot of a 7/11 store, three young lads in their pickup truck were blasting a "modern" country/rock and roll version of this song for all to hear, already three sheets in the wind and strutting their stuff. I don't know if they realize it but 90 years ago, somewhere, three young lads with a Model T pickup were blasting this song on a Victrola for all to hear, three sheets to the wind and strutting their stuff. The good stuff never dies.

KingSnowman

This is a GOLD Comment and a GOLD statement.

TheGrangie

I think of that often. Did he know that we would be listening to him over 90 years later?

Gail S

100perdido AMEN
not to long ago I saw some guy listening to some song about "do your chains hang low" which is a knock off of a World War One song nothing is new.

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