Tox Tunes #108: Commit a Crime (Howlin’ Wolf)

February 26, 2017, 1:09 pm

You put poison in my coffee, instead of milk or cream
You put poison in my coffee, instead of milk or cream
You bout the evilest woman, that I ever seen

You mixed my drinks with a can of Red Devil lye
You mixed my drinks with a can of Red Devil lye
Then you sit down, watch me, hopin’ that I might die

This is one of the great dysfunctional relationship songs in all of the blues. Howling’ Wolf (Chester Burnett 1910 – 1976) also recorded a great version of the song — under the title “What a Woman” and with Eric Clapton playing lead guitar — on the 1970 London Sessions album:

A recent cover of this song by the Rolling Stones on their Blue and Lonesome disc inexplicably leaves out the meanest verse ± “You mixed my drinks with a can of Red Devil lye” — and is inferior in every way:

By the way, Wikipedia reports: “In addition to its practical uses, Red Devil Lye was also used as a hoodoo magical ingredient in the American South, where it could be used to magically protect a property from trespassers by burying cans of the product in the four corners of a property.”

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