Muddy Waters - Mannish Boy




"Mannish Boy" (or "Manish Boy" as it was first labeled) is a blues standard by Muddy Waters. First recorded in 1955, the song is both an arrangement of and an "answer song" to Bo Diddley's "I'm a Man", which was in turn inspired by Waters' and Willie Dixon's "Hoochie Coochie Man". "Mannish Boy" features a repeating stop-time figure on one chord throughout the song and is credited to Waters, Mel London, and Bo Diddley.


Although the song contains sexual boasting, its repetition of "I'm a man, I spell M, A child, N" was understood as political. Waters had recently left the South for Chicago. "Growing up in the South, African-Americans [would] never be referred to as a man – but as 'boy'. In this context, the song [is] an assertion of black manhood."




Lyrics



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



Songwriters: Ellas Mcdaniel / Melvin London / Mckinley Morganfield

Mannish Boy lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.




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