Shave ‘Em Dry: A Totally Filthy Song From 1935

Lucille Bogan's Dirty Blues song would have made the PMRC shit their pants.

Every generation thinks the one that preceded them was square, and there's this general idea that pre-1960s America was totally sexless and uptight. There's this vision of an America where everybody wore ties and nobody made double entendres. But that couldn't be further from the truth, and our forefathers lived in a raunchy, filthy world. Granted, that raunch wasn't as on the surface as it is today, but that's part of what made it even better. 

There's a grand tradition of absolutely hair-curlingly obscene popular music that stretches back to the founding of this country (and, to be fair, deep into human history), but that form may have been perfected in the 1920s and 30s, as blues singers got truly saucy in late night juke joints. Just imagine a packed crowd in a smoky club, drunk as hell and sweaty, hooting and hollering along with a sexy chanteuse spouting language that would make a sailor plug his ears. Those were the days. There's a whole subcategory known as 'Dirty Blues,' and in it are songs with amazing titles like Big Ten Inch RecordBaby Let Me Bang Your Box and Get 'Em From The Peanut Man (Hot Nuts).

Lucille Bogan has a spot in the history books as one of the first blues singers to be professionally recorded;  she's also one of the great DIrty Blues singers of all time. During the 30s most of her songs revolved around drinking or sex, with titles like Sloppy Drunk Blues and B.D. Woman's Blues (B.D. stands for Bull Dyke). Perhaps her most famous Dirty Blues recording is also one of her last; she recorded two versions of Shave 'Em Dry in 1935 - one clean and one dirty. The clean one is representative of what would be pressed to wax at the time; full of double entendres it was a more palatable version of what was actually being sung in the juke joints. But the dirty version - which is mind-blowingly obscene from start to finish - actually lets us hear what was being truly sung in the clubs. It's a rare peek into a secret world that is becoming lost to the mists of time. 

Bogan stopped recording in 1935 and moved to Los Angeles. She managed her son's jazz band, Bogan's Birmingham Busters, for a while. She died in 1948 at age 51.

Here are the lyrics to the filthy version of Shave 'Em Dry:

I got nipples on my titties, big as the end of my thumb,

I got somethin' between my legs'll make a dead man come,

Oh daddy, baby won't you shave 'em dry?

Now, draw it out!

Want you to grind me baby, grind me until I cry.

Say I fucked all night, and all the night before baby,

And I feel just like I wanna, fuck some more,

Oh great God daddy,

Grind me honey and shave me dry,

And when you hear me holler baby, want you to shave it dry.

I got nipples on my titties, big as the end of my thumb,

Daddy you say that's the kind of 'em you want, and you can make 'em come,

Oh, daddy shave me dry,

And I'll give you somethin' baby, swear it'll make you cry.

I'm gon' turn back my mattress, and let you oil my springs,

I want you to grind me daddy, 'til the bell do ring,

Oh daddy, want you to shave 'em dry,

Oh great God daddy, if you can't shave 'em baby won't you try?

Now if fuckin' was the thing, that would take me to heaven,

I'd be fuckin' in the studio, till the clock strike eleven,

Oh daddy, daddy shave 'em dry,

I would fuck you baby, honey I'd make you cry.

Now your nuts hang down like a damn bell sapper,

And your dick stands up like a steeple,

Your goddam ass-hole stands open like a church door,

And the crabs walks in like people.

Ow, shit!

Ooh! Baby, won't you shave 'em dry

A big sow gets fat from eatin' corn,

And a pig gets fat from suckin',

Reason you see this whore, fat like I am,

Great God, I got fat from fuckin'.

Eeeeh! Shave 'em dry

My back is made of whalebone,

And my cock is made of brass,

And my fuckin' is made for workin' men's two dollars,

Great God, round to kiss my ass.

Oh! Whoo, daddy, shave 'em dry

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