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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Azizi Lyr Req: Netty Netty (Rafael de Leon) (27) RE: Lyr Req: Netty Netty (Rafael de Leon) 20 Jun 14

Thanks to Mick Pearce and James Fryer for their transcriptions and notes about the song "Netty Netty". Thanks also to Guest 19 June 14 for his or her comment about the meaning of "the thing in her belly".

I quoted the transcription, and two of James Fryer's comments and Guest's comment in my blog post on this song:

Here are two minor changes that I made to that transcription:
I changed the name "Nelly" that Mick Pearce gave in the last line of Verse 1 to "Netty". Also, Mick Pearce wrote "Your dambou-vamou addlin' me brain" as line four of Verse 2. I changed that to "Tamboo Bamboo", conforming with the change that was given to that transcription by James Fryer.

Also, "high brown" refers to skin color and may be the same as the African American term "high yellow", meaning a very light skinned Black person, in this case, a light skinned Black woman.

In addition, in that post I question the generally accepted meaning of this song. I wrote that
"I wonder what was so shocking in 1936 about a prostitute having an abortion. It's likely that a number of prostitutes in those days had abortions. But perhaps what was shocking was to openly sing about that fact. That said, it seems to me that some of the more sexually explicit or at least sexually suggestive lines in that song would have been considered more shocking than the line "give me the thing you have in your belly" - For instance, do the references "gin bottle" and "tamboo bamboo" refer to a man's body part" and not [just] types of music bands?...

I wouldn't be surprised if that abortion explanation for the phrase "thing in her belly" line was a story that might have been promoted by Roaring Lion to cover up the more explicit meaning of those lyrics & other lyrics in that song. It wouldn't surprise me if anyone who was really in the know about what this song was really about chuckled when they heard that cover story and may have even publicly confirmed that that story was the real meaning of the song just to "put one over" on un-hip listeners."

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