Mother and Minnie

"Folks here's a story 'bout Minnie the Moocher
and  here's a story of my mother.
…"She was a red hot hoochie coocher,.."
not my mother…Minnie the Moocher.
…"She was the roughest, toughest frail,…"
not my mother…Minnie the Moocher
…"but Minnie had a heart as big as a whale…."

but, you say
Minnie was just a prostitute
oh yes, but a compassionate one
that certainly wasn't my mother

Ho-dee ho-dee ho
Ho-dee ho-dee ho

I'm sorry, she was compassionate but not a prostitute
…"She (Minnie) messed around with a bloke named smokey…'
my mother never messed around.
…"she loved him even thought he was cokie…"
my mother never knew cokie

Hi-dee hi-dee hi-dee hi
Hi-dee hi-dee hi-dee hi

my mother sang along with Cab
while she did her laundry
in the basement
with a wash board and a wringer

Hey-dee hey
Hey-dee hey

her dark raven hair…her soft lovely voice
but not with Cab ad Minnie
she danced around the dank basement
 and vocalized as if she was on Broadway


and then she would laugh
a sweet melodic laugh
and tweek my nose
oh I hope you're a singer

and then she would carry the wash
out to the clothesline and I would tag along
and she would sing
"Hi-dee, he-dee, hi-dee hi"

"Oh, I'm Minnie the moocher."...

I was born in  1939 and the period of my life that this poem references is when I was 4 or 5 years old. I doubt that my mother ever realized that the song was about prostitution and drugs.  She just loved the music and trying to repeat the weird jazz lyrics that Mr. Calloway sang.

From Wkiipedia

"Minnie the Moocher" is a jazz song first recorded in 1931 by Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, selling over 1 million copies. "Minnie the Moocher" is most famous for its nonsensical ad libbed ("scat") lyrics (for example, "Hi De Hi De Hi De Hi"). In performances, Calloway would have the audience participate by repeating each scat phrase in a form of call and response. Eventually Calloway's phrases would become so long and complex that the audience would laugh at their own failed attempts to repeat them.

"Minnie the Moocher" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

The song is based both musically and lyrically on Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon's 1927 "Willie the Weeper" (Bette Davis sings this version in The Cabin in the Cotton). The lyrics are heavily laden with drug references. The character "Smokey" is described as "cokey", meaning a user of cocaine; the phrase "kicking the gong around" was a slang reference to smoking opium.

Memories are made of this
thanks for the prompt
Old Grizz


  1. AnonymousMay 19, 2013

    Grizz you linked us up t wikipedia

    I love that you have written a song, it has such a beautiful vibrant quality and flow. It's very charming =) Love it! Now I am going to go listen to the song and read it again haha

    1. Thanks M
      loved the prompt and thanks for the heads up...I fixed it...I think

  2. ha...very nicely done sir...interesting comparison to your mom and minnie...more different than the same but drawn together in a song sang while doing cool is that...smiles. i grinned that she might not know what she was singing as well...very cool take...

    1. thanks Briam..I appreciate that you took a moment to read and comment.