Alcohol and Jake Blues
DESCRIPTION: Alcohol don't kill me ... I'll never die" "I woke up this morning, alcohol was 'round my bed" "I drink so much of Jake ... give me the limber leg If I don't quit drinking it every morning, sure gonna kill me dead"
EARLIEST DATE: 1929 (Tommy Johnson)
KEYWORDS: drink nonballad disease
1919 - The Volstead Act estabishes prohibition of "intoxicating liquors" to carry out the 18th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
1933 - The 21st amendment to the U.S. Constitution ends prohibition.
Tommy Johnson, "Alcohol and Jake Blues" (Paramount 12950, 1929)
cf. "Got the Jake Leg Too" (Prohibition alcohol surrogates) and references there
NOTES [122 words]: Three line blues: the first line is repeated -- more or less -- and the last line completes the thought.
"Jamaica ginger extract, known in the United States by the slang name Jake, was a late 19th-century patent medicine that provided a convenient way to obtain alcohol during the era of Prohibition, since it contained approximately 70% to 80% ethanol by weight. In the 1930s, a large number of users of Jamaica ginger were afflicted with a paralysis of the hands and feet that quickly became known as Jamaica ginger paralysis or jake paralysis" ("Jamaica ginger" on Wikipedia, accessed June 19, 2020). - BS
For more on jake, and jake paralysis, and prohibition replacements for alcohol in general, see "Got the Jake Leg Too." - RBW
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