Heptune presents:

I Got What It Takes

    (Williams-Jenkins)

Transcribed from Blanche Calloway and Her Joy Boys, recorded November 18, 1931.
From Blanche Calloway and Her Joy Boys, 1925-1935; The Chronogical Classics 783.

Mary Green, New Orleans,
Man, so keen and calm,
That's when she was done proving no man could think her wrong,
One day she received a note from her boyfriend in jail,
This brother asked her if she'd send him some bail,
Now, she's a gal who didn't believe in giving men her money,
So she sat down and wrote him, "Now listen here, honey:"
Photo of Blanche Calloway
I got what it takes, but it breaks my heart
To give it away, to give it away,
And this little thing that I've got
Is the thing that makes fiddlers play, fiddlers play;
I been savin' up since I don't know when,
I ain't playin' Santa Claus to any men!
Now, this little thing, I ain't gonna abuse it,
If I ever get broke, babe, I certainly can use it!

This little thing is the thing
The whole world's talkin' about, talking about,
And I'm certainly not going to do without,
Without a doubt!
Now, they caught you on spot,
And now you in jail,
Can't send you none of this,
Might get lost through the mail.
I got what it takes, but it breaks my heart,
I ain't gonna give it away!

I got what it takes, but it breaks my heart, baby,
To give it away, to give it away,
And this little thing that I've got
Is the thing that makes the fiddlers play, fiddlers play;
Now, I been savin' up since I don't know when,
I ain't playin' Santa Claus to any men!
Some people say that it's filthy and old,
But you can tell the world it's worth its weight in gold!

This little thing is the thing
The whole world's talkin' about, talkin' about,
And I'm certainly not going to do without,
Without a doubt!
Now, what you wanted, Daddy,
Suited me to a tee,
If you get any of this, it will surprise me!
I've got what it takes, but it breaks my heart;
Ain't gonna give it away.

Guess you wonder what I got
All the boys think I'm so hot,
Well, I got just what it takes,
I ain't gonna give it away!


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Published 2/27/99.


 

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