“Mannish Boy” by Muddy Waters

Song of the Day

September 20, 2017

Written by Muddy Waters, Mel London, & Bo Diddley
Produced by Johnny Winter (1977 Recording)
Originally released as a single in June 1955 and later on the album Hard Again in January 1977

A blues standard adapted by Muddy Waters in 1955, “Mannish Boy” was originally recorded on Chess Records as an “answer song” to Bo Diddley’s “I’m a Man”, which itself was inspired by “Hoochie Coochie Man” by Waters and Willie Dixon. This simple but brilliant track is comprised of a single chord executed in a repeating stop-time riff. The original recording has been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

Muddy Waters

After Chess Records was sold in the mid 1970s, Waters moved on to the Blue Sky label. For Hard Again, his first album with the new label, he re-recorded some classic including “Mannish Boy” (the version below) with a fine array of players including guitarist and producer Johnny Winter and blues harp legend James Cotton.

Listen to “Mannish Boy”:

Song Lyrics

Oh yeah, oh yeah
Everything gonna be alright this mornin’
Now, when I was a young boy at the age of five
My mother said I was gonna be the greatest man alive
But now I’m a man, I’m age twenty-one
I want you to believe me, honey
We having lots of fun

I’m a man (yeah)
I spell M, A, child, N,
That represent man
No B, O, child Y
That spell mannish boy
I’m a man, I’m a full-grown man
I’m a man, I’m a rollin’ stone
I’m a man, I’m a hoochie-coochie man

Sittin’ on the outside, just me and my mate
I’m made to move, come up two hours late
Wasn’t that a man?

I spell M, A, child, N,
That represent man
No B, O, child Y
That spell mannish boy
I’m a man, I’m a full-grown man
I’m a man, I’m a rollin’ stone
I’m a man, I’m a hoochie-coochie man
I’m a man, full-grown man

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