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Lucille Bogan's Shave 'Em Dry - The Song From 1935 that's So Filthy It Comes With A Parental Warning

Updated: Apr 21

Each new batch of youngsters believes the old fogies before them were all boring squares, imagining a world before the 1960s where everyone wore stuffy suits and wouldn't dare be a little filthy. But that's a load of rubbish. Our ancestors lived in a world that was downright saucy and scandalous. Sure, they kept their naughtiness under wraps, but that only made it all the juicier!

There exists a rich heritage of shockingly explicit popular music that traces its roots back to the inception of our diverse nations (and, let's be honest, throughout human history), but perhaps its pinnacle was reached in the 1920s and 30s when blues singers unleashed their raw sensuality in late-night juke joints. Picture a jam-packed club, thick with smoke, intoxicated patrons, and a sultry songstress belting out lyrics that would make even the most seasoned sailor blush. Ah, those were the days.

Within this realm lies a subgenre dubbed 'Dirty Blues,' featuring tracks with delightfully scandalous titles like "Big Ten Inch Record," "Baby Let Me Bang Your Box," and "Get 'Em From The Peanut Man (Hot Nuts)."

Lucille Bogan, hailed as one of the earliest professionally recorded blues singers, also stands tall among the pantheon of Dirty Blues legends. Throughout the 1930s, her repertoire largely revolved around themes of drinking and sex, with songs like "Sloppy Drunk Blues" and "B.D. Woman's Blues" (where 'B.D.' stands for Bull Dyke). Among her most notorious recordings is "Shave 'Em Dry," which exists in two versions: a tame rendition reflective of the sanitized tracks pressed onto wax at the time, and a jaw-droppingly explicit version that offers a glimpse into the unfiltered lyrics heard in the clandestine clubs. It's a rare window into a bygone era slipping away into obscurity.

Bogan ceased recording in 1935 and relocated to Los Angeles, where she briefly managed her son's jazz band, Bogan's Birmingham Busters, before her passing in 1948 at the age of 51.

The full lyrics for Shave 'em dry -

I got nipples on my titties, big as the end of my thumb I got something between my legs'll make a dead man cum Oh, daddy, baby, won't you shave 'em dry? Now, draw it out! Want you to grind me, baby, grind me until I cry
Say I fucked all night, and all the night before, baby And I feel just like I wanna, fuck some more Oh, great God daddy, grind me, honey, and shave me dry And when you hear me holler, baby, want you to shave it dry
I got nipples on my titties, big as the end of my thumb Daddy, you say that's the kind of 'em you want, and you can make 'em cum Oh, daddy, shave me dry And I'll give you something, baby, swear it'll make you cry
I'm gon' turn back my mattress, and let you oil my springs I want you to grind me, daddy, 'til the bell do ring Oh, daddy, want you to shave 'em dry
Oh, great God daddy, if you can't shave 'em baby, won't you try?
Now if fucking was the thing that would take me to Heaven I'd be fucking in the studio 'til the clock strike 11 Oh daddy, daddy, shave 'em dry

I would fuck you, baby, honey, I'd make you cry
Now your nuts hang down like a damn bell sapper And your dick stands up like a steeple Your god-damn ass-hole stands open like a church door
And the crabs walks in like people, haw, shit! Shucks, ooh! Baby, won't you shave 'em dry?
A big sow gets fat from eating corn And a pig gets fat from sucking Reason you see this whore, fat like I am Great God, I got fat from fucking
Eh, shave 'em dry (with pleasure)
My back is made of whalebone And my cock is made of brass And my fucking is made for working men's two dollars Great God 'round to kiss my ass Whoa, woo, daddy, shave 'em dry


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