[Dixielandjazz] Re: Short Dress Gal

Bill Haesler bhaesler at nsw.bigpond.net.au
Sat Feb 1 08:34:20 PST 2003

Dear Robert,
(Written yesterday afternoon)
I have just listened to the 1927 Sam Morgan record of "Short Dress Gal', but can
add very little, except as noted below.
There are later vocal versions by Kid Howard and Sheik Cola (which I do not
Geoff Holden (a local banjo player and New Orleans expert) who may have them.
He is a school teacher, so I will have to wait until he gets home before I can
ask him.
In the meantime, I have spoken to local trumpet player Geoff Bull, another well
known Oz expert on all things New Orleans and he quoted (from memory) all of the
lyrics that you posted.
I reproduce the lot below with my suggestions in brackets.
Kind regards,

I knew a little girl
Her name was (Bee)
She'd flirt with every man
That she did see
She'd flirt with a man
Called Mr Key
She had a dress measured (raised up - according to Geoff Bull and Geoff Holden)
To her knee.
She went to the river
She couldn't get across,
She paid five dollars
For an old (grey) horse.
The horse wouldn't pull
She swapped it for a bull
All she could hear
The boys was sayin’
Won't you lower it babe
Everybody's lookin’
(Won't you - is not sung) Lower it babe
Everyone can see
Won't you lower it babe
Everybody's lookin’
("Short dress, no mo' style." As I hear it.)

Regarding the last line:
Geoff Bull thought is was "Short dress gal named Bee".
Anton Crouch hears "Short dress out of style."
And I like the sense of Ron L Herault's "Short dress, home made style."
Geoff Holden (who rang back last night) remembers (and confirms from a re-listen
to the Sam Morgan): "for a short dress woman now."
He does not have the Kid Sheik LP, but will find and check the Kid Howard
version on Icon LP in the morning.

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