Baby Let Me Shake Your Tree

Recorded on Atlantic SD1575, Rahsaan Rahsaan (1970).

This is Rahsaan's introduction to his tune "Baby Let Me Shake Your Tree". Audience reaction is enclosed in [square brackets].

We would like to play a tune by an old gypsy blues singer.

You have to be a gypsy in this country to make money...

especially if you're black.

You got to travel all over the damn land, you dig.

I'm not bitter, I'm just bittersweet.

But you have to be a gypsy to survive in this country. Because when you stay in one place you get tagged and the guys say "Oh, that's a local group," you know. [laughter] "You mean that group's been there for five years?" If we worked at the Vanguard 5 years straight, cat's say "Oh yeah, we go down there once a year, Christmas, New Years." So we go out every now and then and come back. And you all think we done been somewhere.

Been in the same old riots

But anyway, this is a tune written by old Tongue Snatcher. He wrote this tune back in 1859. Tongue Snatcher, he was a mean character 'cause anything he wanted, he could snatch it with his tongue....Reach out and grab it "Aaardlugh bleyt!" [laughter]

Th' man could touch his nose with his tongue...

He could suck his hair...[laughter]

But anyway old Tongue Snatcher wrote this tune called "Baby Let Me Shake Your Tree." Now one day old Tongue Snatcher worked in the White House. He walked up to this lady with his tongue in his hand [...laughter..."He musta' been blind"...] He say "Baby, let me shake your tree." And she was one of them square I'm-a-Hershey-Bar-eaters, stone Apple pie ladies. She said "What you mean?" He said "Well, come with me. Now I know you don't have no tree in this asphalt jungle, so you got to know I'm talking 'bout you baby."

Tongue Snatcher was talkin' 'bout the truth. So I hope you can dig it, please.

Lyrics to "Baby Let Me Shake Your Tree"

Oh baby, baby, let me shake your tree.
Oh baby, baby, let me climg the tree.
I started to grab it,
but i sure wanted to be courteous
and ask if I could have it.

Oh baby, baby, let me hang out in your tree.

I don't give a damn how many cats have climbed up in your tree...

in the last few months.

I don't really care how many squirrels done got their nuts outa the tree, baby.
I got to warn you I ain't no rabbit. I'm going to be there a long, long time
and I just got to have it.

Ohh baby, let me hang out, let me hang out in your tree.

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