One of our combo songs is a blues by Cleve Reed, ‘Hey Lawdy Mama’ *. When I first sang it, some of the players asked me why I pronounced it [lo:di] instead of [leidi] and I told them (I hope I was right!) that it’s an equivalent of ‘lord’ or ‘my God’ and has nothing to do with ‘lady’. Can anyone please confirm I didn’t put my foot in it and whether it’s still in use?
The reason I’m unsure is that I dont think I’ve ever heard the terms ‘lawdy’ or ‘mama’ as interjections other than in American songs, films or cartoons (what I mostly heard in England along those lines was ‘Good Lord’ or ‘Jesus(christ)’, ‘Christ’ or ‘my goodness’): ‘Oh, mama’ is one of cartoon character Johnny Bravo’s favourite phrases. Strangely, its literal equivalent is also and very frequently used in Spanish and Italian (?madre m?a!/mamma mia!). In the south of France (at least in (Marseille) OK, I’ll put it differently: Mar + seille – isn’t it hilarious?) they say ‘ah, la bonne m?re’ (though I think this refers to the Virgin Mary rather than to your own mother). In Arabic you can hear ‘ya bayyeh’ (oh, my father), also used as an exclamation of dismay or surprise. What do you normally say, everyone?
- The first verse of the song goes: “Now the man I love’s got a mouthful of gold, Hey Lawdy Mama, little pretty Mama, … Everytime he kiss me makes my blood go cold”. The image I used to get when first singing it was that of a man with a mouthful of gold-capped teeth , but I guess it has more to do with his way of kissing. Do any of you use this expression and what do you think it really means? Thanks.