Tox Tunes #108: Commit a Crime (Howlin’ Wolf)

You put poison in my coffee, instead of milk or cream
You put poison in my coffee, instead of milk or cream
You bout the evilest woman, that I ever seen

You mixed my drinks with a can of Red Devil lye
You mixed my drinks with a can of Red Devil lye
Then you sit down, watch me, hopin’ that I might die

This is one of the great dysfunctional relationship songs in all of the blues. Howling’ Wolf (Chester Burnett 1910 – 1976) also recorded a great version of the song — under the title “What a Woman” and with Eric Clapton playing lead guitar — on the 1970 London Sessions album:

A recent cover of this song by the Rolling Stones on their Blue and Lonesome disc inexplicably leaves out the meanest verse ± “You mixed my drinks with a can of Red Devil lye” — and is inferior in every way:

By the way, Wikipedia reports: “In addition to its practical uses, Red Devil Lye was also used as a hoodoo magical ingredient in the American South, where it could be used to magically protect a property from trespassers by burying cans of the product in the four corners of a property.”

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