Polk Salad Annie

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Words & Music: Tony Joe White
Some of you all never been down South too much...
I'm gonna tell you a little story, so you'll understand where I'm talking about
Down there we have a plant that grows out in the woods and the fields,
and it looks something like a turnip green.
Everybody calls it Polk salad. Now that's Polk salad.
Used to know a girl that lived down there and
she'd go out in the evenings to pick a mess of it...
Carry it home and cook it for supper, 'cause that's about all they had to eat,
But they did all right.

Down in Louisiana
Where the alligators grow so mean
Lived a girl that I swear to the world
Made the alligators look tame

Polk salad Annie
'Gators got your granny
Everybody said it was a shame
For the mama was working on the chain-gang
What a mean, vicious woman

Everyday before suppertime
She'd go down by the truck patch
And pick her a mess of Polk salad
And carry it home in a tote sack

Polk salad Annie
'Gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause the mama was working on the chain-gang
Whoo, how wretched, dispiteful, straight-razor totin' woman,
Lord have mercy.

Sock a little Polk salad to me
Yeah, you know what, yeah, yeah

Her daddy was a lazy and a no-count
Claimed he had a bad back
All her brothers were fit for
Was stealing watermelons out of my truck patch

For once Polk salad Annie
'Gators got your granny
Everybody said it was a shame
For the mama was working on the chain-gang

Sock a little Polk salad to me
You know I need a meal miss
You sock a little
Hey, hey, hey, yeah, yeah
(Chic a bon, chic a bon, chic a bon bon bon bon
Chic a bon, chic a bon, chic a bon bon bon bon)
Sock a little Polk salad to me
You know I need a meal miss
Sock a little Polk salad to him
You know I need a meal
Chinc, chinc, chinc, chin, ling, ling ling
Recorded: 1970/02/18, first released on On Stage


Miknik7077 (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 31, 2020report abuse
This song rocks. Especially the TTWII version which is a show stealer. Even his later versions were excellent.
Cruiser621 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 18, 2019report abuse
Typical 1970's dribble. Repetitious lyrics (easy to remember for Elvis) and talk about speeding up the tempo and actual singing just to get it over with in seceding concerts tells you his mind wasn't into it anymore.
atomic powered poste (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 21, 2018report abuse
The tjw-version is great, but the elvis-versions from 1970 are better. The later versions are not on the same level, often played way to fast, sung without focus. 5 stars for the version on the on stage lp (even if lannings drumming is a little stiff compared to the more dynamic and more variable drumming of r.tutt),
TheMemphisFan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 17, 2015report abuse
The song is actually based on a North American toxic plant known as "poke sallet".
ElvisSacramento (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 10, 2013report abuse
This is such a marvelous, fun, electrifying, catchy and unique song and my favorite Elvis renditions of it are from 1970.
Great Dane (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 9, 2013report abuse
I love the MSG and On tour versions the best, Jerry Scheff does a great job here and my speakers love it.
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 9, 2013report abuse
I can honestly say I like all versions of this song by Elvis. There is something special about the version from the "On Stage" version, but also feel the versions of the song from MSG and Spring Tours are almost equally enjoyable (along with others). I always wondered why Elvis didn't try to lay down a studio version of the song. With it being live versions, they lack a little bit of the funk that Tony Jo White's version did and I think Elvis could have made a very special record of it. Perhaps around the time he recorded the "Raised On Rock" LP when he did songs like "If You Don't Come Back" or even at the Dec of '73 Stax sessions when he did the funky "If You Talk In Your Sleep".
alanfalk (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 9, 2013report abuse
I love the 77 version, as can be heard on the Spring tour ftd. I really prefer Elvis vocal over TJWs, and also the power and speed. It reminds me of the way Elvis took Steamroller Blues and gave it the "Elvis treatment". It is kind of funny that many fans love the concerts from the years 74-77 when Elvis apparently rushed EVERYTHING, and his music was so overblown !
Pedro Nuno (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 9, 2013report abuse
In 1984 (I was 15) I brought the On Stage Album that had been re-released here in Portugal. Liked a lot the A side, but when I started to listen to the B side I was so shocked with the 1st music that it blew my mind away. I guess it took me more than 50 minutes to complete the listening of the B side since I just could avoid to repeat, and repeat, and repeat that 1st tune. Polk Salad Annie is one of Elvis greatest achievements performing live in the 70's, almost as Hound Dog was in the 50's. Personally I like all the way and even like the 1977 versions with the piano in front and the sloppy ending .This is Presley in his RAW power and creation.
Gorse (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 12, 2013report abuse
I have enjoyed this song immensely throughout the years with thes various Elvis versions and sure some off the performances were less than inspiring, but it was performed so many times so naturally boredom sets in. The 1970 version is sensational both in audio and visual while the MSG effort ran it very close - 5 stars all the way.
sugartummy (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 21, 2013report abuse
A superb song, also by TJW. There is a great version (they're all great) on An afternoon in the garden with Scheff playing a fantastic basssolo and great drumming by Tutt. The tempo is fast though. Very fast for this song, but it works. "Well, that woke me up anyway" Elvis says after his wild performance. Rightly so.
lvisfan (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 19, 2011report abuse
I love the 1970 version, but disagree that the latter versions were lacking in any way. Especially the '75-'77 versions. To me they were killer! Although his moves were far from 1970, it had a funky sound that just thrills me every time I hear it! It was just another evolution of the King.
MJB63 (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 29, 2009report abuse
I love all versions of this song.Especially the later ones were the song turns into a jam,where Elvis and the band improvise as only they could on it.This is another concert hit that showed Elvis could still be a rocker.
FLASHBOY (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 1, 2009report abuse
Pure Elvis! magnificent Powerful and Magical Elvis should have record more blues song when he was live in concert cause to me he was the best blues signer ever. The earlier versions of this song is best.
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 1, 2009report abuse
I know everyone likes this song but me. When I heard the Tony Joe version, I was so disappointed. I guess I was waiting for something big. Didn't happen. If I have to listen to it, I would rather listen to ELvis. At least it sounds like he was having fun with it. I have to admit it is fun to see him perform this number in TTWII. I can well understand how he became bored with this number. Every time I am at an Elvis festival, I have to roll my eyes at this song, along with Suspicious Minds.
Loesje (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 1, 2009report abuse
This song always gets me out of my chair, no matter where I am!! I HAVE to dance :-)
sitdown68 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 31, 2009report abuse
There's a great duet version by Johnny Cash and Tony Joe out on youtube...Check it out. Vegas 1970 is the most outstanding version. But I have to confess, more Louisiana sounds better.
theoldscudder (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 31, 2009report abuse
I like both versions. The White arrangement is slower & funkier. Elvis has the better vocal. Elvis wins by a watermellon seed.
dgirl (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 31, 2009report abuse
Only the 1970 versions had any real fire power. Like a lot of other songs, he lost his desire to do this song and rushed through t. Look how fast it was perfoemed in Elvis On Tour compared to TTWII. He should have retired it and moved onto something else.
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 21, 2008report abuse
Now this is a "Live" song that I got tired of. I like the "On Stage" version a lot. But then he started messing around during the intro with that hut 1-2-3 I learned that in the Army nonsense and that ruined it for me. I love the MSG version. "On Stage" version 5 stars. MSG version 4 stars. All later versions 1-3 stars.
Shakingruud (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 10, 2008report abuse
To me , the song is only interesting when i watch him perform it live on stage. I never listen to it, but its great to see the energy when he sang it on stage.
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 10, 2008report abuse
When I first heard this song, Tony Joe's version, I wasn't interested in it at all. Left me with no feeling one way or the other. Then I heard Elvis - wham! It isn't one of my favorites but I can't help but move when our boy does it. Come on, My boy My boy, get out there & shake that thing!
ta2k (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 10, 2008report abuse
Elvis' early version of this song stands as THE best version of this song. TCB
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 10, 2008report abuse
The 1970 versions (up thru TTWII) were far superior to any later versions which were rushed and had no feeling at all to them. But I prefer the White original which may just be the best swamp song ever recorded.
old shep (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 10, 2008report abuse
Tony Joe White's original is pure swamp music an expertly crafted song. Elvis sings the song faster without losing the flavour of the original.I listened to both versions recently and find it difficult to pick a favourite.
Rob Wanders (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 10, 2008report abuse
Fantastic song. I love the early versions as well as the later more funky versions. Never a dull moment with this song.
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 10, 2008report abuse
I really love this one. Next to the fifties R 'n' R songs it is one of my all time favorites. Anyway when it is on my car rocks like 'heaven'. And yes indeed, the earlier versions are the best. These are full of spunk and the fun was RnR -power related. Though the messing up during some of later shows seems to reflect the type of fun they had on stage at that moment.
sitdown68 (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 10, 2008report abuse
a real shaker, wiggler whatever. a very humorous pendant to it is Johnny Cashs duet with TJW on Polk Salad Annie. Elvis and White should've done that gem once as a duo...Imagine;-)
JLpResLey (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 10, 2008report abuse
Great song. Both the early and the later versions are great to me. Yes Bluesboy, maybe it´s too much Vegas. But that reflects the performer he was during this time. He was then an allround entertainer. You can say one thing. Elvis did lose his interest for this song, don´t tell me he didn´t, just look how much shorter this song became over the years. That is remarkable, it´s the same thing that happened to Suspicious Minds
My boy, my boy (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 10, 2008report abuse
I like both Tony's original and Elvis's early versions. After 1972, it was definitely too fast !
Elvisonmymind (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 23, 2008report abuse
Elvis knew how to perform this song. Elvis' interpretation of this song is much far better than the original of Tony Joe White.
bluesboy (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 20, 2008report abuse
Too much Vegas, too little Louisiana. Give me Tony Joe White's original anytime. Great James Burton though.
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 5, 2008report abuse
The early versions were nearly as good as Tony Joe White's original. The later versions reflects his life perfectly: a total mess.

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