Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: Muddy Waters, “Same Thing” and Dinah Washington, “What A Diff’rence A Day Makes”

Jim’s theme for today is “same/different,” and I have a song for each…

First, “same.” “Same Thing” was written by the poet laureate of the blues, Willie Dixon, a veritable mountain of a man who wrote huindreds of songs that were done by Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and just about everybody else who sang the blues, including the British Invasion rockers. Willie was also a master of the double bass, as you can see here. (No idea who the pianist is: maybe Otis Spann, maybe Sunnyland Slim, maybe someone else.)

As the double bass was gradually replaced in blues bands with the bass guitar, Willie decided to retire his bass and focused on songwriting. Muddy Waters recorded “Same Thing” as Chess Records single #1865 in 1964, with “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had” on the B side.

The lyrics, from MetroLyrics:

Why do men go crazy

When a woman wears her dress so tight?

Why do men go crazy

When a woman wears her dress so tight?

Well, it must be the same old thing

That makes a tomcat fight all night

Why do all of the men try to run

A big legged woman down?

Why do all of the men try to run

A big legged woman down?

Well, it must be the same old thing

That makes a bulldog love a hound

Well, it’s the same thing

Well, it’s the same old thing

Better tell me who is to blame

Well, the whole world is a-fighting all about that same thing

What makes you feel so good

When your baby gets down her evening gown?
What makes you feel so good

When your baby gets down her evening gown?

Well, it must be the same old thing

That makes a preacher man lay his Bible down

Well, it’s the same thing

Well, it’s the same old thing

Better tell me who is to blame

Well, the whole world is a-fighting all about that same thing

I checked on the meaning of a “big-legged woman,” and as far as I could tell, it refers to a woman with a large posterior. If the legs are big, they must be attached to something just as big, right? Anyway…

On to our “different” song. “What A Diff’rence A Day Makes,” also known as “What A Diff’rence A Day Made,” was written in 1934 by Mexican songwriter Maria Grever as “Cuando vuelva a tu lado” (“When I Return To Your Side”). The English lyrics were written by Stanley Adams, and the song was originally popularized by The Dorsey Brothers. Dinah Washington won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance in 1959 for her recording of it, which reached #8 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart.

A disco version of the song was recorded by Esther Phillips in 1975. It reached #20 on the Hot 100, #10 on the R&B chart, #29 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #6 in the UK. It’s been covered a number of times, including by Rod Stewart. Anyway, the Lyrics, courtesy of Genius:

What a diff’rence a day made
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain
My yesterday was blue, dear
Today I’m part of you, dear
My lonely nights are through, dear
Since you said you were mine

What a diff’rence a day makes
There’s a rainbow before me
Skies above can’t be stormy
Since that moment of bliss
That thrilling kiss
It’s heaven when you
Find romance on your menu
What a diff’rence a day made
And the difference is you

What a diff’rence a day makes
There’s a rainbow before me
Skies above can’t be stormy
Since that moment of bliss
That thrilling kiss
It’s heaven when you
Find romance on your menu
What a diff’rence a day made
And the difference is you

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for July 26, 2020.

18 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: Muddy Waters, “Same Thing” and Dinah Washington, “What A Diff’rence A Day Makes”

  1. I hadn’t seen the Willie Dixon clip before though the set up looks similar to another video including some other musicians – Howlin Wolf, was one I think. Fantastic, isn’t it?

    Like

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