Cindy Walker, who had supplied Eddy with "Take Me in Your Arms and Hold Me" (a number-one country record in 1949 and Eddy's first Cindy Walker release), recalled discussing the idea for "You Don't Know Me" with Eddy as she was leaving one of Nashville's annual disc-jockey conventions. "I went up to the Victor suite to tell Steve Sholes good-bye," she explained, "and just as I was leaving, Eddy came in the door." Arnold approached Walker with the title of the song: "I got a song title for you... 'You Don't Know Me.'" Walker, in jest, replied "But I know you!" to which Arnold retorted he was serious and proceeded to outline the story he had in mind. Walker promised to take Arnold's story and think about how to turn it into workable lyrics and melody, which eventually came naturally. "The song just started singing. It sort of wrote itself..."
You give your hand to me Then you say hello I can hardly speak My heart is beating so And anyone can tell You think you know me well But you don't know me No, you don't know the one Who dreams of you at night And longs to kiss your lips And longs to hold you tight Oh i'm just a friend That's all i've ever been 'cause you don't know me I never knew The art of making love Though my heart aches With love for you Afraid and shy I've let my chance to go by The chance that you might Love me, too You give your hand to me And then you say good-bye I watch you walk away Beside the lucky guy You'll never never know The one who loves you so Well, you don't know me You give your hand to me, baby Then you say good-bye I watch you walk away Beside the lucky guy No, no, you'll never ever know The one who loves you so Well, you don't know me
TAYLOR: Well, I tell you. I try to do them all. I will not recorda whole album of CD and I will not do a complete live show without doin'some of all. I do fast, up-tempo tunes, and also I do slow tunes. But Ialways felt like it's nobody in an audience nowhere . . . say for instancethere's three hundred people sitting here. I never felt like of those threehundred people, all of them wants to hear slow, old, traditional Mississippianblues. And at the same time, I don't feel like three hundred people allwants to hear a "Wang Dang Doodle" or a "Hey, Bartender!"or "Let the Good Time Roll," you know what I'm saying? So, Itry to base my show on a fast tune, because here is somebody in the audiencethat likes blues, but they like up-tempo music. At the same time, hereis somebody else like blues, but they like ballads. They want somethin'that's kind of soft, laid-back, like "That's Why I'm Crying,"or "I'm Walking the Backstreet," or "I'd Rather Go Blind."You know, these type of tunes. Then there's somebody else in the same audiencethat likes blues, but they just like the old, traditional blues like "I'ma Woman," or "Baby, Please Don't Dog Me," you know whatI'm saying? Or "I Cried Like a Baby." Now, this means I havedid somethin', hopefully, that will please and reach out to everybody inthe audienceÑwhich is hard to do, to please everybody--but I alwaysend up tryin'.
TAYLOR: Yeah, sometimes we'd be goin' up and down a row of cotton,choppin' or pickin', either one--me and my brothers and sisters and all,and sometimes some of the other kids that lived around, they might be outthere with us, or whatever--we'd have us a group goin', you know? And we'dall start singin' just . . . whatever. No song in particular, we wouldjust be singin,' and my brothers were good at making music sounds withtheir mouth or whatever. That's just the way we'd do--just singin', justhavin' a nice time, passin' the day away. We didn't have nothin' else todo but work and sing, so that's what we did.
TAYLOR: Yeah, that's down in Memphis, Tennessee. But we was incountry, we wasn't in the city. Where I lived we didn't even have streets.We had a path go across the field from my house to somebody else's house,and a railroad track, and a road. Yeah, we had roads that a car or a muleand wagon would go across. You know, it wasn't no cars or traffic passing.It wasn't about that. When I was in the city, I'd go to the window of theCTA [Chicago Transit Authority] buses and entertain myself by just lookingat people walking up and down the street, cars passing, going both ways,trucks, buses, whatever. It wasn't about that. It wasn't none of that.If we looked out our window, we didn't see nothin' but some chickens runnin'around in the yard, maybe a snake passin' by.
TAYLOR: Sunnyland Slim was a real entertainer, and I don't meana real entertainer just because he played the piano and sing, althoughhe was a great entertainer singin' and playin' the piano. But he was agreat entertainer for making you laugh. You know, he'd say little funnythings and crack jokes, and he was a nice guy too, he was just somebodythat you just enjoyed being in his company. I liked him a lot.
TAYLOR: Well, I tell you, they all was complicated. You see,writin' a song don't come easy. You know what I mean? It's complicated.You gotta come up with words, which is lyrics. Every word should have ameaning. Every word got to rhyme with the last word that you just said,and then, on top of rhymin' with the other word, it gotta make sense. Inother words, a song is supposed to tell a story. Say for instance, thissong I wrote, "I'm Your 63 Year Old Mama." Now, the meaning ofthis song and the story behind this song, I'm not talkin' about this ishow I am personally, but I'm talking about this is the meaning of the song.I'm expressin', Okay, maybe I am old, I'm your sixty-three year-old mama,but I'm still hot as a ball of fire. In other words, I'm sixty-three yearold, but I'm in the same shape that maybe this thirty-year-old woman is.You know, I can do the same thing. I can hold down the same job that thisthirty-year-old woman is holdin' down, you know what I'm sayin'? To showyou how popular I am, when I say the "young mens call me a Mercedes,"now, a Mercedes to drive, not anybody can buy or drive a Mercedes. Thisis a big deal, because it's one of the most expensive cars. So the youngmen call me a Mercedes, I'm so great "out on the open road."Then, to turn around and say, "but the old mens say I'm a Jaguar,"that's even more expensive. "And their engine don't run cold."Why? Because these are old mens. Now, if an old man can say this aboutme and I'm sixty-three year old, I mean, hey, you know [there] "maybe snow on the mountain (laughs) but there's fire down under the hill.So in other words, what I'm sayin', it's just an expression. Like I say,it's not because of me livin' or doin' any of these things, it's just expressin'words and tellin' a story and a background in your song. And this is whata song has to do. It has to have something to impress somebody else outthere that's listening to it. You have to say something that's gonna drawpeople attention.
"I'm Spellbound." Now, this is a different situation. Thisis, okay, I'm talkin' about "I been walkin' and talkin' up and downthe street, I got corns on my toes and blisters on my feet." Now,I mean, all of this done happen to my feet. I'm tired of walkin', I'm tiredof talkin', asking questions, has anybody seen my baby, talkin' about myman up and down the street. But I'm spellbound. I mean, the man has gotmy mind captured. He got my nose open, I can't help myself. You know, I'mgoing crazy. Why? Because I'm in love. The bottom line, "I'm spellbound,I'm goin' around in circles like a clown." You see what I'm sayin'?That's the whole idea, that's the background, and that's the story of thesong "Spellbound." That's how it is with any song. That's thereason I say it's not really easy, because I couldn't just say, (sings)"I'm, spellbound." No. If that's all, I mean, I've got to explainto people why I'm spellbound. What cause me to be spellbound? How comeyou spellbound? What's the reason? Now in that song, with those lyrics,I got to explain in the lyrics and I got to put each lyric in the rightplace to say what it should say to explain to people. You know, in oneverse in that song it says, "If you should ever leave me, it wouldbreak my heart in two." So, I'm explainin', this is why I'm spellbound.I can't stand for this man to leave me and go get another woman, wife,whatever. Why? Why it would break my heart in two? Because I'm spellbound,and you the cause of it. You see what I'm saying? So this is how you comeabout writin' songs.
TAYLOR: Well, that's not the reason. The reason I don't focusmy own life story into songs because, in the first place, my own life ispersonal. And the second reason, my song is not based upon no personalperson. When I do lyrics I'm not talkin' to or makin' it up for no personalsomebody. It's for anybody and everybody to listen to and enjoy, you know?But at the same time, if that shoe fits your feet, then you wear it. I'mstill tryin' to think of the name of the gospel song that I sung at thisgirl's funeral. It said somethin' about, "I was standin' by the bedsideon a dark and cloudy day. "Will That Circle Be Unbroken"--that'sthe name of the song. I couldn't think of it before, but that's the nameof the song-- (singing) "Will that circle . . . be unbroken? By andby Lord . . . by and by." I don't know if you ever heard it, but it'sa beautiful song. And that's the song that man, one of my fans, wantedme to sing for his wife's funeral. I'm glad I thought of that.
Here about two weeks ago I was down in Florida. I was workin' at thisschool, and this program was especially for underprivileged children--andI love children, I love dealing with young people--and they asked me ifI would do a speech, you know, just talk a little to the young people,and I told them I would. Now, really, I'm not a talker, and I don't likedoing a lot of talkin'--I'm a singer--but I told them I would, and I startedtalkin' to these young people, and the more I talked the more I wantedto talk. Looked like the longer I talked, the more I had to say to them,you know? Things I wanted them to know, things I wanted them to relateto. And I talked to them about my background, how I was influenced. I talkedto them about music, I talked to them about slavery, I talked to them aboutjust bein' black. I talked to them about it's not so important about whoyou are, what you are doing--it's what you gonna do, making your life somethingreally positive, doin' something constructive with your life and bein'the best in whatever you do and makin' the best out of it, whether youwhite, black, blue, or green. Everybody should be color blind and thinkabout one thing, and that's your goal--I want to be the best doctor, Iwant to be the best professor, teacher, I want to be the best whatever.Be your best at it. If you gonna shoot marbles, if you gonna jump rope,be your best. And that's what I found myself talkin' and teachin' and tellin'these young people down in Florida a couple of weeks ago. I felt good.Yeah, I like talkin' to my fans and things, and these kids, they just sitthere and listen to me talk. They never said a word, and it seem like everyword was going right in their little ears, you know? 2b1af7f3a8