Monday, June 25, 2012

Juke Joint

Website for this image:

Got her hair combed up and she’s dressed so fine
just a sweet young thang lookin’ so sublime;
men are flockin’ like moths to her slow burn
jus’ standin’ in a line, awaitin’ their turn.

Grindin’ to the blues, or some ol’ ragtime,
downin’ local hooch, tastes like ‘turpentine.’
Gettin’ liquored up, spoilin’ for a fight
o’er juke joint mama on a Saturday night.

Better watch your step while you’re on the floor,
she brings top dollar for the comp’ny store;
struttin’ her stuff could drive a man insane,
but one wrong move’ll bring a heap o’pain…

Still it can’t be wrong, ‘cause it feels so right
watchin' juke joint mama on a Saturday night.

© Ginny Brannan June 2012

Image provided by The Mag: A Touch of Evil
The Juke Joint from 'The Color Purple' came to mind when I saw this image.
Written for and shared at The Mag #123 --They provide the image, we provide the story!

A little background from Wikipedia:
The origins of juke joints may be the community rooms that were occasionally built on plantations to provide a place for blacks to socialize during slavery. This practice spread to the work camps such as sawmills, turpentine camps and lumber companies in the early twentieth century, which built barrel-houses and chock-houses to be used for drinking and gambling. Although uncommon in populated areas, such places were often seen as necessary to attract workers to sparsely populated areas lacking bars and other social-outlets. As well, much like "on-base" Officer's Clubs, such "Company"-owned joints allowed managers to keep an eye on their underlings; it also ensured that the employees pay was coming back to the Company.

Juke joint music began with the black folk rags ("ragtime stuff" and "folk rags" are a catch-all term for older African American music[7]) and then the boogie woogie dance music of the late 1880s or 1890s and became the blues, barrel house, and the slow drag dance music of the rural south (moving to Chicago's black rent-party circuit in the Great Migration) "raucous and raunchy"[8] good time secular music. Dance forms evolved from ring dances to solo and couples dancing. Some blacks, those seeking white approval, opposed the amorality of the raucous "jook crowd."


  1. Nicely done; good rhyming...

  2. I like your take on this prompt. I can see it, too.


  3. Delightful! I really enjoyed this!

  4. Love this take on the prompt...Great job!!

  5. hey there...sorry i am so late...i was posting a comment earlier when my power went out...ack...well she dances like a dame that might turn a few heads...and send a few guys home with lumps on their jaw....smiles...very lyrical a song...

  6. I actually had a tune rhythm goin on as I read this! Wonderful! I think the best ones come from those who stick to what first comes to mind from the prompt!

  7. A faint heart never won a fair maid, Ginny ! . Thanks, that was fun


Thank you for reading my poetry and sharing your thoughts.