Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

In Praise of Natural Black Women

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 21, 2021

“Take It Off” – track 1 on his 1987 album “High Priest” – is a song sung by a White man (Alex Chilton) praising the beauty of a natural Black woman.

If you’ve given any attention to some of recent videos by Black female artists like Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, Doja Cat, Nicki Minaj, Armani Caesar, Bbymutha, et al, you’ll notice that (obviously fake) long, pointy fingernails are all the rage, as are fake eyelashes, and all the stuff Alex Chilton sings about in his 1987 version of the song… including straightened hair, and wigs.

BMI lists the song as BMI work ID number 1448888, with an ISWC number of T9250504859. ASCAP lists him by his common, and legal name – William Alexander Chilton.

That I’ve been able to find on various music licensing and performance databases – ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, ISWC, etc. – the song was likely written pseudonymously by a woman as Eva Darby, whose legal name is Yvonne Covay.

The ISWC data for that song (T-925.050.485-9) – International Standard Musical Work Code is a unique, permanent and internationally recognized reference number for the identification of musical works – shows it was created by Yvonne Covay, whose IPI name number is 00075657150, and whose affiliation is Non Society member, and shows the song has been performed by Bo Diddley.

[verse 1]
Take it off
Baby, just take it all off
Take it off
Baby, just take it all off
I said
Baby, just take it all off

[verse 2]
Take off your coat (Take it off, baby)
Lemme hang it behind the door (Take it off, baby, baby)
Take off your wig (Take it off, baby)
And let me feel your afro (Take it off, baby, baby)
So come on, now
Baby, just take it all off (Take it all off)

[verse 3]
Take off your eyelashes
I know you bought ’em on sale
Don’t scratch my back
With no false fingernails
Stop rollin’ your bloodshot eyes at me
And baby, just take it all off

[verse 5]
Yeah, come here, girl
Take off that lipstick, that powder and that paint
Since you came up here, girl
You just tryna be what you ain’t
Stop rollin’ your big brown eyes at me
And baby, just take it all off

[outro]
Aww, you look like a natural now (Take it off, baby)
You’re takin’ it all off
Ooh-wee (Take it off, baby, baby)
Yeah, you’re lookin’ so good (Take it off, baby)
Uh-huh
Take it all off

Bo Diddley’s 1972 version from the album “Where It All Began” is below.

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