Date: Thu, 9 Mar 1995 10:08:10 +0500


Subject: Re: Salty dog?

I also have a query about the words of a song.

What does "salty dog" mean in the following?

Salty Dog Rag (1960's or earlier?)

Salty dog, salty dog,

I wanna be your salty dog,

Honey, let me be your salty dog.

If I can't be your salty dog

I won't be your man at all,

Honey, let me be your salty dog.

Wayles Browne, Assoc. Prof. of Linguistics

I believe that I have this song on a recording by Charlie Poole in the

early thirties, but I would have to do some serious closet digging to find

it. Having performed this song on numerous occasions, I have always had a

sense that I was singing something slightly obscene, especially in view of

this verse:

Two old maids sittin' in the sand,

Each one wishin' that the other was a man,

Honey, let me be your salty dog.

The argument of this verse could get a suitor in some trouble, I'd say.

I wonder if this dog is related to the dog of--is it--"Matchbox Blues"(?):

Let me be your little dog,

Till your big dog comes.



You aint' nothing but a hound dog


What about Snoop Doggy-dog--is that his name? There is a chopped truck in

town with a front plate that says "Doggy Style"--why would anyone put that

on the front of a truck and ride around town in it in public view?

You could probably go crazy trying to figure out what song lyrics (and

license plates) mean: "Someone left the cake out in the rain/I don't think

that I can take it/Cause it took so long to bake it/And I'll never have

that recipe again--Oh, no!" Yes, oh, no.

Wayne Glowka

Professor of English

Director of Research and Graduate Student Services

Georgia College

Milledgeville, GA 31061