Sal got a Meatskin

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SAL GOT A MEATSKIN. AKA - "Johnny got a Meat Skin laid away." AKA and see "Bacon Rind," "Little Girl goin' to the Country." American, Air. The tune song is related to the "Sally Ann (1)"/"Great Big Taters in Sandy Land" tune family. The song was recorded by the Cliff and Bill Carlisle, The Carlisle Brothers, in 1933, who go by the name of 'Clifford Brothers' for their Vocalion recording (released in 1934). A "meatskin" is fat pork, used to grease a pan and as an folk medicine anti-inflammatory remedy, however, 'meatskin' in the song is generally taken to refer to a hymen, a maidenhead.

Sal's got a meatskin hid away,
Sal's got a meatskin hid away;
Sal's got a meatskin hid away,
Gonna get a meatskin some day.

Chorus:
Sal's got a meatskin don't you know,
Sal's got a meatskin don't you know;
Sal's got a meatskin don't you know,
Ola Liza told me so.

Sal a-sailling on the sea,
Sal a-sailling on the sea;
Sal a-sailling on the sea,
Sal got a meatskin a-waiting for me.

Went to see my Sally Gray,
Went to see my Sally Gray;
Went to see my Sally Gray,
Found out Sal is gone away.

Love my Sally more and more,
Love my Sally more and more;
Love my Sally more and more,
Sal's got a meatskin don't you know.

Reckon I love my Sally Gray,
Reckon I love my Sally Gray;
Reckon I love my Sally Gray,
Reckon my Sal is gone away.

Sal's meatskin turns up again in one of the verses to "Great Big Taters in Sandy Land" (as collected by John Lomax[1])

Dinah’s got a wooden leg, so they say.
Shake that wooden leg, Dinah-o.
Sal’s got meat skin laid away,
To grease that wooden leg, so they say.

A tune called "Sal's got a Wooden Leg laid away" was recorded for the Library of Congress by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, from Ozarks Mountains fiddlers in the early 1940's, but the 'wooden leg' line seems to be a 'floater' See also entries in White, American Negro Folk-Songs, p. 271, and W.C. Handy, Blues, New York, 1926, p. 55.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : -

Recorded sources: - Smithsonian Folkways SFW40180_122, The New Lost City Ramblers - "50 Years: Where Do You Come From? Where Do You Go?" (2009). Vocalion 02740 (78 RPM), The Clifford Brothers (1934).

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Hear the Carlisle Brothers 1933 recording at youtube.com [2]
Hear the New Lost City Ramblers play the song at the Brandywine Festival in 1976 at Slippery Hill [3]



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  1. John A. Lomax, American Ballads and Folk Songs, 1934.