Mamlish Blues

“Mamlish” — now there is a strange word for you.  It comes up in several blues, especially in Ed Bell’s “Mamlish Blues.” He announces at the beginning that he will “tell you just what they mean,” but maybe he is referring to the mamlish blues, not to the word mamlish.

It seems to just be an intensifier, subsituting for “doggone” or something stronger. Here is my transcription of the lyrics:

Mamlish Blues
Ed Bell

Folks, these are my mamlish blues. I’m gon’ tell you just what they mean.

You used to be my sugar but you ain’t sweet no mamlish more
Used to be my sugar but you ain’t sweet no more
’Cause you mistreated me and you drove me from your door

Mama, must I sell it or keep it for my my mamlish self?
Mama, must I sell it or keep it for myself?
Mama, I done got tired of sleepin’ by myself

Well my mama she didn’t like me, my poppy give me mamlish ’way
Mama didn’t like me, poppy give me ’way
That’s the very reason I’m a wanderin’ child today

Talkin’ about your stroller but you just oughta just see mamlish mine
Talkin’ about your stroller, just oughta just see mine
She ain’t so goodlooking but she do just fine

She was standin’ on the corner between 25th and mamlish Main
She stood on the corner ’tween 25th and Main
And a blind man seed her and a dumb man called her name

And the dumb man asked her, “Please, who’s your regular man could be?”
Dumb man asked her, “Who your man can be?”
And the blind man told her, “Baby, you sure look good to me.”

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