Car Tunes: Hot Rod Race – Arkie Shibley and the Mountain Dew Boys

Everyone knows Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen’s version of Hot Rod Lincoln. What most people don’t know is that the original version of that song, first recorded by Charlie Ryan and the Timberline Riders, was a response to a previous song, Hot Rod Race, by Arkie Shibley and the Mountain Dew Boys. “Answer songs” were popular ways of taking advantage of an earlier novelty hit. It should be noted that in 1950, it was socially acceptable for a rockabilly band to sing the lyric, “We were rippin’ along like white folks might”.

Full lyrics after the jump.

HOT ROD RACE
(written by George Wilson)
Arkie Shibley & His Mountain Dew Boys – 1950

Now me and my wife and my brother Joe,
took off in my Ford from San Pedro.
We hadn’t much gas ‘n’ the tires was low,
but the doggone Ford could really go.

Now along about the middle of the night,
we were rippin’ along like white folks might,
when a Mercury behind he blinked his lights,
and he honked his horn and he flew outside.

We had twin pipes and a Columbia butt,
you people may think that I’m in a rut,
but to you folks who don’t dig the jive,
that’s two carburetors and an overdrive.

We made grease spots outta many good town,
and left the cops heads spinnin’ round ‘n’ round.
They wouldn’t chase, they’d run and hide,
but me and that Mercury stayed side by side.

Now we were Ford men and we likely knew,
that we would race until somethin’ blew,
and we thought it over,
now, wouldn’t you?

I looked down at my lovely bride,
her face was blue, I thought she’d died.
We left streaks through towns about forty feet wide,
but me and that Mercury stayed side by side.

My brother was pale, he said he was sick,
he said he was just a nervous wreck.
But why should I worry, for what the heck,
me and that Mercury was still neck-and-neck.

Now on through the deserts we did glide,
a-flyin’ low and a-flyin’ wide,
me an’ that Mercury was a-takin’ a ride,
and we stayed exactly side by side.

Now I looked in my mirror and I saw somethin’ comin’,
I thought it was a plane by the way it was a-runnin’.
It was a-hummin’ along at a terrible pace,
and I knew right then it was the end of the race.

When it flew by us, I turned the other way,
the guy in the Mercury had nothin’ to say,
for it was a kid, in a hopped up Model-A.

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