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Re: "Lettin[g] the rough side drag."

Posted by ESC on December 01, 2005

In Reply to: "Lettin[g] the rough side drag." posted by Sam Lanham on December 01, 2005

: "Lettin[g] the rough side drag." I first saw this phrase in a Texas appeals court opinion back in the 1950's or 1960's. I don't recall the context but the judge was wondering what it meant. I searched without success for years. Finally, an African American friend in East Texas told me it is usually a response to "how are you doing?" or some such greeting. It means, according to her, "I'm having a bad day." Other than in the court opinion, I've never seen it in print. Anyone have any information about this one?

It was a line in a song. Jesse Winchester:

Let The Rough Side Drag

It's a good thing the sea's not dry
Such a good thing that cows don't fly
What a good thing to make a joyful noise
It's a good thing that beds don't talk
Such a good thing that chairs can't walk
What a good thing that God made girls and boys

Let the rough side drag
Let the smooth side show
While you pull that load
Everywhere you go...

(Now we need to figure out what was being dragged.)