American (dirty) blues singer and pianist Julia Lee (Oct. 31, 1902 – Dec. 8, 1958) was best known for her double entendre songs, “the songs my mother taught me not to sing,” as she stated herself.
She began to record for Capitol in 1944. Along with local players from Kansas City, she played on some sessions with Jay McShann, Vic Dickenson, Benny Carter, Red Norvo and Red Nichols.
In 1949, she landed a major hit with a song about vegetables – at first sight…!
I Didn't Like It the First Time (The Spinach Song)
Now, let's have a look at the lyrics:
Spinach has vitamin A, B and D, but spinach never appealed to me
But one day while having dinner with a guy, I decided to give it a try
I didn't like it the first time, it was so new to me
I didn't like it the first time, I was so young, you see
I used to run away from the stuff, but now somehow I can't get enough
I didn't like it the first time, oh, how it grew on me!
I didn't like it the first time, I had it on a date
Although the first was the worst time, right now I think it's great
Somehow, it's always hittin' the spot, especially when they bring it in hot
I didn't like it the first time, but oh, how it grew on me
It's obvious, that Julia Lee doesn't sing about spinach.
In the 1920s and 1930s, “spinach” was a very common slang word for marijuana. So, we can assume it's a song about smoking pot.
Although, when I was doing some research, I found statements from people who believe, that Lee is singing about sex.
Since we can find the song on many “Reefer” compilations (collections of vintage drug songs), I suppose the song is rather about drugs than sex.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B000S54VQ6″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”https://shuffleprojects.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Julia-Lee-The-Spinach-Song.jpg” width=”160″]Title: [easyazon-link asin=”B000S4OKV8″ locale=”us”]I Didn't Like It the First Time (The Spinach Song)[/easyazon-link]
Artist: Julia Lee & Her Boy Friends
Tempo: 159 bpm
Dance: Lindy Hop
Click the link to download the song at
iTunes CH/EU ･ iTunes US ･ [easyazon-link asin=”B006RI2BEW” locale=”de”]Amazon.de[/easyazon-link] ･ [easyazon-link asin=”B000S4OKV8″ locale=”us”]A'zon.com[/easyazon-link] ･ [easyazon-link asin=”B006QXPSAW” locale=”uk”]A'zon.co.uk[/easyazon-link] ･ eMusic
What do you think? Is it a song about drugs or about sex? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Song of the Week #51: “Jack, I'm Mellow” by Trixie Smith
Song of the Week #106: “The Goon Drag (Gone Wid De Goon)” by Sam Price & His Texas Blusicians
Song of the Week #105: “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” by Ella Fitzgerald w/ Chick Webb
Song of the Week #104: “C Jam Blues” by Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
Song of the Week #103: “When I Grow Too Old To Dream” by Arnett Cobb