They’re Red Hot

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Example Pre-War Blues Video Lesson

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Overview

Perhaps one of the most standalone recordings that Johnson made in his short career, They’re Red Hot showcases quickness, full chords, and 20s-like “tags”. As well, of course, his sly-sounding voice, altered from his usual tone, gets put on full display.

Actually, the moves of this song are quite straight-forward, as many of the chords are similar to each other, and in shape they’re quite doable barre chords.

With that being the case, the main thing that can be in focus is really just having the cleanliness of the song down. I attached in the Other Links section a video of Koki Nitobe playing the song with such slinkiness and ease; it’s a great model to follow.

The song itself is fantastic, and a classic one-off of Robert Johnson. One that even can make people wonder if it’s really RJ. Hope you enjoy this one.

Workstation

Standard — EADGBE

Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
I got a girl, say she long and tall
She sleeps in the kitchen with her feets in the hall
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale, I mean
Yes, she got’em for sale, yeah

Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
She got two for a nickel, got four for a dime
Would sell you more, but they ain’t none of mine
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale, I mean
Yes, she got’em for sale, yes, yeah

Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
I got a letter from a girl in the room
Now she got something good she got to bring home soon, now
Its hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got em for sale, I mean
Yes, she got’em for sale, yeah

Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got em for sale
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got em for sale
(They’re too hot boy!)
The billy got back in a bumble bee nest
Ever since that he can’t take his rest, yeah
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes you got’em for sale, I mean
Yes, she got’em for sale

Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
(Man don’t mess around em hot tamales now)
‘Cause they too black bad, if you mess around em hot tamales
I’m gonna upset your backbone, put your kidneys to sleep
I’ll due to break away your liver and dare your heart to beat bout my)
Hot tamales cause they red hot, yes they got em for sale, I mean
Yes, she got em for sale, yeah

Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
You know grandma loves them and grandpa too
Well I wonder what in the world we children gonna do now
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale, I mean
Yes she got’em for sale

Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
Me and my babe bought a V-8 Ford
Well we wind that thing all on the runnin’ board, yes
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale, I mean
Yes she got’em for sale, yeah

Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
(They’re too hot boy!)
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes, now she got em for sale
You know the monkey, now the baboon playin’ in the grass
Well the monkey stuck his finger in that old ‘Good Gulf Gas’, now
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale, I mean
Yes she got’em for sale, yeah

Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale
I got a girl, say she long and tall
Sleeps in the kitchen with her feets in the hall
Hot tamales and they’re red hot, yes she got’em for sale, I mean
Yes she got’em for sale, yeah

Song History

27 November 1936
San Antonio, Texas
Vocalion 03563