Speak For Yourself, John


Well, you see, there was some pretty wild scenes went down in history. Like that Plymouth Rock colony, them colony cats. You know history book didn't carry all that went down with them colony cats, 'cause they was pretty stompin' cats all the way through.

See like this here cat who was the... the head... well he was the head Indian stomper for 'em. He was the fuzz force of the colony, you know what I mean. Come any trouble they'd send this cat out go stomp 'em, he'd stomp them and they'd su'prise him, and he'd su'prise them, you know they went on su'prisin' one another and so on and so forth. But he was a sly cat and very slick and they never cut him up none, 'cause he was always on the duck and dodge, you see. And his name was Captain Miles Standish, you see. Used to call him The Hip Miles 'cause he was a milehead; he used to make them miles up and down the peninsula rockin' them Indians, see. And, of course, the Indians chase him back again, see; he go get 'em the next day.

Like I say, he was standin' in his... where the cat live on the main street in this colony, you know, Plymouth Colony. He workin' on one of his fowlin' pieces (cat had seven, eleven guns), and he polishin' it and so forth and cleanin' it and so forth.

And he was standin' there one day on the goof, knockin' a real crazy polish on his ace number one fowlin' piece, you see, and a chick come stompin' down the avenue, that was so far out, and so crazy, and so groovy, and so wild and so with it - Captain liked to drop his favorite fowlin' piece right on the floor. And he dig this chick, he dug her out o' sight. And he wait around hopin' she come back. Well, she didn't do it.

But the next mornin' there's the Hip Miles, the Indian stomper, he's fowlin', workin' on his fowlin' piece again shinin' it up, you know, keepin' it cool and crazy. And here she come again, whamin' down the street, and she got on one of them crazy colony dresses, and this chick got more curves than the Pennsylvania Railroad, and she come swingin' down like the sweet spring breeze scented with wild violets and modern jazz, man - she's wailin! And there stand the poor Hip Miles diggin' the scene, see.

Well, came the day when Captain...when the, when the Hip Miles buddy cat fell on ... had a cat by the name o', Johnny, Johnny... Speak For Yourself John that was the cat's name, see. And, uh, he come stompin' in one day say,

"What you say, Miles?"

He say, "Crazy."

He say, "How lucky?"

He say, "I got twenty seven yesterday."

He say, "That's right. I see you got 'em tacked up on the wall there."

"You understand oh I been busy, I been stompin' all over the country." He say, "You my buddy, John?"

He say, "That's right. You know I'm your buddy. I'm gonna be wit' you any way you move."

He say, "I wonder if you'd do me a little favor?"

He say, "Course I, course I will, daddy. What's on your mind?"

He say, "You know, uh, you know, uh, that chick, uh, Praascilla?"

He say, "Heh..." He said, "Man, do I know Praascilla." He said, "Where you been, daddy?" He say, "Every cat in the valley know Praascilla. She the belle of the village. She the head one. She the top flight ace number one main day chick. Everybody know Praascilla."

He say, "Well, I wonder if you'd do me a little favor."

He say, "Well, of course I do you a favor, Hip Miles. You say you know I'm wit' ya."

He say, "I wonder if you'd fall in on that chick. You know where she lives?"

He say, "Cool."

He say, "Fall in on that chick and tell her that I got big bulgin' legal eyes for her."

He say, "Course I will, sure I will; I'll fall in and hip the chick."

So here go, here goes Speak For Yourself John, you know what I mean. He go cuttin' down the, cuttin' down the pike, down the main street of the colony and he swing over by the flipadee trees and he go by the rosebushes, down past the cool lane - "Boom!" here come the Praascilla's house. And Praascilla's in there. She got a spinnin' wheel goin' - habaditdootnditditditnditditdit, habaditdootnditditditnditditdit, habaditdootnditditditnditditdit - she wailin' away on that spinnin' wheel and John go (knock, knock, knock) knock on da door.

She say, "Come on in, Johnny."

Johnny fell on in and says, "Man, you got a crazy wheel goin' for you there." He say, "That sure is insane. You knock out some crazy designs with that jazz."

She say, "Well, it's crazy. You just gotta stay on the groove, that's all. Just get right on the beat - habadootnditditditnbutbutbut, habadootnbibibi. She said, "That's all, just stay right on the beat you got it cool."

He say, "You lookin' real crazy yourself today, Praascilla."

She say, "What's on your mind, Johnny?"

He say, "Well, uh, you know, uh, Miles Standish, the Indian stomper."

She say, "Course I know Miles. Everybody know dat cat. He's a fine cat." " Red stomper, great stomper." she say.

"Say, well, uh, he sent me down here to put a little message on you."

"So what is, what's the man's story?"

"Say, well, he wants me to tell you that he's got great leapin' bulgin' legal eyes for you."

And she say...she look at him and he look at her, you know. All the time she's lookin' better all the time, you see. And finally she say, she lay a line on 'im that stunned him and shook 'im to his boots. She say, "Why don't you speak for yourself, Johnny boy?"

He say, "Yeah, dat's right. He said, "What'd you say?"

She say, "I say why don't you speak for yourself."

And Johnny say, "Yeah, that's the idea isn't it."

He lookin' at this chick. She lookin', she lookin' groovier all the time, man. She beginnin' to look real fine. That spinnin' wheel start to get covered with golden sun and the violets and the diamonds and love is sparklin' and jumpin' all over the place you know what I mean. He say, "Yeah, I say that's a crazy idea."

She say, "Well, that's what I mean."

He say, "Well, I, I didn't, I didn't know you dug me."

She say, "Course I dig you, Johnny."

He say, "Well, we gonna have one of the greatest marriages in the whole world. He said, "Man, we gonna swing and wail up the greatest breeze. We gonna have a marriage right in the colony hall. Their gonna have golden pumpkins, and we gonna have reindeer for food and we gonna carry on and swing 'til the early bright." He said, "That's what it gonna do."

She said, "I know it. I knew it all the time. Say I'm gonna git myself four more spinnin' wheels."

He said, "Baby, I git you forty four more spinnin' wheels." He say, "We gonna have a party gonna rock this whole coast."

All of a sudden Johnny boy say, "Ho ho ho hold it! Wait a minute."

She said, "What's the matter now, Johnny."

He said, "Well, uh, heh, baby just a minute here. Er, uh, I lost my head there for a minute, I say. What am I gonna go back and tell this Hip Miles, the Indian stomper, that he done sent me over here to sound you to join him with the legal eyes and I'm gonna go back and tell that real tough tight cat that you and me is gonna make the marriage scene? He say, "Oooh, Praascilla!" He say, "I got to think this over." He say, "I got to think this over." He say, "I'm gonna cut now. You cool wit' the wheel."

She say, "Well, keep it on your mind, Johnny."


From the single James Dean/Speak For Yourself, John , Hip Records # HI-302-1/302-2, 1956.

Transcribed by WALT STEMPEK