Walking the Dog

Rufus Thomas

About Walking the Dog

"Walking the Dog" (or "Walkin' the Dog") is a Rufus Thomas song. It was released on his 1963 album Walking the Dog. It was his signature hit and also his biggest, reaching number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1963 and remaining on the Hot 100 for 14 weeks. The lyrics make references to children's nursery rhymes, especially Miss Mary Mack. The song was recorded several months later by the Rolling Stones in 1964. Unlike most Stones' recordings, the song features harmony vocals on the chorus solely by Brian Jones (most early Stones songs feature Jones and Bill Wyman on backing vocals, with Keith Richards replacing the two not long after), which makes their recording of the song unique in their catalogue. The only hit version in the UK was by the Dennisons, whose recording reached number 36 on the UK singles chart in 1964. Many other artists also recorded the song, including Aerosmith, Johnny Rivers, John Cale, Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, Roger Daltrey, Green Day, Hans Theessink, the Flamin' Groovies, the Kingsmen, the Sonics, Ace Cannon, Jackie Shane, the Trashmen, Luv'd Ones, Bob Paisley and the Southern Grass and Ratt. It was performed live occasionally by the Grateful Dead in 1966, 1970, and the mid-eighties. 


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Baby's back, dressed in black,
Silver buttons all down her back
High, low, tipsy toe,
She broke a needle and she can't sew
Walkin' the dog,
Just walkin' the dog
If you don't know how to do it,
I'll show you how to walk te dog

Asked a fellow for fifteen cents,
See the fellow he jumped the fence
Jumped so high he touched the sky,
Never got back till the fourth of July
Walkin' the dog,
Just walkin' the dog
If you don't know how to do it,
I'll show you how to walk the dog

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Rufus Thomas

Rufus Thomas, Jr. (March 27, 1917 – December 15, 2001) was an American rhythm and blues, funk and soul singer and comedian from Memphis, Tennessee, who recorded on Sun Records in the 1950s and on Stax Records in the 1960s and 1970s. He was the father of soul singer Carla Thomas and keyboard player Marvell Thomas. A third child, Vaneese, a former French teacher, has a recording studio in upstate New York and sings for television commercials. more »

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Written by: Rufus Thomas

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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