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7 "Sewing Machine" Songs

Posted by James Wolfensberger on

Ever have a song stuck in your head while you're busy with a task? If you're sewing on your vintage machine, perhaps the song can fit the moment. Enjoy these strange possibilities.

1. Minnie Memphis
The New Dirty Dozen

Known as Queen of the Country Blues, Minnie Memphis recorded music from the 1920s through the 1950s. Her 1930 cover of "Dirty Dozen" makes only brief mention of a sewing machine, but it's a comical reference:

Now the funniest thing I ever seen, tom cat jumping on a sewing machine

sewing machine run so fast, took 99 stitches in his yes, yes, yes

See if you can catch the lyrics:

2. Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band
The Dust Blows Forward 'N' The Dust Blows Back

Don Glen Vliet, aka "Captain Beefheart" was an experimental artist with a colorful life. His band's fourth album from 1970, Lick My Decals Off, Baby wasn't about some weird way of removing the filigree from a Singer 66. However, the preceding album, Trout Mask Replica, had already thoroughly covered the subject of sewing machines with this lyrical gem:

There's ole Green with her sewing machine
Where's the bobbin at?

You'll hear this profound question within the first 10 seconds of the song:

3. Moe Bandy
Baby and a Sewing Machine

At last! A song with the sewing machine more central to the theme. Moe Bandy enjoyed the height of his country music career in the 1970s, which included his 1978 album Soft Lights and Hard Country Music. The tenth and final track of that album was "A Baby and a Sewing Machine," written by Ken McDuffie. It's not exactly a feminist anthem.

A long time of loving her good timing man
He's fightin' his future in a hillbilly band
He promises the good life and a big diamond ring
All she wants is a baby and a sewing machine

Her big old brown eyes they sparkle with love
Nobody knows Lord what she's dreaming of
She could be on the cover of Playboy magazine
But all she wants is a baby and a sewing machine

A pretty little baby to rock and to swing
Sewing machine to make pretty things
A house on the corner to capture her dreams
All she wants is a baby and a sewing machine

This morning he finds her walking downtown
Out window shopping just looking around
That good life she dreams of is such simple thing
All she wants is a baby and a sewing machine
All she wants is a baby and a sewing machine

Enjoy the recording:

4) Devin the Dude

Devin the Dude is a Houston, Texas hip-hop artist known for his unique rapping style and his passion for marijuana. His track "Motha" is inspired, as the lyrics provide, by "boog, weed, sess, skunk, pine, k, reefer, dank... killa, herb, grass, coffee, pot." If you're more familiar with collecting pre-owned sewing machines than you are with marijuana slang, this lyric might amuse you:

Last month I pawned 17 sewing machines
Took the money to my Mexican partner - his name's Malito

See if you can catch the lyric in the first verse:

5) Betty Hutton
The Sewing Machine

A star of stage, television, and film, Betty Hutton was an entertainer for more than 60 years. Well known films include Annie Get Your Gun and The Greatest Show on Earth, both from 1950. By 1959, she had her own television sitcom in which she played a showgirl-turned-manicurist. Her final television appearance was in 1977 on Baretta, but in 1980 she took the stage a final time in Annie.

It was 1947's The Perils of Pauline in which Hutton performed the song and dance number, "Sewing Machine," declaring "If I didn't have my sewing machine, a wicked life I'd lead!"

Oh the sewing machine, the sewing machine
A girl's best friend
If I didn't have my sewing machine
I'd a come to no good end
But a bobbin a bobbin and pedal a pedal
And wheel the wheel by day
So by night I feel so weary that I never get out to play

Oh the sewing machine, the sewing machine
A friend in need
If I didn't having my sewing machine
A wicked life I'd lead
But a bobbin a bobbin and pedal a pedal
And dream about romance
So by night I feel so weary that I never get out to dance

Oh the sewing machine, the sewing machine
My pride and joy
If I didn't having me sewing machine
I'd a married James McCoy
But a bobbin a bobbin and pedal a pedal
And that's the end of Jim
'Cause by night I get so weary I don't even look good to him

Enjoy the film scene:

6) Martin Messier
Sewing Machine Orchestra

Martin Messier is an experimental artist who uses everyday objects to create new sounds and "voices."

From 2011, the YouTube post reads, "The European debut of the latest project by the Canadian artist Martin Messier brings us this unusual orchestra in which all the sounds are made by sewing machines made in the 1940s, amplified and processed by computers. A complex network of strange rhythmic patterns which create all sorts of mental associations among the audience, thanks to the evocative power of these small industrial marvels."

What are these machines saying to you?

7) TR Kelly
The Sewing Machine Song

Enjoy the story of a Singer sewing machine's life told in song by independent artist TR Kelly of Oregon.

Have just another few minutes? Please take our VSM Collectors Survey. :)


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  • I enjoyed everything!! It was outstanding !!!

    Lou Ann on

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