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Bo Diddley — You Can't Judge a Book By Looking at the Cover
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Total ratings: 665









Released: 1962
Length: 3:11
Plays (last 30 days): 0
You can't judge an apple by looking at a tree
You can't judge honey by looking at the bee
You can't judge a daughter by looking at the mother
You can't judge a book by looking at the cover

Oh can't you see, oh you misjudge me
I look like a farmer, but I'm a lover
You can't judge a book by looking at the cover

Oh come on in closer baby,
hear what else I gotta say!
You got your radio turned down too low
Turn it up!

You can't judge sugar by looking at the cane
You can't judge a woman by looking at her man
You can't judge a sister by looking at her brother
You can't judge a book by looking at the cover

Oh can't you see, oh you misjudge me
I look like a farmer, but I'm a Lover
You can't judge a book by looking at the cover

You can't judge a fish by lookin' in the pond
You can't judge right from looking at the wrong
You can't judge one by looking at the other
You can't judge a book by looking at the cover

Oh can't you see, oh you misjudge me
I look like a farmer, but I'm a lover
You can't judge a book by looking at the cover
Comments (94)add comment

I'm fond of saying something about "how I wish I would have been around for such&such band (usually PF and the Doors) - and the thought crossed my mind just now that I'm glad I wasn't around before music was "integrated."  I'm happy that Bo Diddley helped influence the artists that would break that color-wall down (specifically Elvis) if even that a white musician sounded black; seems to me that getting people of all types listening to the same music only helped build our nation culturally. 

I'm also a big fan of the other early RnR artists, Buddy Holly FOR SURE, Little Richard, etc. etc.  In fact, I don't think I've heard "That'll be the day" or Buddy's version of "Rave On" on RP.  I guess I should be happy with the few we do get, eh? 

PEACE & Long Live RP!! 


Bo Diddley's A!!!!

(Hope you were spared Irma's wet misery LizK, you are awesome : )
 LizK wrote:

Humm, what do I want my presidents to look like, be, embody?  Honesty, dignity, not bent on larceny, a good parent, A respecter of women, men and children. An administration that treats people equally (including not giving away everything to the 1%.).   Having the foresight to care about the future, a steward of the earth, a respecter of other nations, cautious about the actions of our adversaries. And I think Obama looks like someone who has those qualities.  More than the current occupant of the WH.

 

Um, I think you read into my lyrical observation a bit further than its intent...
 FluorideFreeMN wrote:
Am I the only one that hears "I may look like Obama" in place of "I may look like a farmer" ? 
 
Humm, what do I want my presidents to look like, be, embody?  Honesty, dignity, not bent on larceny, a good parent, A respecter of women, men and children. An administration that treats people equally (including not giving away everything to the 1%.).   Having the foresight to care about the future, a steward of the earth, a respecter of other nations, cautious about the actions of our adversaries. And I think Obama looks like someone who has those qualities.  More than the current occupant of the WH.
"You can't judge the daughter by looking at the mother"

In my experience, and I'm 64 yrs old, I would tend to disagree with this, even though it may fit into the lyrics :^ / Chances are, it's more true than not.
how many great songs did Willie Dixon write?
As a graphic designer, I'd like to disagree. 

(But those lyrics are brilliant - can't judge a right by looking at a wrong!) 
 idiot_wind wrote:
This guy (whoever he is) sounds alot like Arcade Fire or Smashinh Pumkins. But just not as soulful or fun.  

 
hmm name says something lmao 
                    
                                 I opened up a random page
                       It reads, ''hey, I know your whereabouts.
                                         You are spotless.
                                Now I look back at the cover.
 kickin it baby..{#Music}
 cc_rider wrote:

I don't care who you are, that's some funny $hit right there.

 
Totally agree.   That comment is hilarious! 
 idiot_wind wrote:
This guy (whoever he is) sounds alot like Arcade Fire or Smashinh Pumkins. But just not as soulful or fun.  
 
I don't care who you are, that's some funny $hit right there.
This guy (whoever he is) sounds alot like Arcade Fire or Smashinh Pumkins. But just not as soulful or fun.  
That title... That's a repeating comment I make to my wife about books I rent by the library. She likes or dislikes books by looking at the cover.
Am I the only one that hears "I may look like Obama" in place of "I may look like a farmer" ? 
 scarletbegonia wrote:
PAY Bo Diddley!!!!!
BTW, more David Lindley on RP, please.

 
indeed, to both.....
 Boy_Wonder wrote:
OK Hands up... who gave this a 1.... and what planet are they from?

 
what planet are YOU from, this man invented rock & roll
 Misterfixit wrote:
You sure this isn't Long John Baldry?

Jussssst sayin'

 

 

BO WAS BORN IN 1928 YOU FIGURE WHO'S ON FIRST.....

Everybody in my mushrooming multitude of churches be dancing buck ass naked... love this song... love sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll...
OK Hands up... who gave this a 1.... and what planet are they from?
 Misterfixit wrote:
(Preaching on) And you know, the message of this song that you can't judge a book by looking at the cover is timeless and one for all of us to remember. (Preaching off)
  Keep preachin' it, Mister!


You sure this isn't Long John Baldry?

Jussssst sayin'

 
 audiophelia wrote:
Oh this will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Love.
Hehehe!

 
Hannio wrote:
I look like Obama but I'm a lover? 
 
 
omg lol! me too!
Hannio, you are the devil. 

The Devil, I say.  
Great song, try the Roy Buchanan version!
I love all the Obama references but here's how it really goes:

Oh can't you see,
Oh you misjudge me,
I look like a farmer,
But I'm a lover,
Same ol' Bo Diddley beat as every other song he ever did.  Ho-hum.



Bo still knows!
This is the original ORIGINATOR at his wonderful best!!
Oh this will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Love.
Hehehe!

 
Hannio wrote:
I look like Obama but I'm a lover? 
 


10. That is all.
I look like Obama but I'm a lover? 
{#Bananajam}

mr. bo diddley by ~in-dis-guise
©2005-2010 ~in-dis-guise

ladies and gentlemen: Mr. Bo Diddley!
bo put on a fantastic show for us tonight! he played a mix of his classics and a few new things plus a good old fashioned long blues jam. i'm thrilled i got the chance to see him perform....=D




 twitterpated wrote:
I really thought this was the B-52's - I kept waiting for the women to start singing!  What a surprise!  :D
 

Pssst - wrong song!
I really thought this was the B-52's - I kept waiting for the women to start singing!  What a surprise!  :D
Truly  edjamacatioal....truly  legend
{#Bananajam}
 lmic wrote:
Hey, this sounds suspiciously like Rock and Roll {#Ask}

 
Right-e-o. Do you suppose he lifted that rif from Keith Richards?

 WonderLizard wrote:

Neat story. Oddly, what you could have called him was "Mr. McDaniel." His real name was Ellas McDaniel, and his music, all of it insofar as I'm aware, is published under his real name.

One of the giants. R.I.P.

 
He did lose out on a lot of royalty potential during the height of his career. I believe he later got a better deal and made out okay.
 
Robert Randolph & the Family Band does a fantastic Bo Diddley tribute...

Hey, this sounds suspiciously like Rock and Roll {#Ask}

Love to hear Bro Bo sing this ... Long John Baldry did a fairly excellent cover of this too ...  Dern!  Both of them are now up there singing with the angels.

I heard Bo Diddley do this in Washington DC years ago and then LJB not more than a few months later ... awesome.

He was one of the greats!

(Preaching on) And you know, the message of this song that you can't judge a book by looking at the cover is timeless and one for all of us to remember. (Preaching off)
Bo and Willie Dixon. What a team!
Wooo Hooooo! What a Classic!!!



love it...


Ha ... needed to check the lyrics.  I was certain I heard him say "I look like Obama"  ..


 rowdydaisy wrote:
I met Bo Diddley. I had his grandson in my class and I had a home visit (as with all my students) His house in ABQ, NM was a surprisingly moddest, one story tract home. Sometimes you could see him spraying off his driveway while driving by. Obviously, the rights to his music were ripped off by the music companies as they did to a lot of early r&r and blues artists. What a nice man. I asked him what I should call him because I couldn't call him Mr. Diddley. He said, "Just call me Bo Pops. Everyone calls me Bo Pops."
 
Neat story. Oddly, what you could have called him was "Mr. McDaniel." His real name was Ellas McDaniel, and his music, all of it insofar as I'm aware, is published under his real name.

One of the giants. R.I.P.

Is this about whether the rug matches the drapes?
{#Cool}
I did not know this song, it is nice to hear some classics :)

Sad to hear he got ripped off {#Arghhh}
Ah looks like a famah but
Ah loves this songa...  {#Devil_pimp}

scarletbegonia wrote:
PAY Bo Diddley!!!!     



sadly, now we'll have to pay his children - and we should


 rowdydaisy wrote:
I met Bo Diddley. I had his grandson in my class and I had a home visit (as with all my students) His house in ABQ, NM was a surprisingly moddest, one story tract home. Sometimes you could see him spraying off his driveway while driving by. Obviously, the rights to his music were ripped off by the music companies as they did to a lot of early r&r and blues artists. What a nice man. I asked him what I should call him because I couldn't call him Mr. Diddley. He said, "Just call me Bo Pops. Everyone calls me Bo Pops."

 
The most impressive thing about this comment is that there are still teachers who do home visits on all their students. Damn.


You can't judge Bo by the shape of his guitar ...
PAY Bo Diddley!!!!! BTW, more David Lindley on RP, please.
rowdydaisy wrote:
I met Bo Diddley. :biggrin: I had his grandson in my class and I had a home visit (as with all my students) His house in ABQ, NM was a surprisingly moddest, one story tract home. Sometimes you could see him spraying off his driveway while driving by. Obviously, the rights to his music were ripped off by the music companies as they did to a lot of early r&r and blues artists. What a nice man. I asked him what I should call him because I couldn't call him Mr. Diddley. He said, "Just call me Bo Pops. Everyone calls me Bo Pops."
Thanks for sharing that. Facinating.
This is some good stuff
DebateG wrote:
Unfortunately, Mr. Diddley is not in the best condition at the moment. I saw him play a few years ago. He was definitely declining in health and musical ability. His last song was a blues song about having diabetes. So sad.
I saw him within the past year, so he may have recovered somewhat. He's still talking about diabetes, and had a 'recovery shoe' on one foot indicating he had probably lost some toes or something. Diabetes is a BIG problem in the African American community. It's good to see Bo and B.B. spreading the word. c.
Mo Bo please!
I am soooooo conflicted. Between Bo Diddly and Long John Baldry .. this song is a house rocker ... but which one to put onto continuous repeat???
(click here)
marlenacb wrote:
Hmmm...this song is making me crave some Southern Culture on the Skids...
I wonder if that's why this song was played right after a SCotS song? :think:
Unfortunately, Mr. Diddley isnot in the best condition at the moment.
Man, that bass! Can't help but get a little jiggy to that
dionysius wrote:
The entire universe vibrates to a Bo Diddley beat. Or so string theorists have demonstrated.
That WOULD explain a lot of things...
LPCity wrote:
Basically, the original comment aims to impart some sound of social awareness and succeeds only in identifying the poster as uncool, unhip, and non-black. A mighty broad swath.
Hey look everybody, it's the PC police!
Regardless of color, I think people imitate what they love and develop their own style from there. The odds of anyone really ever being a carbon copy their idol, even if it is their own parent, is unlikely. Besides, that's the job of cover bands.
An interesting cover of this is by Cactus (another so-called supergroup) from the early 70s on what I believe was their only album. I was too young at the time to realize this was a cover, but I did like that version a lot.
"The originator" Buddy Holly - Not Fade Away - covered by the dead - the stones (first hit on Ed Sullivan) - bob dylan etc. the who - magic bus springsteen - can't remember u2 -can't remember unbelievable - one cord and one hecofa beat that stirs us all deep inside. :bananajam: two bars 1234 1234
This man is amazing. Music like this makes me regret sucking at music lessons... multiple attempts despite my mama's best attempts.
I like Louie Prima's spin on the concept: "you can't judge the depth of the well by the length of the handle on the pump."
GO BO!!! :dancingbanana: :dancingbanana: :dancingbanana:
Hmmm...this song is making me crave some Southern Culture on the Skids...
The entire universe vibrates to a Bo Diddley beat. Or so string theorists have demonstrated.
more Diddley please !!
never heard this before. this is awesome! i'm involuntarily tapping my foot right now.
Interesting thread. The story of meeting the man is awesome. The racial comments are interesting as well; I've always wondered exactly what differentiates 'whiteboy blues' from 'the real thing'. It's not color, but sound. Brit-blues bands like Led Zep, Cream, Robert Palmer, et al. are typical examples of white boys paying homage to the blues; it's all great stuff but it SOUNDS different than the real thing. Robert Cray is a fine musician and singer, but his blues sounds like whiteboy blues; he's better suited to Lou Rawls-esque stylings. Conversely, Stevie Ray Vaughn's blues sounds like the real deal, albeit with about a zillion more notes than normal. Eric Clapton's 'blues' is getting better as he ages, but it's still 'whiteboy' somehow. I don't know what it is that makes it SOUND different! Stevie Ray's style was to be a few milliseconds behind the beat, maybe that has something to do with it. It's something I've wrestled with a long time; I almost came to blows with a music buff who denied the existence of 'whiteboy blues'. It exists, but defining it is like trying to nail jello to the wall! c.
:clap: Great song!
rowdydaisy wrote:
I met Bo Diddley. :biggrin: I had his grandson in my class and I had a home visit (as with all my students) His house in ABQ, NM was a surprisingly moddest, one story tract home. Sometimes you could see him spraying off his driveway while driving by. Obviously, the rights to his music were ripped off by the music companies as they did to a lot of early r&r and blues artists. What a nice man. I asked him what I should call him because I couldn't call him Mr. Diddley. He said, "Just call me Bo Pops. Everyone calls me Bo Pops."
This is the best post I've read in a long, long time. Awesome.
Although Bo Diddley performs this song, I believe that Willie Dixon wrote it. I have a copy of the amazing box set of Willie Dixon's, where he works with everyone from Howlin' Wolf, to Muddy Waters to Koko Taylor. An amazing CD, to be sure! (click here)
Probably my favorite BO song. One of my 1st albums. 1962 I think. I still have it. Maybe I'll go home and play it today.
RabbitEars wrote:
wow, i thought i was hearing john hammond. must admit this is an artist i'm pretty clueless about.
It's BO DIDDLEY!! Wow! That comment blows me away...
I met Bo Diddley. :biggrin: I had his grandson in my class and I had a home visit (as with all my students) His house in ABQ, NM was a surprisingly moddest, one story tract home. Sometimes you could see him spraying off his driveway while driving by. Obviously, the rights to his music were ripped off by the music companies as they did to a lot of early r&r and blues artists. What a nice man. I asked him what I should call him because I couldn't call him Mr. Diddley. He said, "Just call me Bo Pops. Everyone calls me Bo Pops."
Basically, the original comment aims to impart some sound of social awareness and succeeds only in identifying the poster as uncool, unhip, and non-black. A mighty broad swath.
Hey look everybody, it's the PC police!
lester wrote:
And he showed nothing to anyone of any other extraction? All non-whites the world over already knew/know "how"? Basically, the original comment aims to impart some sound of social awareness and succeeds only in identifying the poster as uncool, unhip, and non-black. A mighty broad swath.
You can't judge a black by looking at his colour :cheesygrin:
dionysius wrote:
Well, I'm white, and yes Bo did show me how it was done.
And he showed nothing to anyone of any other extraction? All non-whites the world over already knew/know "how"? Basically, the original comment aims to impart some sound of social awareness and succeeds only in identifying the poster as uncool, unhip, and non-black. A mighty broad swath.
BRING ON MORE BLUES WOO HOO!!!
I feel like dancing~ :dance:
nuggler wrote:
Showing the whiteboys how its done.....
The Fabulous Thunderbirds did a cover that's very true to this recording, and I daresay it's a little bit better.
RobRyan wrote:
So are you black or are you merely wanting to be?
Well, I'm white, and yes Bo did show me how it was done.
nuggler wrote:
Showing the whiteboys how its done.....
So are you black or are you merely wanting to be?
wow i can't believe i am hearing this song. last time i heard it i was a drummer in a band playing early 60's stuff - in a yardbirds kind of setup - 83' or 84'.
Showing the whiteboys how its done.....
wow, i thought i was hearing john hammond. must admit this is an artist i'm pretty clueless about.