Not Papa, Mama

“When you say ‘Ma,’ that means Mother. ‘Ma,’ that means the tops. That’s the boss, the shack bully of the house. Ma Rainey. She’s take-charge Ma. ‘Ma Rainey’s coming to town, the boss blues singer.’ And you respect Ma. Grandma, my ma, and ma ma, that’s Ma, that’s something you respect when you say Mother. That’s the boss of the shack, eh? Not papa, mama.”

Danny Barker (New Orleans guitarist)

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