Papa Don’t Take No Mess

I think I need more funk and soul in my life!

Last evening while puttering with dinner — one of the few times I’ve made it lately (or rather, reheated it, if I’m honest!) — I was trying to find an online radio station to listen to. I landed on BBC 6 Music, and during the dinner hour here in Manitoba, Canada, it was late-evening host Gideon Coe’s show, from over in the United Kingdom.

Soon Coe spun a lively tune, and I immediately recognized the voice of American singer, songwriter, musician, bandleader, producer and dancer James Brown (1933-2006). But I was unfamiliar with the song, so I Shazamed it and found it was “Papa Don’t Take No Mess.” Reading up on it this evening, I learned Brown released the song as a two-part single in 1974. Part I runs for four minutes, thirty seconds and part II, five minutes. The track I heard was the full thirteen-minute, fifty-second version from the double album Hell (1974).

The song was Brown’s 17th and final number-one rhythm and blues hit. While the lyrics talk of some pretty questionable parenting practices, I liked the music’s vibe and would love to receive suggestions of your favourite funk, soul or R&B artists and songs. Please make a comment below, or contact me through the website email form.

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the audio from the official James Brown YouTube channel:

Unofficial lyrics are available courtesy of

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