put it to me shake it till the rattles come on


Senior Member
hello, I'm trying to translate a song called 29 by Ryan Adams.
This line is so obscure to me.

Here's the context:
"Bar room boogie just like in the movies
Go on put it to me shake it till the rattles come on
Take me where the morning don't come"

I really don't understand what does "it" represent?
And what could "rattles come on" mean?
Can you help me, please?

Thanks in adavance
  • watergirl

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.A.
    Hi Garbonzia,
    I think "the rattles" here is a Southern (American) way of saying "the shakes" -- which is what an inveterate drinker (i.e. alcoholic) would get if he went without alcohol too long. I'm not sure of the French equiivalent and I'm not sure how to understand the whole stanza since "to where the morning don't come" suggests precisely the kind of oblivion you could reach WHEN you were in an alcohol-induced stupor. Still, I think Mr. Adams is playing on this association. Good luck!!


    Senior Member
    US - American English
    Well of course the word 'boogie' implies dancing, or at least a series of motions that can be viewed as dancing.

    So the "it" in "put it to me" and "shake it" would naturally be the body (or some predilect part thereof) of the person dancing.

    "Put it to me" is odd. It probably just means something like "display it for me" or "show me" which could find a basis in an expression like "let me put it to you this way". It may also mean 'to lay against' as in to make actual physical contact. Hard to say.

    As for 'the rattles,' whether they are alcohol-induced, as watergirl suggests, or are just the result of the display being made before him, I believe it's something he's made up to describe "the state of being rattled." (= unable to think clearly)

    So "till the rattles come on" = long enough to induce 'the rattles,' until the onset of 'the rattles.'

    Also, you have to compare "Take me where the morning don't come" with the previous verses that end "until the morning comes." Here he doesn't want the morning to come, he doesn't want this to end.

    Like in the Velvet Underground lyric: "If you close the door, the night could last forever."


    Senior Member
    so here's my try:
    "vas-y, put it to me, secoue-toi jusqu'à ce que les tremblements se déclarent"
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