Flat Foot Floogie: vulgar meaning of the swing hit song
Flat Foot Floogie LP cover
Flat Foot Floogie (with a Floy Floy) is a jazz swing song that became a nationwide hit when it was released in the US in 1938. The track was written the same year by Slim Gaillard, Slam Stewart, and Bud Green, and was first recorded by Gaillard and Stewart as a Slim & Slam duo.
At first glance, the Flat Foot Floogie lyrics seem to hold a string of mostly meaningless phrases that are often mistaken for scat-singing, but in fact, the text is replete with slang that reveals a somewhat salacious meaning.
Initially, the song title and lyrics contained the word "floozie," meaning prostitute, which was replaced by the meaningless "floogie" due to label fears that the track would be censored and banned from airplay. At the same time, the phrase "floy, floy" was kept, despite its slang meaning referring to a sexually transmitted disease.
Thus, the warning contained in the only meaningful stanza becomes clear:
Whenever your cares are chronic,
Just tell the world, "go hang,"
You'll find a greater tonic,
If you go on swingin' with the gang!
Listen to Flat Foot Floogie by Slim and Slam:
Curiously, the phrase "flat feet" appears in the lyrics for a reason, since some chronic venereal diseases ultimately lead to flat feet.