"Hoodoo Operator" as written by and Dan Maines Richard Timothy Sult....

Oh, I seen him walkin'
On down that road
He got a broken push cart
With a heavy load
Oh, Lord have mercy
Upon my wicked soul
Ah, he looked right at me
With his eyes of coal

It's the hoodoo operator
Hoodoo operator
Hoodoo operator
Hoodoo operator

Ah, he'll sell you liquids
To cure that whooping cough
And fine liniments
At a poor man's cost
Ah, but when your time is up boy
And you feel that chill
He will come softly knocking
To collect his bill

It's the hoodoo operator
Hoodoo operator
Hoodoo operator
Hoodoo operator

Oh, I seen him walkin'
On down that road
He got a broken white man
With a heavy load
Oh, Lord have mercy
Upon my foolish soul
It is so cold and dark
Behind these eyes of coal

It's the hoodoo operator
Hoodoo operator
Hoodoo operator
Hoodoo operator

Operate
Operate
Operate






Lyrics submitted by almostmanda

"Hoodoo Operator" as written by Jean-paul Gaster Dan Maines

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Hoodoo Operator song meanings
Add your thoughts

7 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentHoodoo is not slang for Folk Magic.
    Hoodoo is a specific folk magic tradition native to the Southern United States whose practice is and was remains predominant among the African American community, as it is an admix of African(Slave), Native American, and European(Mostly Celtic) folk traditions. This admix is distinct from its motherparts and is largely unrecognizable to the origins(save it West African, and West Indies counter parts), Hoodoo isnt slang, its the name.

    The song is not about selling your soul to the Devil. In Hoodoo there is always a price, nothing is to taken, and nothing is to be given, it must be paid for.

    The Hoodoo(the word is also used as the name of a practitioner) comes to collect what is owed to them-- the implication of the Song is that the hoodoo man now has the white man's soul for all the conjures the Hoodoo man provided him at "A poor man's cost" -- Note that at the end of the song he no longer has a "broken push cart", but a broken "White man". This song follows the old traditions one would expect to find in a Negro Song from the turn of the century, which if you are familiar with Clutch, is no surprise-- see Motherless Child(named after a Negro Spiritual), Gullah(named after a former slave community). Reading is fundamental kids.

    Many Clutch songs reference Hoodoo practices.
    Temujinnon November 12, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLove this song. Does anyone have the slightest idea what the Hoodoo operator is??
    ed.bk84on December 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmaybe it has something to do with this:
    santiampassskipatrol.org/history/…
    But then again who knows but Neil?
    Cape Kidon June 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have done a bit more thinking about this song and while the surface meaningmay have to do with some creepy dude he saw while skiing, "Hoodoo Operator" is most likely a metaphor for satan.
    It becomes obvious with these lyrics

    "Ah, he'll sell you liquids
    To cure that whooping cough
    And fine liniments
    At a poor man's cost
    Ah, but when your time is up boy
    And you feel that chill
    He will come softly knocking
    To collect his bill"
    Meaning, all the trespasses of life (quick fixes like lies, eic.) will be payed for in the afterlife.
    Cape Kidon July 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment^ I agree. Sounds like selling your soul to Satan.

    Especially the last refrain in which he is regretting selling it.
    shnugen17on January 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah I'd say it's about selling your soul to the devil. Hoodoo is slang for folk magic.
    UnFaithfulAtheiston February 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationSeems like a pretty straightforward interpretation of selling your soul to the devil. I absolutely love the musical texture an imagery of the song, though.

    In keeping with Clutch's tradition of mixing the mundane and fantastical, Cape Kid's interpretation could actually be correct at the same time - The Devil may indeed be a ski-lift operator in Oregon.
    Oraynon December 21, 2011   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain