Tuesday 12 February 2019

Blues Lyrics

As a songwriter, I really do enjoy listening to songs with adventurous lyrics.
It would have been so easy for the the old bluesers to stick with the norm; "I woke up this morning, just about the break of day".
Thank God they didn't!

I personally think that Louis Jordan has to top the list of the all time great blues songwriters.
I don't think he ever wrote a bad one: "Let the good times roll", "Choo choo ch boogie", "Early in the morning", "Barnyard boogie" etc etc etc.

As a young man, I was knocked out by Mose Allison singing,"Because your mind is on vacation and your mouth is working overtime".
Cousin Joe also knocked me for six with "I wouldn't give a blind sow an acorn, wouldn't give a crippled crab a crutch, 'cause I just found out baby that you aint so such a much".
And Willie Mabon was definately from another planet: "Now I can go down to the bottom of the sea, count the grains of sand, peep through muddy water and spy dry land, I'm mad.......".

Of course the Blues has always had a blue side to it and there have been many a recording made and played on the airwaves.
Chick Willis springs to mind with his "stoop down baby let your daddy see, you got something down there worrying the hell out of me"!!
Shake Rattle & Roll isn't so innocent neither; "I'm like a one-eyed cat peeping in a seafood store, I can look at you 'till you aint no child no more", well well.

I bought a Memphis Slim record and played it on and off for a couple of years.
There is a song on the record called "If you see Kay".
A nice story about Mr. Slim missing his gal Kay. So if you see her, tell her to go back home.
It was only when I saw him on the TV live at Ronnie Scotts that I finally got it.
He looks into the audience and hits them with, "F, U, C, K, send her home to me" !!!!!!
And yes, I did add this song to my repertoire!

Indeed, lyrics are a true wonder.
They can make you happy, sad, thoughtful, angry, suspicious..........................
Prince Partridge asked "How come my dog don't bark when you come around"?
Steve Clayton said "I heard my baby knockin' 'bout a quarter to four, knockin' from wall to wall, she had hair just like Medusa and I know I shouldn't accuse her but it looked just like she fell off a horse", (Where did you stay last night).

There have been countless books written on this very subject so I am going to leave you with lyrics written by Lightnin' Hopkins which for me really epitomise the Blues.
"Good Lord just let me live 'till tomorrow, I'm gonna sing you another prayer, yes 'till tomorrow, this black man's gonna sing you another prayer. Sometimes I begin to wonder, what in the world am I doin' over here"
A truly great live recording of "Stool Pigeon Blues" can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DTOLJlblqM


1 comment:

  1. Nice read cuz! I've learned to live the blues from my dad as a child. Always going the bluegrass festivals. Thanks to my dad I appreciate all music, I miss him dearly. Keep doing what you do I have your CD from my mom (Vera). ♥️


Blues Lyrics

As a songwriter, I really do enjoy listening to songs with adventurous lyrics. It would have been so easy for the the old bluesers to stick...