Bessie Smith, probably the first woman to record the blues

I love the Blues. When I say Blues, I mean the real Blues, the original blues. There’s something so real, so genuine, so “feel it down in your guts” about the blues. A real blues singer can take me there any time.

1.You’re always safe starting out, ” Woke up this morning…”.
2. Blues are not happy. Either you just got fired, or you got a mean woman(or man), or you just stabbed somebody or somebody just stabbed you(over that mean woman)…you get the picture.
3. Whatever it was, you got no choice in the matter. Blues is about dealing with loss, and finding happiness in a finite world.
4. Your verbal and adjectival constructions are slippery at best.
5. When the blues travels, it takes the bus or rides in the back of a pickup. It never takes the plane.
The blues drives a Chevy or an old Buick. A non blues ride would be anything else.
6. Teens don’t sing blues, only adults. You have to be old enough to face the electric chair for stabbing your woman’s back door man. Tiger Woods could never sing the blues, but Sonny Liston could. It’s about facing death.
7.You can’t sing the blues if you have all your teeth, have good eyesight, went to an Ivy League school or have a 401K. You can sing the blues if you lost all your teeth, are blind, have one suit that you sleep in all the time, and know that you will never have more money than you have right now.
8. Blues don’t sing in Seattle, or Vancouver, or Denver. Blues can be in New York, but not from New York. Blues are in towns like New Orleans, Biloxi, Chicago, Baltimore,even Montreal.
Blues places are the highway rest stop, cheap motels, empty beds, and the bottom of a whiskey glass.
Non blues places are Dillards and the Mall.
You can’t have blues in a Starbucks. It’s just silly. But you can have the blues if you walk out and sit by the dumpster.
9. A blues death is from a stabbing by your woman’s new lover, freezing out in the cold, alcohol poisoning, getting shot, or killed by the state for a crime you didn’t commit. Non blues deaths are from a botched liposuction, or a heart attack on the tennis court.
10. Blues primarily belongs to people of color, but white people are allowed to sing it, but you have to be poor and undesirable to make up for it.
11.Blues beverages include cheap wine, and rancid coffee. Non blues drinks include Perrier, any wine that costs more than $1.99 per bottle, and any coffee with a fancy name.
12. Your woman is always named something like Big Mama, Jelly Roll, or Fat Dumpling. Women named Amber or Michelle will never, ever sing the blues in this world or the next.
13. To create your own blues name, follow these steps:
A-Choose an infirmity, such as Jakeleg, Cripple, One Arm Blind Boy, Humpback, and so forth.
B-Choose a fruit or food name, such as Lemon, Peach or Jelly Roll(be careful with this one, it’s a down home term for vagina).
C-Any dead President’s name.
14. To write your own blues song, follow these steps:
A- Think of a good contrasting rhyme, or even a contrasting image.
B-Make up sentences that make at least a little sense, using your rhymes.
To illustrate, I got all creative and wrote a blues song this morning.

In Shreveport Blues style(A one chord Drone style like John Lee Hooker used), to be half sung, half spoken. E minor would work best.


Well I got me a red hot lover,
he the meanest man in town.
Well, I got me a red hot lover,
he weigh 500 pound.
He got a nine inch stick of candy,
and he like to pass it around.
Well I got me a red hot lover,
and he weigh 500 pound.

He don’t do no work,
He stay in bed all day,
When the sun goes down,
he come out to play.

He say, “Hey baby,
want some candy tonight?”,
Stir my honeypot round,
he make me feel all right.

Well I got me a red hot lover,
he the meanest man in town.
Well, I got me a red hot lover,
he weigh 500 pound.
He got a nine inch stick of candy,
and he like to pass it around.
Well I got me a red hot lover,
and he weigh 500 pound.

I found him in the arms of a back door boy,
and he was treatin’ him nice.
He say, “Hey baby, you don’t treat me right,
this boy got jelly roll sweet and tight.

So I got me a knife and stab him twice,
and now he’s laid out cold as ice.
Took that boy back home that night,
and now he keep me warm all right.

Well I got me a back door lover,
he the sweetest man in town.
Well I got me a back door lover,
he don’t weigh 500 pound,
He give me lovin’, all I need,
He bring his love all over me.
Well I got me a back door lover,
he the sweetest man in town.

Dr John, the great showman.

The immortal John Lee Hooker.

Be loved,



9 Responses to “THE BLUES”

  1. Sober @ Sundown Says:

    “I got me a smaller toy.”

  2. Mikey Says:

    but…my new lover loves my candy up his back door.

  3. Rey a.k.a. "Mr. Secret" Says:

    Awwww, who doesn’t love the blues? I was Buddy Guy and Junior Wells’ publicist going back about 10 years ago (obviously before Junior died), and sitting in those bars like “Buddy’s” in Chicago, “Wally’s” in Boston, “Preservation Hall” and in New Orleans, “Chicago B.L.U.E.S.” (R.I.P.) in NYC, drinking a whiskey with Buddy was some of the finest memories I have.

    I must disagree with #6 though… I also worked with Jonny Lang and Shannon Curfman… at the time, two VERY prodigious Blues cats… Shannon at 14 years old especially could growl like the best of ’em… She’s 21 now, and still, that mama’s gotta some Blues down in her soul!

  4. Ur-spo Says:

    FINALLY got through!
    There is some sort of gremlin that thwarts me signing onto your blog.

    how about
    but the back door boy I adore!

  5. Michael Guy Says:

    “..but I got me some finger stinkin’ joy..”

    Sorry. I think “stinkin” just adds a touch more depth to the lyric.

    HAR! Brilliant POST! Well crafted/planned/executed. Most enjoyable!

  6. tornwordo Says:

    Very creative exercise! I’m sorry you’re bluesy, but also see the beauty that comes from your suffering. Wishing you a swift end to your funk.

  7. Em Says:

    Ooh, I write blues songs extemporaneously for the kids on weekends. I keep meaning to write down the lyrics. They are called the Mean Momma blues usually. They detail the sad story of two children with the world’s meanest mother. Years from now they will probably be in therapy over the amusement I derived from their torment.

    I’m sorry you have the blues hon. Try sniffing marjoram. yes, the herb. It always cheers me up.

  8. Em Says:

    Oh, your list made me laugh.

  9. Em Says:

    I’m scattered tonight, can you tell? I loved your song.

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