to sing the Blues ... A Primer
- Most Blues
begin, "Woke up this morning..."
- "I got a
good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, 'less you stick something
nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman, with the meanest face in
- The Blues is
simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that
rhymes . . . sort of: "Got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Yes,
I got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret
Thatcher, and she weigh 500 pound."
- The Blues is
not about choice. You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch--ain't no way out.
- Blues cars:
Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues don't travel in Volvos,
BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or
a southbound train. Jet aircraft an' state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in
the running. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin'
can't sing the Blues. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues "adulthood"
means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.
- Blues can
take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or any place in Canada. Hard times
in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St.
Louis, and Kansas City are still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot
have the blues in any place that don't get rain.
- A man with
male pattern baldness ain't the blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is.
Breaking your leg cause you skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg 'cause a
alligator be chomping on it is.
- You can't
have no Blues in a office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside
to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.
- Good places
for the Blues: a) Highway; b) Jailhouse; c) Empty bed; d) Bottom of a whiskey
glass. Bad places for the Blues: a) Dillard's; b) Gallery openings; c) Ivy
League institutions; d) Golf courses; e) Starbucks
- No one will
believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you happen to be a old ethnic
person, and you slept in it.
- Do you have
the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if a) You older than dirt; b) You blind; c)
You shot a man in Memphis; d) You can't be satisfied. No, if a) You have all
your teeth; b) You were once blind but now can see; c) The man in Memphis lived;
d) You have a 401K or trust fund.
- Blues is not
a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues.
Sonny Liston could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.
- If you ask
for water and your darlin' give you gasoline, it's the Blues. Other acceptable
Blues beverages are a) Cheap wine; b) Whiskey or bourbon; c) Muddy water; d)
Nasty black coffee. The following are NOT Blues beverages: a) Perrier; b)
Chardonnay; c) Snapple; d) Slim Fast; e) Mocha Latte
- If death
occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Stabbed in the
back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So is the electric chair,
substance abuse and dying lonely on a broken down cot. You can't have a Blues
death if you die during a tennis match or getting liposuction.
- Some Blues
names for women: a) Sadie; b) Big Mama; c) Bessie; d) Fat River Dumpling
- Some Blues
names for men a) Joe; b) Willie; c) Little Willie; d) Big Willie
- Persons with
names like Michelle, Amber, Debbie, and Heather can't sing the Blues no matter
how many men they shoot in Memphis.
- Make your own
Blues name Starter Kit: a) Name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame,
etc.); b) First name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Peach, etc.);
c) Last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.); d) For example,
Blind Lime Jefferson or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc. (Well, maybe not
- I don't care
how tragic your life, if you own a computer, you cannot sing the blues.
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