How to sing the blues
From Jay_Kaufman@unc.edu Wed Sep 6 14:00:06 2000
Date: Tue, 05 Sep 2000 10:17:31 -0400
Subject: [Fwd: how to sing the blues]
How to Sing the Blues
by Lame Mango Washington
to Memphis Earlene Gray with help from Uncle Plunky, with
revisions by Little Blind Patti D. and Dr. Stevie Franklin)
- 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: "I got a
good woman - with the meanest face in town."
- 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. Got teeth
like Margaret Thatcher and she weigh 500 pound."
- The Blues are not about choice. You stuck in a ditch.
You stuck in a ditch ain't no way out.
- Blues cars: Chevys and Cadillacs and broken down trucks.
Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or SUV's. Most Blues
transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train.
Jet aircraft and state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in
the running. Walkin' plays a major part in the
blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.
- Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin to die
yet. 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 St. Paul or Tucson
is just depression. Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City
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 cuz
you skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg cuz an
alligator be chomping on it is.
- You can't have no Blues in an 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:
- empty bed
- bottom of a whiskey glass
- gallery openings
- Ivy League institutions
- golf courses
- No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit,
'less you happen to be an old black man, and you slept in
- Do you have the right to sing the Blues?
- you're older than dirt
- you're blind
- you shot a man in Memphis
- you can't be satisfied
- you have all your teeth
- you were once blind but now can see
- the man in Memphis lived.
- you have a retirement plan or trust fund
- Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad
luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues. Gary Coleman
could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.
- If you ask for water and Baby give you gasoline, it's
the Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
- whiskey or bourbon
- muddy water
- black coffee
The following are NOT Blues beverages:
- mixed drinks
- kosher wine
- sparkling water
- If it 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 in 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:
- Big Mama
- Fat River Dumpling
- Some Blues names for men:
- Little Willie
- Big Willie
- Persons with names like Sierra, Sequoia, and Rainbow
can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in
- Make yer own Blues name (starter kit):
- name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.)
- first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime,
- last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson,
Fillmore, etc.) For example, Blind Lime Jefferson, or
Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc.
- I don't care how tragic your life; you own a computer,
you cannot sing the blues. You best destroy it.
Fire, a spilled bottle of Mad Dog, or shotgun. Maybe your
big woman just done sit on it. I don't care
- Hey there, you can READ! This too be a big ol'
problem! Most folks singin' the Blues ain't never had much
a chance for education. In the Blues . . . the three R's
stand for Railroads, Runnin', and Rehab.
Website maintained by Andy Long.