[Dixielandjazz] HOW TO SING THE BLUES

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Tue Jul 20 08:48:26 PDT 2004

Pat Cooke asked about a list of who can, and how to sing the Blues. Here
is one of many.

Steve Barbone

HOW TO SING THE BLUES (attrib. to Memphis Earlene Gray with help from
Uncle Plunky)

1. Most blues begin "woke up this morning."

2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the blues, unless you
stick something nasty in the next line. EG. I got a good woman-- with
the meanest dog in town.

3. Blues are simple. After you have the first line right, repeat it.
Then find something that rhymes. Sort of.
Got a good woman with the meanest dog in town. He got teeth like
Margaret Thatcher and he weighs about 500 pounds.

4. The blues are not about limitless choice.

5. Blues cars are old Chevies and Cadillacs. Not BMW, or Mercedes or
Lexus. Other acceptable blues transportation is Greyhound bus or riding
the rails on a southbound train. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues
lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

6. Teenagers can't sing the blues. Adults sing the blues. Blues
adulthood means old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot
a man in Memphis.

7. You can have the blues in New York City, but not in Brooklyn or
Queens. Hard times in Vermont or North Dakota are just a
depression. Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis and Kansas City are still the
best places to have the blues.

8. The following colors do not belong in the blues: a. violet b. beige
c. mauvre

9. You can't have the blues in an office or a shopping mall, or anywhere
else the lighting is wrong.

10. Good places for the Blues: a. the highway b. the jailhouse c. the
empty bed d. hollow log.
Bad places: a. Ashrams b. Gallery openings c. weekends in the Hamptons
or Palm Springs.

11. No one will believe it's the blues if you wear a suit, unless you
happen to be an old black man.

12. Do you have the right to sing the blues? Yes, if: a. your first name
is a southern state -- like Georgia b. you're blind c. you
shot a man in Memphis. d. you can't be satisfied.
No, if: a. you were once blind but now can see. b. you're deaf c. you
have a trust fund. d. You didn't wake up this mornin.

13. Neither Julio Iglesias nor Barbra Streisand can sing the blues.

14. If you ask for water and baby gives you gasoline, it's the blues.
Other blues beverages are: a. wine b. Irish whiskey c. muddy water.
Blues beverages are NOT: a. Any mixed drink b. Any wine kosher for
Passover c. Yoo Hoo (all flavors)

15. If it occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's blues death.
Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is a blues way to die.
 So is the electric chair, substance abuse, or being denied treatment in
an emergency room. It is not a blues death, if you die during a
liposuction or botox treatment.

16. Some Blues names for Women a. Sadie b. Big Mama c. Bessie d. Lady

17. Some Blues Names for Men a. Joe b. Willie c. Little Willie d.
 Persons with names like Sierra or Sequoia will not be permitted to sing
the blues no matter how many men they shoot in

17B. Other Blues Names (Starter Kit) a. Name of Physical infirmity
(Blind, Cripple, Asthmatic) b. First name (see above) or
 name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi) c. Last Name of President (Jefferson,
Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)

Mix and Match

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