Man, I got them old-school blues,
like Mamie Smith and Langston Hughes.
But ain’t no blues no more, they shout. Them days is come and gone!
So long as no one’s lovin’ me, my pain will find a song.
Now I can’t say that ol’ Jim Crow is why I’m feelin’ blue,
Or all I’ve got’s a pair of socks and not one Goddamn shoe.
And I can’t cry, White-man, set me free!
Don’t mean there’s no chains shacklin’ me.
And no, my baby isn’t gone.
Didn’t have no baby all along.
I got them old school blues, y’know,
could tear the eyes of Johnny Lo.
Like every maple sugar child, once linked by ankle chain,
who lost his way a while ago, and now is lookin’ vain.
It’s gotten now that I’m too proud to get down on bended knee
and put my faith in anything, especially me.
But someday soon we’ll be cut loose,
with voices booming, Justice! Truth!
to find that good thing in our hearts,
and ends this scramblin’ in the dark.
‘Til then I got them old school blues,
like Tutwiler and Baton Rouge.
For all the folks who can’t make rent,
–and not just ’cause the money’s spent–
who feed them hungry, waitin’ eyes,
that live the blues between the sighs,
the blues ain’t got no power ‘cept to give your woes a voice.
And bein’ blue or fightin’ through ain’t nothin’ but a choice.
So again, like way back when that first cat felt the blues, I’ll say,
Let’s just keep a-risin’ til them old blues go away!
(Mississippi John Hurt image from: http://www.theguitarlesson.com/guitar-lesson-blog/blues-guitar-lessons/20-most-influential-and-best-blues-guitarists/ Old man snoozing image from: http://www.historicalstockphotos.com/details/photo/2122_old_man_sleeping_on_porch.html)