TALK TO THE DADDY

Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

CAN YOU SING THE BLUES? DO YOU OWN YOUR DUES?

"Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art." -- Charlie Parker

"Blues means what milk does to a baby. Blues is what the spirit is to the minister. We sing the blues because our hearts have been hurt, our souls have been disturbed
." --Alberta Hunter


Listen up. In my younger days when I was hanging around college campuses entertaining the illusion I was really getting something out of studying economists like Milton Friedman and psychologists like
Freud and Horney, I spent a lot of time with music students. They were studying classical music at the University of Minnesota and other schools in and around the twin cities.

And I began to figure out a pattern: that whereas they could talk all evening about classical music, they knew next to nothing about blues and jazz, America's two great gifts to the rest of the world, in my opinion. So The Daddy got to asking questions about the lack of a jazz programs as a part of the musical schools around the city and why nobody talks about jazz, blues or gospel. Their basic answer was a shrug saying that's the way it has been for a long time or something to that effect.

So The Daddy went into a basement bar, had a few cold ones, and pondered all the lost opportunities for these music students to know some great American music and musicians. And he wrote this poem, Can you sing the blues? Do you own your dues?

Can you sing the blues?
Do you own your dues?
by Mac Walton

(1)

I've eyed you,
chubby-faced and knock-kneed
pulling up weeds in your back-yard
garden.

(2)

I've lauded you,
white dress rustling above
lily-white thighs, skipping through
a misty, white rain.

Then you felt no pain.

(3)

I’ve asked you,
bent fingers sliding across
Mozart, Paulenc and European
time.

(4)

A Shubert Sonata
could charm a snake, tis true.
But first and forever--
can you sing the blues?

Do you own your dues?

17 comments:

.::STELLA*DELLA::. said...

NOW EVERY KNOWS....MS DELLA KNOWS THE BLUES...NOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO SING THIS FOR YOU...I SURE WILL LAY IT ON THICK! :)

DELLA!

Stimpson said...

I couldn't help but snicker at the pairing of psychologist names Freud and Horney. Juvenile, I know.

MacDaddy said...

Stella: Do you sing the blues in the shower or when you're walking on the streets? Are you a singer?

Stimpson: That's not fair. By the way, as you probably know, one of Canada's good blues guitarists-- Haley-- a little while ago.

.::STELLA*DELLA::. said...

I ACTUALLY DO NOT SING! .....I END CAREERS HONEY!

NOW GIMME DAT MIC!

Stimpson said...

My snickering was juvenile, as I said.
Awesome poem, BTW. :-)

MacDaddy said...

Stimpson: Just between me and you, I used to snicker at the name Horney. Okay, I knew she was a great psychologist, but I couldn't stop smiling every time I heard her name. Blessings.

Black Diaspora said...

Impressive poem. Do you have others?

Blues, and especially Jazz, is you in expression.

A piece by Mozart is Mozart, but it's not you, although it is subject to interpretation.

It's interesting that Ralph Ellison incorporated Jazz into his masterpiece, Invisible Man.

It made his work quintessentially black, although we know he borrowed from American literary style as well, and wrote in the American tradition, with Jazz being uniquely American.

MacDaddy said...

"Impressive poem. Do you have others?"
BlackDiaspora: Yes. Many. In fact, I've just published a book of poetry. The name of the book is entitled The Rebellious Sixties? Yes, I Remember. You can look on the sidebar of this blog and find out how to order it.

.::STELLA*DELLA::. said...

Daddy did u make that cover or did lulu do it? I hope you will post more excerpts from it.

MacDaddy said...

Stella: The cover was made by a friend of mine. The cover comes from a photo of a protest at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I've already done five excerpts, but I suppose I could do a few more. At some point, people just have to decide to buy the book.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Mac, did you have some blues music from an existing song or one you created when you wrote this?

Belated congrats on publishing a book of poetry. Do you have a couple samples on your blog? I'd love to see one.

~Kit

MacDaddy said...

Kit: Yes, I did. As I wrote the poem, the face of Little Walter and his song "Blues with a feeling." This is a haunting song that tells you immediately that this just ain't no song about one black man. This is a story about people, about the hard times they suffered here, and about the things they had to do to survive. It's not just the words; it's the tone.

Little Walter considered by many to be the greatest harmonica player who ever lived.

MacDaddy said...

Kit/Stella: I did a poem from the book on July 27. I actually did one after that, but I can't remember when it was. I'll do one of two from the book tomorrow. Thanks for asking.

MacDaddy said...

Kit/Stella: Another excerpt from the book was on August 26. It's entitled, "You Can't Kill a Revolution. You Can Only Kill a Man," a quote from the great revolutionary Che Guevara. The poem is about Emmitt Till. The book was written in loving memory of him.

MadMike said...

I love the blues!!!

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Just found and listened to the song you mentioned by Little Walter. I recognized it right away; my folks used to play it. Lol.

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