Saturday, September 22, 2012

Storytelling: Bourgeois Blues

Taj Mahal: Bourgeois Blues

When I saw the topic of this week’s post, I said to myself: “...but ...every song has a story”. It may be the story of the author of the song, it may be the story of the performer finding (his) way to the song or to the stage to perform the song, but there’s a story there somewhere.

I am coming online at the last minute this week because I have my own story: my PC crashed and it has taken me all week to get back online. Not only did my PC crash, but we also got hit by lightening, which took out our phone lines.
Ah, such is the state of today’s bourgeois: can’t do nothin’ without a connection to the Intertubes.

In this song, Taj tells us right off the bat that he is going to tell us a story, so it seems fitting that I use this as my "story-telling" posting. In doing so, he follows much more in the tradition of the live performance, where the artist often "intros" the song with a comment - in contrast to the studio recording that it actually is. As you probably know, it is a Leadbelly song, and it relates part of the story behind a night out during his visit to DC, where he was treated (!) to a taste of Washington society’s reaction to a mixed-race ensemble looking for a bite to eat.

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