Nothing feels better than feeling bad--please explain

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Nothing feels better than feeling bad--please explain

Post  pinhedz on Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:48 am

pinhedz
Schrödinger's Hepcat
Fri May 02, 2008 1:55 pm

I was at a guitar workshop one time given by Papa John Kolstad, who talked about how good he feels when he plays blues. Then one kid said:

-- "Yeah, the sadder the song is, the better you feel."

but then Papa John said:

-- "But, blues aren't sad."

That startled me a bit, because blues means sad, doesn't it?

But the old blues singers always talked about the two kinds of music: "sanctified" and "blues." Sanctified music was for church and was righteous, blues was for bars and parties and was sinful.

So why would anyone want to hear songs that make them sad when they're out for a good time? The songs were often about no-good cheaters, or murders, or both, but they were always sung for fun.

When Bob Dylan sings "Frankie and Albert," or "Delia," they sound sad, but in the old recordings, they were fun. Frankie and Albert used to end with this verse:

"This story has no moral, this story has no end,
The only thing this story goes to show is there ain't no good in men."


Stan54

The blues are about spitting in the face of the forces that are trying to make you sad. The blues is a defiant music.


pinhedz

World Of Contradictions
--Johnny Winter

I make my living feeling rotten, but I feel good when I play blues
In this world of contradictions, man what can a poor boy do?

Some folks say you can't sing blues, when you're feeling good
So when I'm feeling lousy, I should knock on wood

I guess the worse things get, the better they must be
This mixed up way of thinking man, is killing me

Well if I feel a little bit better, I'll probably go broke
It's enough to give a man the blues, and man that ain't no joke

pinhedz

This thread was here before the blues section even existed.




pinhedz
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Re: Nothing feels better than feeling bad--please explain

Post  pinhedz on Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:59 am

pinhedz
Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:26 pm

Reconcile this, if you can:

#1. Everyone knows that having "the blues" means you're feeling bad. Maybe your good gal have done you wrong, maybe you're broke and hungry and ragged and dirty too, maybe you done your good gal wrong and she shot you right in the middle of your big affair. The point is, the blues ain't nothin' but a good man/gal feelin' bad.

#2. There's two kinds of music--sanctified music (which you sing in church) and blues (which you listen to in barrel houses until you find a woman drunk enough to go home with you. Then in the morning you go to church and sing sanctified songs to atone for your drinking, carrying on, and blues listening the night before.

How does that add up--the blues is the sinful good-time music, for which you have to ask the Lord Jesus to forgive you, but it's all about sorrow, love gone wrong, rejection, betrayal and death. How can that be a good time?


pinhedz

I remember something Skip James said in an interview:

"There was one song we recorded as if we were sanctified. Anyone listening to that record would think we were three sanctified guys. Why, we weren't nuthin' but old blues singers and whiskey drinkers!"


Hosni

It's not all about sorrow. I heard one blues song and the singer felt so good it was like he was sitting on top of the world or something.


pinhedz

In that case, he didn't really feel "blue," did he?

Except when Bob sings that one, he's all choked up about how his good gal done left him, and he can't find his little all in all, not neither in the summer, or in the fall. And he only say he's "sittin' on top of the world" to convince himself he's not as miserable as he is, or something like that.

Yes, I know there are blues songs with lyrics that have nothing sorrowful about them, but aren't they departures from the "blue" spirit of the genre?


pinhedz

Maybe the question should be more general: Did you ever listen to a song about misery and enjoy it?

If so, isn't that paradoxical?


pinhedz

Edith Piaf comes to mind.


Hosni

It's only misery if it happens to me. If it happens to you, it's entertaining. The same general principle is one of the cornerstones of comedy.

pinhedz

It's almost too easy, when you think about it.


Hosni

One might say the bulk of the dramatic arts and reality television revolves around being amused at the misfortune of others. Hamlet is the most famous play in the English language because everyone dies at the end, after several hours of hand-wringing and moping. And Hollis Brown is Dylan's most engaging and delightful early song. Your misery = my fun.


pinhedz

Did you ever need to cheer up your baby sister? Just grab your thumb and say "Ow! I hit my thumb with a hammer!"

It will brighten up her day in an instant.


Arthur Askey

I feel so good:



Lost lover blues:



Wossa question?


John McLaughlin

Wallowing in misery isn't the same thing as staying in it for good. Only the songs exaggerate the permanence of the state. It's a paradox, alright; you want consistencyv fro the human animal?


pinhedz

Definitions--the pinhed is all about the definitions.


John McLaughlin

Paradox = a seeming inconsistency or impossibility which is resolvable on closer inspection.

Enjoyment = delight in all kinds of things (including paradoxes).


Arthur Askey

From Elmore James - The 12 year old boy

I feel bad, I feel terrible, I'm just as sad as I can be
I feel bad, I feel terrible, I'm just as sad as I can be
I let a boy that's twelve years old, take my baby away from me

He used to hang around my crib, until late into the night
He used to hang around my crib, until late into the night
Well I never dreamed that my baby and that boy could be so tight

Well if a young boy hangs around you, you better do what I should have did
Well if a young boy hangs around you, you better do what I should have did
Well you send him over to your neighbors and hope your neighbors like kids

What's not to enjoy about that pure Elmore blues? Listen to it here:


pinhedz
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Re: Nothing feels better than feeling bad--please explain

Post  pinhedz on Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:17 am


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Re: Nothing feels better than feeling bad--please explain

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