Thursday, September 08, 2005
Back Water Blues When it rains five days and the skies turn dark as night When it rains five days and the skies turn dark as night Then trouble's takin' place in the lowlands at night I woke up this morning,' can't even get out of my door I woke up this morning,' can't even get out of my door There's been enough trouble to make a poor girl wonder where she want to go Then they rowed a little boat about five miles 'cross the pond Then they rowed a little boat about five miles 'cross the pond I packed all my clothes, throwed them in and they rowed me along When it thunders and lightnin' and when the wind begins to blow When it thunders and lightnin' and the wind begins to blow There's thousands of people ain't got no place to go Then I went and stood upon some high old lonesome hill Then I went and stood upon some high old lonesome hill Then looked down on the house were I used to live Backwater blues done call me to pack my things and go Backwater blues done call me to pack my things and go 'Cause my house fell down and I can't live there no more. Recorded by Bessie Smith after the great Mississippi Flood of 1927. Listen to her sing it at Red Hot Jazz. * * * Jazz benefits for Hurricane Katrina relief are being planned in NYC and elsewhere. * * * Good Guy Awards go to our local auto mechanic, Warren, and his wife, who are putting up refugees from New Orleans, and whose generosity got them a mention at The Corner. * * * Walker Percy on New Orleans: “Out and over a watery waste and there it is, a proper enough American city, and yet within the next few hours the tourist is apt to see more nuns and naked women than he ever saw before.” -- Cited in an appreciation of the city by Ben MacIntyre in the Times of London. * * * Elsewhere: On a musical note: How American popular music came to be politicized is described in a noteworthy piece in City Journal on Pete Seeger -- "America's Most Successful Communist." On a non-musical note: The latest History Carnival is up at Clio Web and features links to some image sites that are arresting even if you don't speak French.