Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Mystery, The Darkness, The Song and Me.

Last night I fell asleep listening to Langston Hughes "Weary Blues" and woke up and played it again this morning. It was a gift that I received years back when I was younger played it, got it but didn't get it, listened again a few years on and was finally able to connect. There is something to be said about the complexity of the music and the way it lyrically matches the complexity of the poetry.

Langston Hughes voice, so languid and smooth, it reminds me of a storm in full force where the rain falls so steadily and hard that it becomes a peaceful relaxing sound. A voice to dream to.

There is something quite positively refreshing especially given the current climate of spoken word about the lack of theatrics in his reading. Its simple, its direct and it speaks volumes about the political climate of the era.

It’s the type of album that everyone should hear at least once: for the poetry, for the music, for the history.

The Weary Blues- Langston Hughes (1923)

1 Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
2 Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
3 I heard a Negro play.
4 Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
5 By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
6 He did a lazy sway ....
7 He did a lazy sway ....
8 To the tune o' those Weary Blues.
9 With his ebony hands on each ivory key
10 He made that poor piano moan with melody.
11 O Blues!
12 Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
13 He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
14 Sweet Blues!
15 Coming from a black man's soul.
16 O Blues!
17 In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone
18 I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan--
19 "Ain't got nobody in all this world,
20 Ain't got nobody but ma self.
21 I's gwine to quit ma frownin'
22 And put ma troubles on the shelf."
23 Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor.
24 He played a few chords then he sang some more--
25 "I got the Weary Blues
26 And I can't be satisfied.
27 Got the Weary Blues
28 And can't be satisfied--
29 I ain't happy no mo'
30 And I wish that I had died."
31 And far into the night he crooned that tune.
32 The stars went out and so did the moon.
33 The singer stopped playing and went to bed
34 While the Weary Blues echoed through his head.
35 He slept like a rock or a man that's dead.

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