Article 

SON HOUSE SINGER SONGWRITER

Published By

Lamont Jack Pearley

When most hear the term singer songwriter, they usually think James TaylorJoni Mitchell and the like. I love them both..as well as the others that have taken on that title from that era.

When you think of singer songwriter, some would suggest it falls into the range of folk. Leadbelly would be a perfect example. Understanding that Folk is the songs of the people, leads me to believe it falls in the call and response ol Negro Spirituals, work and prison songs that became the blues once the guitar and harmonica was added.
downloadjames_taylor_profi_3344320b-480x383
Portrait of Canadian musician Joni Mitchell seated on the floor playing acoustic guitar, November 1968. This image is from a shoot for the fashion magazine Vogue. Mitchell wears a loose-fitting white dress. (Photo by Jack Robinson/Getty Images)
Portrait of Canadian musician Joni Mitchell seated on the floor playing acoustic guitar, November 1968. This image is from a shoot for the fashion magazine Vogue. Mitchell wears a loose-fitting white dress. (Photo by Jack Robinson/Getty Images)

son-house-megapost-mediafireThat leads me to who I believe is one of the truest and purest forms of singer songwriters, that hollered the blues against the streaks of a slide on a national guitar. My inspiration to pick up a dobro and belt the blues….Eddie Son House.

If you really break down the lyrical content of Son House, you will hear a story of heart break, in it’s most simplistic form. What makes his lyrical content so amazing is the way he can take such a complex emotion, and in three or four words make you not only understand, but feel it…nearly a century or half century later, depending on when you first heard it. For example in Death Letter Blues there is a lyric that goes like this, ” it’s hard to love someone/who don’t love you”. That could be chalked up as a very simple statement with not much depth….but stripped of the performance, which is what makes it more than just resonate in your chest, that is the stripped to the core emotion of the human existence.

Straight to the point with no chaser, no pun intended, Son House gets to the route of the pain of human relations and existence that we all share, feel and experience…in pretty much every song he’s written. Preachin’ Blues, one of my all time favorites depicts, at least to me, the struggles between carnal and spirit….and the fact that this is happening in the worship house.

 

Son House is truly a singer songwriter, who may not necessarily speak about social issues, but it is surely there. Levee Camp moan for instance has lyrics that express t he conditions of hard working people living in poverty and how those conditions actually have a huge effect on the decision making when it comes to human interactions and relationships.

Thinking of all of this drives home the fact that the blues really has made an impact on Music as a whole. Pick any genre, any artist….I’m sure they’d agree if they’ve studied the heritage and lineage of music…

Lyrics to Levee Camp Moan by Son House

You know I had a job on the levee

I had a good looking woman who lived in Hughes

I had a job on the levee

I had a good looking woman she lived in Hughes

You know that pretty little thing

She kept me with the government fleet blues

You know on every pay day

She’d be standing around the landing crying

On every pay day

She’d be standing around the landing crying

She be saying why don’t that big boat hurry and

Bring home that man of mine?

You know on every pay day

She could, she could hear the big boat when she blow

Well on every pay day

She could hear the big boat when she blow

But when I done not get the check

She told me she couldn’t use me no more

But I said that’s all right big girl

Honey, that’s all right for you

Yeah, hoo

little girl that’s all right for you

I say you treat me low down and dirty

See, baby, that’s the way you’s do

I packed up all my clothes

Left her settin’ in the back door crying

Aye yeah I left her settin’ in the back door crying

You know that done run the poor girl crazy

I believe she gonna lose her mind

You know don’t come here honey

Throwing up your doggone hands

Don’t come here baby

I said throwing up your doggone hands

You know I, I been your dog

Ever since that I been your man

But I said baby when you get lonesome

Set right down and write to me

Yeah — yeah — set right down you can write to me

You know I can read your little writing baby

Don’t care where in this world I’ll be

You know love

make you do things you don’t want to do

You know love

make you do things you don’t want to do

You know from love sometime

Will leave you feeling so sad and so blue

Oh, Listen here honey

Think about poor me some time

Yeah, hoo

think about poor me some time

You know I feel so bad

When you roll across my mind

You know if you never no more see me

You’ll forever be on my mind

If I never no more see you

Yeah, you’ll forever be on my mind

You know every time I think about you honey

I just can’t keep from crying

Oh it’s so hard

To love when they don’t love you

Ah, yeah, yeah, when they don’t love you

You can’t do nothing baby when they do not want you

But I tell ’em look it here, baby

Your little trouble is coming home some day

Yeah just like I tell you

Your little trouble is coming home some day

I said you gonna be sorry

That you treated poor me this way

Full Song Lyrics: http://www.lyrster.com/lyrics/levee-camp-moan-lyrics-son-house.html#ixzz3pPFe85LU

Read more at http://www.lyrster.com/lyrics/levee-camp-moan-lyrics-son-house.html#ygJUX88GIxGmf95R.99

 

Related posts

Leave a Comment