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"What's slidin' mean?" "Well, it means 'bout the train is so slow, until it almost slides, like a turtle" - J.D. Short explains the Slidin' Delta

Author Topic: Help with Blues Metaphors  (Read 2082 times)

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mandoman

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Help with Blues Metaphors
« on: December 01, 2008, 09:19:08 AM »
I'm working on some writing and I was hoping you all could help. I have always assumed that the metaphors of the "rider," "special rider," "pony," and "black mare" were all intended sexually, referring to a female partner. Agree? Or is my mind in the gutter? Please help.

Offline Chezztone

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Re: Help with Blues Metaphors
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2008, 12:57:30 AM »
Yes, your mind is in the gutter but that's OK, that's often the way to understand blues lyrics. In this case, though, I don't think all those terms mean "sex partner" in the songs I think you're referring to. When someone sings "hitch up my pony" or "saddle up my black mare" he usually means it literally. He's preparing to go on a trip. On the other hand, the references to "my rider" (special or not) in a song do mean the person with whom you do your riding (in bed, not on a horse). An interesting side note, however: I once heard bluesman Napolean Strickland -- in conversation, not in song -- refer to an elderly white man as his rider. I was puzzled for awhile until he explained that the man had been his supervisor when he worked in the fields. So I guess someone who "rides you" at work also can be a rider! But I haven't heard that in any songs.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Help with Blues Metaphors
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2008, 12:03:52 PM »
While I'd agree that some of the "pony" references can be taken literally, some singers have certainly used it to mean sex partner. When Big Joe Williams sings in My Grey Pony, "I got me a pony, Lord, she already trained/When I get in my bed, mama, baby tighten up on your reins", it's pretty clear he's not talking animal husbandry. I think even within a single song you might make the case for both literal and metaphorical usage from verse to verse. 
« Last Edit: December 02, 2008, 12:05:10 PM by uncle bud »

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Help with Blues Metaphors
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2008, 04:57:19 PM »
But can anyone clarify the phrase "Boil that Owl"?
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Help with Blues Metaphors
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2008, 01:20:06 PM »
That's a new one to me OMuck.

Tags: metaphor 
 


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