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I didn't know I loved her 'til they eased her down - Charlie Patton, Circle Around The Moon

Author Topic: "Secret Language of the Blues: What The Lyrics Really Mean" by Robert Cremer  (Read 269 times)

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Offline Johnm

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  • Member
  • Posts: 11732
Hi all,
I have recently been informed of a new book by Robert Cremer that has been published that should be of interest to blues fans. Here is a copy of the publisher's press release:

      Pulp Hero Press
      The Most Dangerous Books on Earth
      Publisher: Bob McLain

New Release: Secret Language of the Blues: What the Lyrics Really Mean
Release date: March 25, 2021
Author: Robert Cremer
Paperback: 710 pages
ISBN: 978-1-68390-276-8
Distributors: Barnes & Noble (
           Amazon (worldwide)

Don’t just listen to blues lyrics, understand them!

Absolutely no standard dictionary can help fans understand the hidden meaning of blues lyrics, but The Secret Language of the Blues lives up to its promise to do just that – to explain what the lyrics really mean. A comprehensive Blues Index of Words & Expressions containing over 1,600 entries provides indispensable help in deciphering this fascinating secret language and unlocking the mystery of allusion lurking behind such apparently innocent words as tea, frying pan and even Santa Claus!

Imagine the immense enjoyment of knowing the answers to such puzzling questions as:

Why a woman cooks cornbread for her husband but biscuits for her man?
Why a hobo rides the rails but avoids riding the rods at all costs?
Why a musician is heart-broken when a skin card falls but is elated when his dice do?
Why a man complains about too much eatin’ in the kitchen but a woman doesn’t?
Why a musician fears nothing more than receiving a “304” or “11-29”?
Why exactly a man wakes up cold in hand?
Why musicians want to slip someone in the Dozens?

But the book is much more than just a dictionary. Twelve information-packed chapters will help native- and non-native speakers of English alike to “speak the blues” in record time through extensive explanations of unique grammatical forms and the colloquial speech of the musicians who sing the blues. The Secret Language of the Blues is the perfect companion for blues fans worldwide. Double your listening pleasure by understanding the true meaning of the lyrics – the very soul of the blues! As blues musicians say, “It’s just dry long so.”

“Robert Cremer, a latter-day Alan Lomax, has compiled the spoken language of the Blues through decades of face-to-face interviews. Secret Language of the Blues translates the subtleties, innuendo and flavor of the African American language used in Blues music and has made an in-depth understanding of Blues lyrics accessible to all blues fans.”

             – Ms. Sydney Ellis, one of the premier voices on the blues scene today

All best,

Offline Harry

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  • Posts: 1064
Thanks for the heads up.

Looks like a good companion to "Barrelhouse Words (Calt)" and "The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu (Devi)".

Offline Norfolk Slim

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  • Posts: 997
    • Moonshine - Available at Bandcamp now...
I haven't done any reading yet, but for anyone baulking at the price, you get an awful lot of book for the money.  Its a real brick!

Offline harriet

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  • Posts: 569
Thanks for the heads up on that.

Offline eric

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  • Posts: 665
I thought 11-29 meant a sentence of just under a year, therefore served in the local lockup near family, as opposed to the state pen, and the judge is showing a degree of mercy.  But I have a solid record of being wrong about such things.  Maybe someone could post a review at some point.

Tags: Robert Cremer 

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