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I had so much chicken 'till I heard a cluckin' in my sleep - Blind Joe Reynolds, Third Street Woman

Author Topic: Avian references or imagery in the blues  (Read 1255 times)

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Offline Stumblin

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Avian references or imagery in the blues
« on: January 22, 2014, 10:13:50 AM »
Hi, I'm a bit stuck trying to think of any blues which use birds as an image, reference, metaphor, simile etc.
Sonny Boy Williamson's Bluebird Blues is the only one I can think of right now apart from Pick Poor Robin Clean.
There seem to be plenty of bees, but what about the birds?
Any help much app. Ta.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2014, 10:34:12 AM »
Hi Andy,
Willie "61" Blackwell did "Bald Eagle Blues", lyrics to which can be found at:  http://weeniecampbell.com/wiki/index.php?title=Bald_Eagle_Blues
and Peg Leg Howell and his Gang did "Turkey Buzzard Blues", which really just had one bird verse, and he also did "Turtle Dove Blues" by himself.
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 11:11:07 AM by Johnm »

Offline ScottN

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2014, 10:58:32 AM »
Buddy Moss's "I'm Sittin Here Tonight" has some colorful plays on roosters, hens, feathers, and eggs.

Thanks,
            Scott

Offline Johnm

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2014, 11:12:45 AM »
Also, Charley Patton's "Banty Rooster Blues". 

Offline Stuart

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2014, 11:53:59 AM »
"Bird Nest Bound"

Offline ScottN

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 12:02:09 PM »
Not sure that "Crow" Jane fits...
MJH and Pink Anderson have different songs called Chicken. MJH has "Redwing" that he loves to hear sing but doesn't come out and say it is a bird specifically.

Bo Carter has "Shoo that Chicken"

Pink Anderson's Mutton Stew talks about chickens and goose

Offline nobocaster

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2014, 12:19:03 PM »
Lottie Kimbrough's Lost Lover Blues..

"I wish I had wings like a little bluebird, I'd fly to the one that I love"
Plus bird calls in the background!

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2014, 01:27:11 PM »
Charley Lincoln's "Hard Luck Blues" has

As sure as the sparrow, mama babe, flyin' in the air
Sure as the sparrow flys, he's in the air
I got a lovin' sweet mama in this world somewhere

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=2518.msg19098#msg19098

EDIT Gus Cannon's "My Money Never Runs Out" features Quail on Toast! :) as does Can You Blame the Coloured Man
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 01:35:51 PM by Gumbo »

Offline jpeters609

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2014, 01:38:07 PM »
Skip James's "Devil Got My Woman" has, as I recall:

But my mind got to rambling
Like a wild geese from the west


I believe this turn of phrase shows up in a number of tunes.
Jeff

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2014, 01:49:33 PM »
though not exactly country blues parrots are popular in old timey music as evidenced by the many versions of Pretty Polly, and Lucille Bogan's Shave Em Dry even features a Cockatoo!

Offline harvey

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2014, 02:37:05 PM »
I am sure there are loads of references to Chicken

One that springs to my mind Stokes and Sane "Chicken you can roost behind the moon"

Offline Norfolk Slim

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2014, 02:38:34 PM »
Del Rey has an entire cd devoted to chicken related blues songs I believe...

Also- Eagle Ridin' Papa from Tennessee by Broonzy.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 02:39:47 PM by Norfolk Slim »

Offline Pan

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2014, 03:28:33 PM »
Sweet Papa Stovepipe - All Birds Look Like Chicken to Me

Cheers

Pan

Offline dj

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2014, 03:36:33 PM »
The Duck's Yas Yas - Tampa Red, Georgia Tom, Jack O'Diamonds, and Oliver Cobb all had versions.

George Carter and Blind Boy Fuller, in songs titled "Weeping Willow", both mention doves and, possibly, whippoorwills.

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2014, 03:54:18 PM »
Lonnie Johnson - Blackbird Blues
Furry Lewis/Bukka White and Gus Cannon - A Bird To Whistle
Big Joe Williams - Canary Bird
Guitar Slim and JellyBelly - Humming Bird Blues
Tommy McLennan - Bluebird Blues
Gus Cannon also has Feather Bed which is always worth mentioning!

Offline Stuart

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2014, 04:09:00 PM »
Doing it the easy way:

http://www.oldhatrecords.com/cd1009.html

Also, Suzy and Del's CD, "Hen Party," has "Under the Chicken Tree" on it.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2014, 10:28:04 AM »

Offline Stuart

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2014, 10:46:47 AM »
Somewhat OT--Anderson Punch, aka Casey Jones or "The Chicken Man" performed with chickens on Maxwell St. in Chicago. There are photos and perhaps some film of him on the web.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2014, 03:26:21 PM »
Lowell Fulsom - I'm a Night Owl


« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 03:27:43 PM by Mr.OMuck »
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2014, 03:30:24 PM »
Black Crow Blues - Bob Dylan
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2014, 03:35:45 PM »
Nighthawk Blues.....(Pop-jazz really, but...)


My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Avian references or imagery in the blues
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2014, 03:37:44 PM »
Another Bluebird.. (Memphis era Wolf..hotter than that!)

My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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

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