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By Glanton Bob on Jun 9, 08 12:31 AM

One of my favourite blues lines, found in a Robert Johnson song and probably many other Blues songs was the line of the blues 
’walking around like a man ‘

its as if all your troubles take on a human form

and hit you in the face, in a realism kind of way. These images of the blues or, any early musical forms are significant and influential as they influence and lead into modern culture in such a direct way..the blues had a baby 
and they called it rock n’ roll
..etc 
the sixties bands, were influenced by these early blues influences Bo Diddely ( who has just recently died ), Chuck Berry, Howlin Wolf, the list goes on, Indie bands were in turn shaped by the sixties bands or even seventies
and the new wave today 

So I thought, as you do, if the Blues was ‘walking around like a man’
what were other genres of music using as a metaphorical device
or devices


Folk
.could be basket weaving itself into a metaphorical Wicker Man and symbolically burning garland bouqued virgins in an accordian fest of rebirth, as the burning wicker stumbles across the Southern counties and will fall into a mining disaster of tragedy. In lyrical form it might be
’When I was on horseback was’nt I pretty
when I was on horseback was’nt I Gay’
or with a north-east slant
..’rap her to bank me canny lads
.’rap her to bank me hinnies’..

‘in Sixteen forty-nine to St Georges hill
a ragged band they call the Diggers come to show the People’s will’
.

Soul
..rooted in the Blues could be reborn in the North of England linking Nissan with Detroit ‘Motor’ city and have Chris Rea sing in a foggy smoggy voice about the A19, the Road to Hell, and motervatin from the Wear to the Tees in a motor car metaphor 
like a ‘Ford Thunderbird’ or a Nissan Micra, something with pistons and gears’ that does’nt drive but burns
.

‘Gonna wait till that midnight hour 
when my love comes a tumbling down’


Reggae
..is on metaphorical over drive ripe with imagery
..Love, Nationalism, Emperor Hilay Selisay, green plants spring to mind a metaphor for growth and regeneration, red, yellow and green, the flag of a different form of consciousness from the confines of the old order. So a huge green plant will tower over the lyrics of


.’Jammin’ Jammin’ I hope you like jamming too’



..Like a Rhubarb leaf over my allotment, asparagus over my Aldi fuelled Euro-greens, Celtic running out on a green pitch of verdant green diamonds.
And the rhythms will carry us on to the next song 

in a four-four reggae beat
’condeming the hypocrites’

Rock will 
’eat itself’
and regurgitate as a black- leather decked decadence
.rooted in motor-bike teenage crash horror of unrequited sex and desire
.

.’I’m sorry I hurt you the leader of the pack’

‘Johnny remember me’

..
..or even
 tragedy turns to desire,


‘I met a gin –soaked barroom queen in Memphis’
.she tried to take me upstairs for a ride’
.

‘hanging on in quiet desperation it’s the English way’
..

The thing that endears is that
..the metaphor is the thing that drives most songs

the theme is the human condition, an empathy of feeling
.like the blues standing up 
and walking like a man. All genres have in common a kind of emotional intelligence, that moves in song ,ideas that it is the personal the ME the you are singing about the way I feel
.an empathy a verstehen. This is ratified and ossified and rationalised in a rhythmic understanding that is familiar and special.

‘standing at the crossroads
trying to flag a ride
..nobody wants to know me 
everyone pass me by’
.

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