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Musical Reflections Of Songs By Black Musicians From 1927 To 1935

By Edited Dec 18, 2015 0 0

Artist Name: Blind Lemon Jefferson

Song Name: Match Box Blues

Composer: Blind Lemon Jefferson

Release Date: March 1927

Record Label: Paramount

Chart Peak Position: N/A

 While listening to this song I felt as though I was no longer in my home in Toronto, but that I travelled back in time to the slavery era in which Blind Lemon Jefferson lived. I was able to imagine myself sitting on the corner of a street near an old shop with him and his guitar, listening to this song. This song has the power to make you feel his exact sorrow and pain due to the way in which he sings his lyrics and the way he describes the experiences he is going through. I believe the message behind his song is simply to express the hardship the African-American people were subjected to, but more importantly songs such as these created a chance for individual escape from reality.

 Artist Name: Ida Cox

Song Name: Give Me A Break Blues

Composer: Ida Cox

Release Date: October 1927                                                                                    

Record Label: Paramount

Chart Peak Position: N/A

 When first hearing this song, I realized that his song is about a man abusing his wife and daughter. When you hear the beat and temp, you could tell it is not an upbeat song and that there is sadness to it. Ida is discusses how this man was cared for and is no hurting the important people in his live, the ones who love him dearly. Ida has the blues in this song, which is heard through the lyrics and the melody.  When listening to it, I put myself in her shoes and felt the pain and sorrow she is going through; how deeply she is hurting. I can only imagine how someone could feel in that position because I have never been in it; Ida makes the listener feel as if it is happening to them.

 Artist Name: Skip James

Song Name: Crow Jane

Composer: Skip James

Release Date: April 1931

Record Label: Paramount

Chart Peak Position: N/A

 During the listening of this song by Skip James, I felt the strong feelings of hatred and disapproval that he had towards the Jim Crow laws which were present during his time. The Jim Crow laws were oppressive laws enacted which involved the segregation of African-American and other non-white racial groups from white individuals. I could only imagine how horrible it must have felt to live one’s life feeling inadequate and being treated as though you were not equal to another individual, solely because I could hear both the passion and hurt in Skip James voice while he is singing the lyrics. I enjoyed this song because I believe it had an important message for people during that particular time in history. Also, I think this song was successful in providing even the slightest hope to those affected by the Jim Crow laws.

 Artist Name: Blind Willie McTell

Song Name: Southern Can is Mine

Composer: Blind Willie McTell

Release Date: October 1931

Record Label: Victor

Chart Peak Position: N/A

The lyrics of this song made me feel a little bit scared and intimidates. The reason I felt like this is because the song is speaking about beating up an individual, and leaving him or her in a horrible state once the beating is over. I did not life this song because of the content of the lyrics. I am a firm believer that violence is never the answer for any problem that may arise. Perhaps this song was geared towards beating a woman which brings horrible pictures in my mind. The situation could be been worse if he were speaking about beating his mother because he says the word “Mama” several times in the song. Overall, I feel as though this song might have sent a terrible message to individuals during that time indicating that violence is acceptable, when it is by no means acceptable at all.

 Artist Name: Billie Holiday

Song Name: What A Little Moonlight Can Do

Composer: Harry Woods

Release Date: November 1933

Record Label: Columbia

Chart Peak Position: N/A

From the moment I started to listen to this song I was placed in an upbeat mood due to the fast beat of the song. I thought that the lyrics matched the beat of the song very well because the song is talking about the joys of first love. This is a tie where one feels butterflies and is walking around with a constant smile on his or her face. I enjoyed this song because I love feeling the way that Billie Holiday is singing about and because it does not happen often, when it does it is such a good feeling to experience. I do not know one person in my life that does not enjoy the blissful feelings of first love, and I am positive that many people do enjoy this feeling. This song proves that the feelings that love generates are timeless.

Artist Name: Sleepy Joe Estes

Song Name: Someday Baby

Composer: Sleepy Joe Estes

Release Date: July 1935

Record Label: Victor

Chart Peak Position: N/A

As soon as I heard this song I got into it, immediately feeling his pain though his guitar.  He talks about how a girl left him and took everything leaving him with nothing but doubt. He knows that one day it will all be over and there will be no worries anymore. When I heard this song it reminds me of a song I would hear on TV, either a theme song of a show or in a movie, where a man is left with nothing when a woman leaves him and practically robs him. Although it is a song about sadness, the tempo of the song is a little upbeat which makes it very interesting to listen to, instead of it being a soft and mellow song.



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