If you're new to the blues, or if you know it and like it but never
really understood the whys and wherefores - here are some very
1) Most Blues songs begin with: "Woke up this morning...."
2) "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, unless you
stick something nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman, with
the meanest face in town."
3) The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat
it. Then find something that rhymes - sort of: "Got a good woman with
the meanest face in town. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest
face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher and she weigh 500
4) The Blues is not about choice. "You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in
a ditch ... ain't no way out."
5) Suitable Blues cars include Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and
broken-down trucks. However, no self-respecting Blues singer travels
in Volvos BMWs or sports utility vehicles. Most Blues transportation
is a Greyhound bus or a Southbound train. Jet aircraft and
state-sponsored motor pools ain't even in the running. Walkin' plays a
major part in the Blues lifestyle. So does fixin' ta die.
6) Only adults sing the Blues. Teenagers can't sing the Blues; they
ain't fixin' ta die yet. In Blues, "adulthood" means being old enough
to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.
7) Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or
anywhere in Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably
just clinical depression. Clarksdale, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City,
Memphis, and N'Awlins are still the best places to have the Blues. You
cannot have the Blues in any place that don't get rain.
8) A man havin' male-pattern baldness ain't the Blues. A woman with
male-pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg 'cause you were skiing is
not the Blues. Breaking your leg 'cause an alligator be chompin' on it
9) You can't have no Blues in an office or a shopping mall. The
lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the
10) Good places for the Blues:
c) empty bed
d) bottom of a whiskey glass
11) Bad places for the Blues:
b) gallery openings
c) Ivy League institutions
d) golf courses
12) No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit - unless
you're a really old person, and you slept in the suit.
13) Do you have the right to sing the Blues?
a) you're older than dirt
b) you're blind
c) you shot a man in Memphis
d) you can't be satisfied
a) you have all your teeth
b) you were once blind but now can see
c) the man in Memphis lived
d) you have a 401K or trust fund
14) Blues is not a matter of color, it's a matter of bad luck. Tiger
Woods cannot sing the Blues. Sonny Liston could have. Ugly white
people also got a leg up on the Blues.
15) If you ask for water and your darlin' gives you gasoline, it's
the Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
a) cheap wine
b) whiskey or bourbon
c) black coffee
d) muddy water
These, however, are NOT Blues beverages:
d) Slim Fast
16) If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues
death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to
die. So are the electric chair, substance abuse and dying lonely on a
You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or
17) Some good Blues names for men:
c) Little Willie
d) Big Willie
18) Some good Blues names for women:
b) Big Mama
d) Hot Dumpling
However, women with names like Michelle, Amber, Debbie or Heather can
sing the Blues - no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.
19) Blues Name Starter Kit
a) name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame etc.)
b) first name plus name of fruit (Lemon Lime, Peach, etc.)
c) last name of a president (Jefferson, Johnson, Filmore, etc.)
Some valid Blues names might be Blind Lemon Jefferson, Pegleg Lime
Johnson or Cripple Peach Filmore.
20) No matter how tragic your life is: if you own a computer, you
cannot sing the blues, period. Sorry.