Eyes Wide Shut

May 2, 2017

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In search of the blues in the city of sharps and flats, where so many martyrs fell. L’esplanade Riel yesterday. Note the red ribbons catching the spirit breezes. They’ve been tied on for MMIW – Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. As you can plainly see above, the blues surround us all. Perhaps we’ve missed it.

Sharps & flats. Major & minor. Highs & lows. 

This Dylan song, famous because it didn’t make the cut for his 1983 LP Infidels, has been covered by a wide range of artists. Rick Danko to The White Stripes to Charlie Parr.

These guys below do it in a way that I wouldn’t really consider. They brighten it up – ever so slightly. But it comes off well. Maybe because when you hear an unknown artist in the hinterland somewhere play authentic blues…it makes your heart sing.

The blues (any good music) can make you feel good. Imagine that.

These two guys have been for years fighting the battles in the vicious music industry (mostly in Europe). True warriors.

Elliott Murphy and Iain Matthews – Blind Willie McTell

Yt pot by theepitts

Blind Willie McTell
Bob Dylan
Lyrics (I think it’s more than significant that the first line starts “seen the arrow”…)
Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
To Jerusalem.”
I traveled through East Texas
Where many martyrs fell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell
Well, I heard the hoot owl singing
As they were taking down the tents
The stars above the barren trees
Were his only audience
Them charcoal gypsy maidens
Can strut their feathers well
But nobody can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell
See them big plantations burning
Hear the cracking of the whips
Smell that sweet magnolia blooming
(And) see the ghosts of slavery ships
I can hear them tribes a-moaning
(I can) hear the undertaker’s bell
(Yeah), nobody can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell
There’s a woman by the river
With some fine young handsome man
He’s dressed up like a squire
Bootlegged whiskey in his hand
There’s a chain gang on the highway
I can hear them rebels yell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell
Well, God is in heaven
And we all want what’s his
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is
I’m gazing out the window
Of the St. James Hotel
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell
Songwriters: Bob Dylan / Mikael Wiehe

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