Blues music/adultery

Ray Mikell mojo@kopower.com
Thu Jul 31 12:32:47 EDT 1997


There's a very good reason people go for cheatin' songs and thus a very good
reason they're played. Even if someone is totally faithful, hearing about it
is like passing by a car wreck. In the case of the former, you usually can't
help but look and in the case of cheatin' songs you can't help but listen to
them. It's a primal thing. Ever read Ann Landers? Whenever she runs out of
ideas, she pulls out the cheatin' letters.
   "I would be wrong if I didn't tell you you're wasting your time and
should find a single man who will love you for who you are," she'll say to
"The Other Woman." "Now here's another opinion."
   About a month or so later, depending on how hard-pressed she is, she'll
bring out another few of the thousands of cheatin' letters I am sure she
gets. Occasionally she'll agree with the cheater on some obscure bit, and
have to give herself 50 lashes with a wet noodle, but otherwise everything
runs like clockwork.
  In soul cheatin' works really well 'cause of the churchy keyboards and
gospel-style singing, 'cause of the contrast between the sacred and the
profane -- two sides of the same coin, all that. Usually meant to be funny,
though in the case of "The Dark End of the Street" it's dramatic and disturbing.
  Just bought a piece of folk art from a woman in my Mississippi town. It's
a cross-like sign painted up all funky with "Love Thy Neighbor But Do Not
Get Caught." Told me she basically painted that 'cause she thought it was
hilarious, which it was.
  Ray





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