Friday, September 08, 2006
Show 21 - What the Chinaman Told the Jew
I decided to put an episode together with these songs that mention ethnic groups and nationalities after my ears repeatedly perking up when I heard lyrics about "what the Chinaman told the Jew" in these and some later blues songs. The Willie Blackwell song comes from a different place that includes a strange mix of patriotism, violence, and proud fatherhood. It has disturbing lyrics about a man preparing bringing home a Japanese skull during World War II for a newborn son. There's a good discussion of the song from Jim O'Neal at his Bluesoterica site. Though its the only one that features that kind of viciousness towards different people, I thought it was thought provoking regarding how others are thought of at different times.
14th Street Blues - Blind Joe Taggart
Bullfrog Blues - William Harris
Barbecue Blues - Barbecue Bob
Memphis Boy Blues - Memphis Jug Band
Junior's, A Jap Girl's Christmas for Her Santa Claus - Willie '61' Blackwell