Ah, the Blues !!!
Flipping through satellite radio in the car, I came to the Blues channel and stopped on a song by Guitar Shorty: “How Come My Dog Don’t Bark When You Come Around?” The chords sort of remind me of the Staple Singers’ “Let’s Do it Again”I came in during the last few verses, but that was enough to hook me. I can’t remember the last time I laughed like this while driving, and I’m pretty sure other drivers were thinking of reporting some fool who’s acting like he’s drunk or on crack, laughing and crying and there’s no one else in the car with him! Often I have a hard time remembering the names or titles of songs I hear on the radio, but I had no problem remembering this one, and fifteen minutes after I got home it was added to my iTunes playlist and I played the whole song!
“Congratulations Shorty, you are the star of my next blog post!”
I’ve talked about my love of music, and while I wish I had the skills to create music, I substituted for it with my deejaying and creating cassettes, making my own covers and pretending I’m my own music producer and my own radio station. Yea, I was Tiesto and David Guetta before they came on the scene. I like almost all types of music, and like anybody else there are songs you hear that remind you of what was going on in your life at that time. The blues almost always take me back to my college days, where I first heard it, and how much fun my friends and I had with the song titles and lyrics. It was just so much fun to laugh and joke about what the songs were all about. It was not unusual for one of us to spontaneously start singing a verse of some song. We called Tyrone Davis the “cryingest” singer we knew, and woe to the brother who had girlfriend issues, who then became a target of every Tyrone Davis song we could remember. (We liked TD, he just begged so damn much…)
We know what the blues are all about and where it came from, and I never really appreciated it until I heard it that time. The song was “I’m Sorry” by BB King and Bobby Blue Bland and when I heard it it gave me an ever further flashback, to my childhood. I was a Motown kid, but now I realized “I’m Sorry” was the music the grown ups listened to. Those were the songs I heard in their cars, the song covers I saw on the jukeboxes. This was the Friday and Saturday night music I heard as a kid, the drinking music coming out of the bar around the corner from our house, and now in that dorm room everything sort of made sense – that’s why I liked it.
Cheating on your wife, your wife cheating on you, you cheating on each other (I was checking out, while she was checking in) she left you and you want her back, she’s begging you to take her back and you don’t want no more of that cheatin’, evil, backstabbing, mean old Mississippi woman. Everybody’s in your business. When you see the mailman on the weekends he doesn’t look you in the eye, the guys in the barber shop stop talking when you walk in, you’re sitting in church wondering how come the Pastor started preaching two Sundays in a row about David and Bathsheba – that’s what it’s all about and that’s what I love about my now #2 favorite blues song. It’s cold hard facts on dealing with relationships, using plain old common sense.
Baby, something ain’t right. I keep adding one plus one and I keep coming up with a bad three!
As I mentioned I heard enough of the song on the radio to like it, and I kept wondering what the title meant. At first I honestly thought he was asking his wife. Well, cleared it up when I heard the beginning lyrics:
You say you never met my wife
You never seen her befo’…
You don’t visit me when I ain’t home
Well here’s what I wanna know:
How come my dog don’t bark when you come around?
Now he’s about the meanest dog there is in town
He’d bite anybody, my sister or my brother,
He’d even take a bite out of my poor old feeble mother!
Yea, he bit the mailman
and he sees him everyday!
You say he’s never seen you before
But he just wants to jump up and play?
Now I don’t know just what you are putting down
How come my dog don’t bark when you come around?
(lyrics from “How Come My Dog Don’t Bark When You Come Around”)
Merciful God, c’mon! Shorty lost his wife AND his dog to another man! Jeez, I don’t know how I would handle something like that, but later in the song it’s all about how things like that were sometimes handled back when I was a kid. Like Frankie and Johnny, violence was a part of some of the songs. Someone’s gonna get hurt. I flashed back to a childhood memory of hearing the guys on my summer job talking about a guy who had to leave town because someone’s husband was “looking” for them. I can’t help but think about how this plays out in some of today’s music. I’m just basing my thoughts on what I’ve seen and heard, but the violence I’m hearing bragged about doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with a cheating wife… and a no-good, two-timing, raised him from a puppy, dog also. Now that’s disrespect!!!!
So, this blog’s for a nice musical 48 hours! Posting while listening , and at some point I may turn off “repeat” on iTunes… but not until I finish this blog!
For your listening pleasure only, here’s the song. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!