Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bawdy Songs: the blues

Along with the sailor and lumberjack, blues musicians are some of the most prolific composers of bawdy songs. Because the blues enjoy such popularity, most listeners are familliar with the more lewd side of the genre. Blues musicians revived the ages old tradition of the bawdy song, often times getting around censorship with thinly veiled lyrics.

There are countless examples of the seedy side of the blues, enough to post several songs a day for at least a year.
I've chosen but a few.

Blind Boy Fuller - I Want Some of Your Pie.mp3

Kansas Joe - What's that Smells like Fish?.mp3

Big Bill Broonzy - How You Want It Done.mp3


Blogger Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Fab stuff driver. Just the sort of thing that appeals to a man who has the Applicators' "Lick My Sweaty Balls" 45 in his collection.

I won't make a request but I have a question. Is there a bluegrass version of "Friggin' In the Riggin" I should know about?

May 30, 2006 11:03 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Mr. BNH - First off, I would like to thank you, for you were partly the inspiration for this series of posts.

I am not aware of a bluegrass version of "Friggin' In The Riggin'", but there are plenty of others who have recorded this sea shanty of debauchery (sometimes titled as "The Good Ship Venus" or "There's Nothing Else To Do"). Sailors, understandably, produced an endless collection of bawdy songs. Oscar Brand is the first version I heard, I believe he recorded it in the late '50s or early ‘60s. You can hear a clip of his rendition here (Listed as "There's Nothing Else To Do".)

I’m sure that you are familiar with the Sex Pistols and Anthrax versions, as the song became a regular on the playlists of many punk bands in the ‘80s. I believe Dave Van Ronk also recorded “Friggin’…”, but I can’t seem to find it in my collection.

Damn, Beer! You may have just inspired another future post!
Cheers, mate.

May 31, 2006 7:12 AM  

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