Women and Drinking Songs
This is a continuation from another post titled Music Appreciation, a thing I'll continue to do as the mood dictates. Pandora played a song for me by Mikki Howard that I'd never heard before. I liked the song so much (lyrics, voice, music) that I wondered what other songs had been recorded by women about drinking and getting high. It's usually men who record get high songs, so I did some research and what I found interested me. I'm sure there are many other songs, but let's start with Mikki Howard's Beer For Breakfast. This song is so fonky. The bassline alone. My My. Enjoy!
Let's go back and pick up some classical blues. Here's Bessie Smith singing Me and My Gin, "Don't try me nobody, cause you will never win. . ."
Nina Simone recorded Me and My Gin under the name Gin House Blues. Her rendition, though upbeat, is still the blues. Of course Nina on the piano. This is a live version. Unfortunately no video. Imagine being in that audience.
Lil Johnson is one of my favorite blues singers. Her songs tell it like it is, like this one, Let's Get Drunk and Truck, "You know my other man is out of town. Your other woman she's not around. Now is the time to break em down, let's get drunk and truck."
Ruth Brown. The song is not about drinking, but it is about confidence in what you got. If I Can't Sell It, I'll Sit on It, "This is not St. Vincent DePaul."
Let's slow it down a pace for Dinah Washington singing Drinking Again. I grew up with Dinah's voice in the house from my older siblings, Dorothy, Evelyn, Sonny and Jerome. This is the kind of music they listened to. I'm glad they did. Their choices in music helped lay a solid foundation for the soundtrack of my life.
Listening to Dinah made me think about Nancy Wilson, who passed a few days ago. Their voices are close in texture and mood. I couldn't find any drinking songs by Nancy. But I did remember she did a commercial for Stroh's Beer. Once at a concert at the Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh, she sang the commercial for us. Here's Nancy at the recording session. Watch Nancy's expression when the man wants to go through it once for her, as if she needs help interpreting a little ditty.
Smokin Room by Rufus and Chaka Khan presents another thing. I guess the song is open to interpretation but I think it's about a woman who wishes to take the relationship beyond just having fun and getting high. See what you think.
We'll let Billie Holiday end this post with Ain't Nobody's Business if I Do, "If I go to church on Sunday then cabaret all day Monday, ain't nobody's business if I do."
Hope you enjoyed this installment of Music Appreciation.
Happy creating. Good vibes to all that you write, sing, compose, sculpt, build, whatever you are doing. Stay in the groove!
Oh, but wait. I found this. Aretha singing Drinking Again. Had to include my girl.
I'm sitting by the back window, cup of coffee warming my hands when suddenly, I see through the camouflage of brown brambles and bare trees, two deer—one female, head down nibbling whatever nourishment still thrives under layers of dead leaves; and one male, head down sniffing the female’s nourishment. They are a couple, I think.
Just as suddenly, a train passes along the trestle as it does everyday in 15 or 20 minute intervals. Today, the train stops though and awakens the sun to shine on me through my window. I raise the blinds to allow full access. The deer continue nibbling and sniffing. The train continues to stay. The sun continues to shine on us. It is tableau.
We remain in our respective roles for 20 minutes or so. I marvel about how my body slows, is neither thinking of what I need to do nor caring that I don't. I do notice that the female deer is almost impossible to see, her camouflage so correct as to save the next generation. The male is brown, but deeper, more noticeable.
Finally the female deer decides to sit. She uses three jerky movements to settle herself. The male deer stands a few more seconds, then joins her in sitting. They are opposite each other, only inches between. His ears remain upright, twitch, listen. She is more relaxed, continues chewing. I smile because it looks like she’s chewing a stick of Juicy Fruit.
We are montage making a miracle; Olorun (the sun) shinning down on Òsóòsì (the hunter, deer), Ògún (iron, technology), and me.
My fixed schedule looms but I can not move. It's as if the miracle bids me relax, desires that I bask in the majesty of Olóòfin's (God’s) natural manifestations, His/Her/Its science and technology.
After about 20 minutes more, train sounds begin, the grind of metal on metal urge forward movement. As the train slowly departs, the deer stay, are not frightened by the train’s big noise, have become familiar and comfortable with the reverberation of iron.
The sun hangs about. The deer and I receive continuous shots of vitamin D.
After more minutes, a new train arrives. The deer glance up, appear to watch its arrival as children do, in states of wonder.
I turn my face to the sun, directly in front of me now, smile, hold the miracle. Physically, spiritually and intellectually, I experience majesty, say:
Mo júbà Olóòfin! Mo júbà Olorun! Mo júbà Ògún! Mo júbà Òsóòsì!
Only then am I released and refreshed enough to fit myself into the schedule Spirit has planned for me.
Most often our schedules prevent us from spending moments with miracles. Like the train, deer and sun, let us revive ourselves again.
What are your miracles? Translate the experience into your knowledge of majesty.
Share them if you'd like and happy creating!
This is a blog about how we make things.