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The Blues: A Secular Spiritual

The Blues: A Secular Spiritual The Blues: A Secular Spiritual fames H. Cone What did I do To be so black And blue! Theologically, there is more to be said about the music of black people than what was revealed in the black spirituals. To be sure, a significant number of black people were confident that the God of Israel was involved in black history, liberating them from slavery and oppression. But not all blacks could accept the divine promises of the Bible as a satisfactory answer to the contradictions of black existence. They refused to adopt a God-centered perspective as the solution to the problem of black suffering. Instead, they sang, "Got the blues, and too dam' mean to cry." The blues depict the "secular" dimension of black experience. They are "worldly" songs which tell us about love and sex, and about that other "mule kickin' in my stall." They tell us about the "Black Cat's Bones," "a Mojo hand," and "dese backbitin' womens tryin' fo' to steal my man." The blues are about black life and the sheer earth and gut capacity to survive in an extreme situation of oppression. I wrote these blues, gonna sing 'em as I please, I wrote http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

The Blues: A Secular Spiritual

Black Sacred Music , Volume 6 (1) – Mar 1, 1992

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Copyright
Copyright © 1992 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-6.1.68
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Blues: A Secular Spiritual fames H. Cone What did I do To be so black And blue! Theologically, there is more to be said about the music of black people than what was revealed in the black spirituals. To be sure, a significant number of black people were confident that the God of Israel was involved in black history, liberating them from slavery and oppression. But not all blacks could accept the divine promises of the Bible as a satisfactory answer to the contradictions of black existence. They refused to adopt a God-centered perspective as the solution to the problem of black suffering. Instead, they sang, "Got the blues, and too dam' mean to cry." The blues depict the "secular" dimension of black experience. They are "worldly" songs which tell us about love and sex, and about that other "mule kickin' in my stall." They tell us about the "Black Cat's Bones," "a Mojo hand," and "dese backbitin' womens tryin' fo' to steal my man." The blues are about black life and the sheer earth and gut capacity to survive in an extreme situation of oppression. I wrote these blues, gonna sing 'em as I please, I wrote

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 1992

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