Letnik: 2004 | Številka: 9/10 | Avtor/ica: Matej Krajnc

Razvoj govorečega bluesa v folku, countryju in rocku

Govoreči blues je literarno-glasbena zvrst, ki je v zametkih nastajala v ljudskem izročilu na jugu ZDA že vse od 2. polovice 19. stoletja in predvsem v zgodnjem 20., takrat predvsem kot “folkovski” humorni sopotnik tradicionalnega črnskega bluesa.

Za prvega resnejšega popularizatorja te zvrsti velja Christopher Bouchillon (1893-1968), imenovan tudi “the original talking blues man from the South”, torej izvirni govoreči bluesman z Juga. Bouchillon je bil potujoči komik, ki je v 20. letih 20. stoletja posnel vrsto humornih govorečih bluesov, med drugimi Talking Blues in New Talking Blues.[1] V 30. letih 20. stoletja je to izjemno prožno zvrst še nadgradil in s socialno noto podkrepil Woody Guthrie.[2] Za primer vzemimo njegov govoreči blues Talkin' Dust Bowl iz tridesetih let 20. stoletja. Ta govoreči blues je del znamenitih Dust Bowl Ballads, še vedno njegovega najodmevnejšega glasbeno-pesniškega opusa, ki govori o veliki gospodarski krizi v tridesetih letih prejšnjega stoletja, v ZDA imenovani Great Depression. Talkin' Dust Bowl se začne takole:

Back in Nineteen Twenty-Seven,

I had a little farm and I called that heaven.

Well, the prices up and the rain come down,

And I hauled my crops all into town.

I got the money, bought clothes and groceries,

Fed the kids, and raised a family.

Rain quit and the wind got high,

And the black ol' dust storm filled the sky.

And I swapped my farm for a Ford machine,

And I poured it full of this gas-i-line

And I started, rockin' an' a-rollin',

Over the mountains, out towards the old Peach Bowl.[3]

Starejša oblika govorečega bluesa je bila sestavljena iz šestih vrstic (standardni blues je imel tri ali šest vrstic, odvisno od tega, kako so zapisovali). Prvi vrstici se ponavadi nista ponovili kot pri črnskem in tako so se prve štiri vrstice rimale po principu a-a-b-b, zadnji dve se ponavadi nista rimali, vsebinsko pa sta zgodbo prvih štirih kot pri črnih bluesih logično sklenili. Pravo umetniško obliko je v šestdesetih letih prejšnjega stoletja iz govorečega bluesa ustvaril Bob Dylan in mu dal tudi bolj izrazito satirično in nasploh humorno podobo, čeprav je humor v govoreči blues vpeljal že Guthrie (Mean Talkin' Blues). Prav tako je strogo začrtano obliko zvrsti nekoliko osvobodil in zrahljal. Za primer vzemimo znameniti Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues, ki sodi v njegovo “guthriejevsko” obdobje in bi moral biti objavljen na prelomnem drugem albumu The Frewheelin' Bob Dylan (Columbia, 1963), a se to ni zgodilo. Luč sveta je ta govoreči blues uradno zagledal šele leta 1991 v zbirki Bootleg Series 1–3 (Columbia, 1991). Oblika guthriejevskega govorečega bluesa je tu že precej svobodnejša, predvsem pa pesem odlikuje odbit humor, ki še posebej zaživi v zvočnem zapisu z odlično interpretacijo. Odlomek:

I saw it advertised one day,

Bear Mountain picnic was comin' my way.

“Come along 'n' take a trip,

We'll bring you up there on a ship.

Bring the wife and kids

Bring the whole family.”


Well, I run right down 'n' bought a ticket

To this Bear Mountain Picnic.

But little did I realize

I was in for a picnic surprise.

Had nothin' to do with mountains.

I didn't even come close to a bear.

Took the wife 'n' kids down to the pier,

Six thousand people there,

Everybody had ticket for the trip.

“Oh well,” I said, “it's a pretty big ship.

Besides, anyway, the more the merrier.”

Well, we all got on 'n' what d'ya think,

That big old boat started t' sink

More people kept a-pilin' on,

That old ship was a-slowly goin' down.

Funny way t' start a picnic.[4]

Še boljši primer Dylanove humorne ostrine je Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues, ki je doživel enako usodo kot Bear Picnic. Leta 1963 so ga Dylanu celo prepovedali izvajati po televiziji, saj je šlo za smešenje ameriške politične združbe, katere oče je bil John Birch in ki je bila, milo rečeno, alergična na komuniste. Dylan jo je zapel leta 1964 na koncertu v Philharmonic Hall; ta različica je od letos na voljo na plošči Bootleg Series Vol. 6, Live 1964 (Columbia Sony/Menart, 2004). Odlomek gre takole:

Well, I was feelin' sad and feelin' blue,

I didn't know what in the world I was gonna do,

Them Communists they wus comin' around,

They wus in the air,

They wus on the ground.

They wouldn't gimme no peace ...

So I run down most hurriedly

And joined up with the John Birch Society,

I got me a secret membership card

And started off a-walkin' down the road.

Yee-hoo, I'm a real John Bircher now!

Look out you Commies!

Now we all agree with Hitlers' views,

Although he killed six million Jews.

It don't matter too much that he was a Fascist,

At least you can't say he was a Communist!

That's to say like if you got a cold you take a shot of malaria.


Well, I quit my job so I could work alone,

Then I changed my name to Sherlock Holmes.

Followed some clues from my detective bag

And discovered they wus red stripes on the American flag!

That ol' Betty Ross ...[5]

Zanimiva inovativnost Dylanovega rimanja je v primeru razvidna v rimi alone – Holmes![6] Po Dylanu so obliko govorečega bluesa prevzeli in izvajali še mnogi glasbeniki folka, countryja in rocka, med drugimi Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Hoyt Axton, Townes van Zandt, Loudon Wainwright III., Lyle Lovett in Bruce Springsteen. Johnny Cash je prevzel Dylanovo obliko govorečega bluesa in jo v različnih pesmih kombiniral z dodanim refrenom. Tako dobimo dve vrsti njegovega klasičnega govorečega bluesa. Kot primer prve (brez refrena) vzemimo Singin' In Vietnam Talkin' Blues (plošča Man In Black, Columbia, 1971), kot primer druge pa Drive On (plošča American Recordings, 1993). V obeh pride do izraza suh Cashev humor. Odlomka:

One mornin' at breakfast, I said to my wife,

We been everywhere once and some places twice,

As I had another helping of country ham,

She said “We ain't never been to Vietnam,

And there's a bunch of our boys over there.”

So we went to the Orient: Saigon.

Well we got a big welcome when we drove in,

Through the gates of a place that they call Long Vinh.

We checked in and everything got kinda quiet,

But a soldier boy said: “Just wait 'til tonight,

Things get noisy. Things start happenin'.

Big bad firecrackers.”[7]

2) It was a real slow walk in a real sad rain

And nobody tried to be John Wayne

I came home, but Tex did not

And I can't talk about the hit he got

I got a little limp now when I walk

Got a little tremolo when I talk

But my letter read from Whiskey Sam

You're a walkin' talkin' miracle from Vietnam

Drive on, don't mean nothin'

My children love me, but they don't understand

And I got a woman who knows her man

Drive on, don't mean nothin', drive on.[8]

Townes van Zandt in Loudon Wainwright III. sta govoreči blues uporabljala izključno v humorne namene. Znana sta Zandtov Talkin' Karate Blues in Fraternity Blues, v katerem se norčuje iz slavnih ameriških univerzitetnih “bratstev” in “sestrstev” (fraternities, sororities), Loudon pa je med drugim napisal Talkin' Big Apple '75, Talkin' Woodstock '94, Talkin' Ronald Reagan in Talking New Bob Dylan; v tem zadnjem se ponorčuje tako iz Dylanove pesmi Song To Woody (1962) kot iz statusa “novega Dylana”, ki ga je imel s še nekaterimi uglednimi glasbeniki v sedemdesetih letih.Šlo je za težnje glasbene industrije, da bi našli čim več po Dylanovo pesniško naravnanih osebkov, ki bi znali igrati tudi kakšno glasbilo, in s tem “podmladkom” nadgrajevali svoje račune v banki.[9] Oznaka “novi Dylan” je bila za večino tistih mladih, ki so si jo prislužili, krivična, saj so bili izvrstni in predvsem samosvoji umetniki; poleg Loudona še John Prine, Kris Kristofferson, Bruce Springsteen, malce pozneje še Steve Forbert, Warren Zevon itd. Poglejmo dva omenjena primera iz repertoarjev Zandta (Talkin' Karate) in Wainwrighta (Talking New Bob Dylan).

Well, I ain't very big for twenty-one

and it seems like I never could have any good clean fun

cause every time I'd go outside some great big bully'd come along

he'd hit me in the face and he'd knock to the ground

and he'd start to kickin' me all around

and that ain't exactly fair, friends, that's wrong.

So I got me a paper the other night

and I crawled up on the sofa and I turned on the light

and I flipped through the pages till I found the classified ads.

Said, “take karate from Lee Hung Chow;

man, make your first appointment now

this course is guaranteed to make you bad.”

Well, the next day I drove to the address

and by japanese design I was really impressed

it looked like a regular house of the rising sun

I walked inside, I was all alone

I had a nervous feeling down in my bones

I was kind of sorry that I'd ever even come

Then a giant jap came through the door

he must have been about seven foot four

and he looked like he's prone to easy aggrevation.

He said, “Lee Hung Chow, Ah kee dung”

that's japanese for fee fie foo fum

I tried to explain my entire situation.[10]

Loudon Wainwright pa je takole čestital Dylanu za rojstni dan:

Hey Bob Dylan I wrote you a song

Today is your birthday if I am not wrong

If I'm not mistaken you're 50 today

How are you doin' Bob, what do you say?

Well it must've been about sixty-two

I heard you on record and you were brand new

And some had some doubts about the way you sang

But the truth came out and loudly it rang

Yeah you were hipper than Mitch Miller

And Johnny Mathis put together.[11]

Lyle Lovett je po zgledu Johnnyja Casha govorečemu bluesu dodal refren. Najbolj pa se je ravnal po modelu govorečega bluesa Townesa van Zandta, predvsem pri ritmu in obliki kitic, to ni čudno, če vemo, da je bil Townes van Zandt tudi eden največjih Lovettovih vzornikov; leta 1998 je Lovett za album Step Inside This House priredil vrsto njegovih pesmi. Primer Lovettovega govorečega bluesa je duhovita ljubezenska pesem Give Back My Heart iz leta 1988 (album Pontiac, MCA/Curb, 1988). Odlomek:

I'm a traveling man don't tie me down

There's just too much living going all around

A man he's got to see what he can see

I love the road and I love the air

And I don't worry hell I never care

I love my women sometimes they love me.

But I was got one day I still don't know how

I didn't even like that town

This fellow said stranger why don't you just go on home

And I said man that's where I'm headed to

And you couldn't stop me if you knew what to do

And I left and I planned to go alone.

But the road was long and home was far

So I stopped off at this little cowboy-looking bar

I walked on through the door and she just smiled

In a long pony tail and a pretty white dress

She said hi bull riders do it best

I said oh my God what's your name? My name's Lyle.

And I said ooh give back my heart chipkicker-redneck woman

Take your boots and walk out of my life

Ooh give back my heart chipkicker-redneck woman

I can't be no cowgirl paradise.[12]

Bruce Springsteen je na solistični turneji po izidu plošče Ghost Of Tom Joad (Columbia, 1995) leta 1996 predstavil nekaj izjemno duhovitih govorečih bluesov, povzetih po guthriejevsko-dylanovskem modelu, a vendar avtorsko povsem svežih in oblikovno zelo fleksibilnih in prenovljenih. Po Cashevem zgledu jim je dodal refren. Med njimi sta najzanimivejša Sell It And They Will Come, v katerem Springsteen smeši ameriško TV-prodajo, in Pilgrim In A Temple Of Love, v katerem parodira tradicionalne ameriške božične vrednote. Odlomek:

It was Christmas Eve, I was standin' in the parking lot

of “Fabulous Girls, Nude – Nude – Nude”

In the car next to me there was a young lady givin' a blow-job

to a man in a Santa Claus suit

His beard was crooked, his hat askew

Embarrassed, I turned to go

When from the back seat of that Mazda I heard somebody shout: "Oh Baby, don't stop!"

And a merry “Ho-ho-ho” (…)

Refren: On Donner, on Dancer, on Comet, on Blitzen

I'm lost in the valley of the supervixens

Worshippin' at the feet of the goddess above

I'm a pilgrim in the temple of love, ma, just a pilgrim in the temple of love.[13]

Če povzamemo, lahko ugotovimo, da je imel govoreči blues v folku, countryju in rocku bodisi “resno” socialno (Guthrie) bodisi satirično vlogo (Bouchillon, Guthrie, Dylan, Cash, Wainwright, Springsteen). Možna je tudi kombinacija obeh (Dylan, Cash, Zandt, Wainwright). Morda bo kdaj v prihodnosti več prostora za temeljitejšo razčlembo govorečih bluesov izvajalcev, ki jih danes nismo obširneje omenjali (recimo Dana Berna), in za tehtnejše primerjave med poglavitnimi omenjenimi. Za tale kratki esej smo se omejili samo na oris zgodovine zvrsti in na nekatere bolj znane in večkrat citirane izvajalce.

Matej Krajnc

Nekateri pomembnejši viri:

Michael Gray. Song and Dance Man 3: The Art of Bob Dylan. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2003.

Joe Klein. Woody Guthrie – A Life. Random House Inc., 1980.

Bogdanow, Woodstra, Erlewine. All Music Guide to the Blues. Backbeat Books, 2003.

Davis. The History of the Blues: The Roots, The Music, The People. Da Capo Press, 2003.

Lomax. The Land Where The Blues Began. New Press, 2002.

Spletne strani, omenjene v sprotnih opombah.

Diskografije in songbooki v besedilu omenjenih glasbenikov.

Izbrana diskografija:

Chris Bouchillon, The Original Talking Blues Man (Old Homestead Records, 1987)

Woody Guthrie, Dust Bowl Ballads (Buddha/BMG, 2000)

Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan (Columbia/Sony, 1962)

Bob Dylan, Bootleg Series 1-3 (box-set) (Columbia/Sony, 1991)

Johnny Cash, Man In Black (Columbia, 1971)

Johnny Cash, American Recordings (American Recordings, 1993)

Townes van Zandt, Texas Troubadour (box-set) (Snapper Music Group, 2002)

Loudon Wainwright III, T Shirt (Arista, 1976)

Loudon Wainwright III, History (Charisma, 1992)

Lyle Lovett, Pontiac (MCA/Curb, 1988)

Dan Bern, Dog Boy Van (Sony, 1997)

Dan Bern, Smartie Mine (Chartmaker, 1998)


1 Leta 1987 je založba Old Homestead Records izdala retrospektivo Bouchillonovih pesmi na dveh CD-ploščah; http://www.wirz.de/music/bouchfrm.htm.

2 Za vpogled v življenje in delo te legende ameriške ljudske glasbe svetujem izvrstno knjigo Joeja Kleina, Woody Guthrie, A Life, ki je prvič izšla pri ameriški založbi Random House Inc. oktobra 1980, zadnji ponatis pa pred petimi leti (www.amazon.com). V slovenščini imamo njegovo slovito avtobiografijo Zapisan slavi (Bound for Glory), ki je dobila naslov po tradicionalnem gospelu This Train Is Bound For Glory, prevedel jo je Tomaž Domicelj (Pomurska založba, 1977), in to izvrstno, izvirnik pa je bil biblija Boba Dylana, ko se je v drugi polovici petdesetih let iz rokenrola preusmeril v tako imenovano folkovsko glasbo.

3 http://www.geocities.com/Nashville/3448/dust.html

4 http://orad.dent.kyushu-u.ac.jp/dylan/talkmtpc.html

5 http://orad.dent.kyushu-u.ac.jp/dylan/talkjbsb.html

6 Več o podobnih postopkih pri Dylanu lahko preberete v knjigi Michaela Graya, Song and Dance Man 3: The Art of Bob Dylan, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2003. Ko govorimo o zanimivih, inventivnih in duhovitih rimanjih, seveda ne moremo mimo znamenite “južnjaške” rime “car-tomorrow”, ki so jo s pridom uporabljali countryjevski in folkovski humoristični songsterji, kot denimo Johnny Cash in Chet Atkins v pesmih Smiling Bill McCall in There'll Be Some Changes Made.

7 http://www.lyricsdownload.com/cash-johnny-singin--in-vietnam-talkin-blues-lyrics.html

8 http://www.lyricsdownload.com/cash-johnny-drive-on-lyrics.html

9 Nekateri drugi primeri parodij Dylanovega govorečega bluesa so še Talkin' Alien Abduction Blues, Talkin Woody, Bob, Bruce Blues in Talkin' Al Kaida Blues Dana Berna (1996, 1999 in 2002), Talkin' Building Q Blues Barryja in Sally Chilon-Helton (2001) in Talkin' Bob Dylan Imitators Contest Massacre Disaster Paranoid Blues Stevena Keena (1990). To je seveda samo nekaj izbranih.

10 http://home.swipnet.se/~w-36794/tvz/tvz_016.html

11 LWIII: History (Charisma, 1992).

12 http://www.timhinkle.com/LyleLovett/givebackmyheart.html

13 http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Pilgrim-In-The-Temple-Of-Love-lyrics-Bruce-Springsteen/88B1E9AE204B478F482568710023358B