Forgiving Blues

I love the blues. 17 years ago I bought a double CD – Alligator Record’s 20th Anniversary Collection – and it was, as expected, superb. On that album I was introduced to a wonderful trio of ladies, “Sapphire: The Uppity Blues Women”. They were three gals who started their musical career in their mid-forties and their sound was lively, fun and unique.

I hadn’t heard anything by them for a while until I caught a song on XM called “Lying Preacher Blues”, a solo offering by one of the gals, Gaye Adegbalola. Gaye is a lesbian and a Christian and was at one time militantly active in the civil rights movement. In the following interview she talks just a little bit about love, forgiveness and acceptance. Her story struck me as being particularly relevant in today’s world, as America deals with enemies that seem to have nothing redeemable about them.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

These are the lyrics to “Lying Preacher Blues” or check the link to hear Gaye perform the song herself:
10-lying-preacher-blues1

LYING PREACHER BLUES Adegbalola 2/2005, Rev 5/2005

Any preacher with more than two suits is living a lie
Any preacher with more than two suits is living a lie
I don’t stand in judgment
But when you talk about an eye for an eye
Any preacher with more than two suits is living a lie

Any preacher supporting a war is living a lie
Any preacher supporting a war is living a lie
I don’t stand in judgment
But when you talk about an eye for an eye
Any preacher supporting a war is living a lie

Bridge:

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
What would Jesus do?
What would Jesus wear?
Who would Jesus shoot?

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Now I call on you
I heard that Jesus
Loves me too

Any preacher who’s driving a Jaguar is living a lie
Any preacher who’s driving a Hum V is living a lie
I don’t stand in judgment
But when you talk about an eye for an eye
Any preacher driving a Jaguar is living a lie

Any preacher molesting a child is living a lie
Any priest molesting a child is living a lie
I don’t stand in judgment
But when you talk about an eye for an eye
Any preacher molesting a child is living a lie

Bridge:

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
What would Jesus do?
What would Jesus drive?
Who would Jesus screw?

I say Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Now I call on you
I heard that Jesus love me too

Tag with “amen” ending: I heard that Jesus love me too

Advertisements

, , , , , ,

  1. #1 by logiopsychoambrosiaivorytowerpath on October 10, 2008 - 6:28 pm

    Well spoken–maybe we ought to call these folks with custom suits and wall-to-wall money something other than preachers.

    What would Jesus do?

    The Will of the Father

  2. #2 by Steve on October 12, 2008 - 3:49 pm

    What would Jesus do?

    The Will of the Father

    Well said. I would add a few lines to her song:

    And anyone who says, ‘My sin is is okay ‘cuz Jesus loves me’ is living a lie.
    And anyone who calls good evil and evil good is living a lie.
    And anyone who condones sin in the name of God is living a lie.
    And anyone who waters down the Gospel in the name of an inclusive PC Christ-less ‘christianity’ is living a lie.

    The trick is to show compassion in a Christlike way while acknowledging that we are still sinners saved by grace.

  3. #3 by Christian Beyer on October 14, 2008 - 4:10 pm

    Oops. Missed your comment Steve.

    But wouldn’t your addition change the tone of the song? But that’s the point, I guess. Gaye is obviously annoyed at some preaches (hey, who isn’t?) and is not making a point about sin in particular. Now why do you think that she specifically might want to consider your lyrics?

  4. #4 by Steve on October 14, 2008 - 9:59 pm

    I suppose it probably would change the tone of the song. The blues is an art form that is all about an ethos of disenfranchisement. Accountability ain’t in it, as Jack Aubrey would say. She laments someone else’s lack of accountability, which is as close to it as most blues artists will get.

    And I don’t for a minute think she would want to consider my lyrics, for several reasons.

    I’ve always been a blues fan. My favorite has to be Johnny Otis, but lately I’ve been into a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Popa Chubby’s smokier versions of the blues.

  5. #5 by Christian Beyer on October 14, 2008 - 11:11 pm

    Ah, Stevie Ray Vaughn. About 25 (30?) years ago I had the privilege of seeing and hearing him up close at a little bar in Baltimore called No Fish Today. Very narrow place, very tight (burned down a couple of years later) At one point he got up on the bar and kind of had a duel with the sax player (pretty sure it was Double Trouble but I can’t recall them ever using a sax on any albums). Way too cool.

    I’m pretty fond of Buddy Guy and John Mayall and a great local guy called Rude Dog, but I never met a blues man (woman) yet that I could say I disliked. As far at that ethic you are talking about I don’t know if that’s always the case. Most of Sapphire’s stuff seems to be about sex. Now that I think of it, most of the female blues artists I like sing a lot about sex, even back in the old days. Ever listened to any Dinah Washington?

  6. #6 by b4dguy on October 17, 2008 - 4:36 pm

    Have you enjoyed any of the blues sung by Glenn Kaiser Band? How about Darrell Mansfield? Larry Norman was known to pick a blues song or two. How about Kelly Joe Phelps or the Rev. Gary Davis? Here’s a good link for you:

    I love the blues. I attended a seminar this summer about how we are called (as believers) to be a blues people. that is, a people of lament.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: