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Stockyard Blues

Floyd Jones
Language: English


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(Canned Heat)
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[1947]
Nel 1945 Floyd Jones (1917-1989) lasciò il nativo Arkansas e, come tanti altri cittadini del sud (specie se neri) in quegli anni, si trasferì al nord in cerca di una vita migliore. Molti di questi migranti trovarono lavoro nelle fabbriche, negli allevamenti di bestiame, nei mattatoi e si sindacalizzarono.
Floyd Jones esordì sulla scena blues di Chicago proprio allora e “Stockyard Blues” è uno dei suoi capolavori, insieme ad “Hard Times” e all’immortale “On The Road Again”, poi rivisitata e resa celeberrima dai Canned Heat. Ma Floyd Jones rimase per gran parte della sua vita misconosciuto e non riuscì a vivere del suo enorme talento ma per campare fu costretto a lavori precari e saltuari. Morì praticamente dimenticato nel 1989.

Floyd Jones


Floyd Jones was one of the very few musicians who spoke out for the humanity of low-wage workers in Chicago. His songs, “Stockyard Blues” and “Hard Times” are outspoken acts of solidarity with workers who are screwed over by the powers that be.
And then comes the final irony: Floyd Jones himself became one of those screwed-over workers. Here is how Pete Welding - who in 1966 produced the compilation “Masters Of Modern Blues Volume 3 - Floyd Jones and Eddie Taylor” - describes it in his liner notes:

“In recent years, Floyd has been working as a forklift operator, the latest in a succession of like ‘day jobs’ he has been forced to take to support his family. It is truly a sad commentary on the state of the blues in Chicago, where one of its finest composers and performers cannot earn a livelihood at what he does so well.”


(estratto da Blues from the Streets of ‘The Other America’, di Terry Messman)
Left home this morning
‘Bout half past nine
Past the stockyards
The boys was on the picket line
You know I need a hundred dollars
You know I need to make a dollar
Cause the cost of livin’ has gone so high
Darlin’ I don’t know what to do

I went to the butcher
To get my beef
He said the price is up
On all of my meats
You know I need to earn a dollar
You know I need to make a dollar
Cause the cost of livin’ has gone so high
Darlin’ I don’t know what to do

I rent for real estate
I got the news
Gonna raise your rent
Pay more money or you move
So I need to earn a dollar
You know I need to make a dollar
The cost of living gone so high
Darlin’ I don’t know what to do

Got the bus one morning
About half past four
When I got my transfer
It’s a nickel more
You know I need to earn a dollar
You know I need to make a dollar
With the cost of living gone so high
Darlin’ I don’t know what to do

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2016/1/13 - 21:40



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