Tough Times

John Brim
Language: English

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Parole e musica di John Brim (1922-2003), altro misconosciuto bluesman di Chicago.
Nella compilation “Chicago Blues - The Early 1950's” pubblicata nel 1965

Chicago Blues - The Early 1950's

John Brim was another great, yet largely unheralded Chicago blues singer and guitarist who traveled in some of the same circles as Jones. In 1953, Brim recorded one of the gutsiest and most political blues songs of the ’50s. “Tough Times” is a classic side of tough Chicago blues, but with a radical difference — its radical politics.

By January 1954, an economic slowdown in the United States had resulted in a nearly 10 percent unemployment rate in the black community, nearly double the jobless rate for the rest of the nation. Brim responded by warning that unemployment was getting as bad as the worst part of the Depression in 1932.

Brim’s blues are an uncompromising report from the downside of American prosperity. Yet the song does something more important than simply exposing the layoffs hitting countless workers at a time of supposed affluence. His highly personal songwriting and urgent vocals make the listener really feel the anguish of a worker whose entire life falls apart when he or she loses a job.

(estratto da Blues from the Streets of ‘The Other America’, di Terry Messman)
Me and my baby was talking
and what she said was true
said: “It seems like times is getting tough
like they was in ‘32

You don’t have no job
our bills is past due
So, now tell me, baby
what are we gonna do?”

Tough times
tough times is here once more
now if you don’t have money, people
you can’t live happy no more.

I had a good job
working many long hours a week
They had a big lay-off
and they got poor me

I’m broke and disgusted
in misery
Can’t find a part-time job
nothing in my house to eat

Tough times
tough times is here once more
now if you don’t have money
you can’t live happy no more

I went down to the grocery store
said, “I’ll get a little more food on time”
The man said, “Wait a minute
see how do we stand?”
Said, “I’m sorry to tell you
you too far behind.”

Tough times
tough times is here once more
now if you don’t have money
you can’t live happy no more

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2016/1/13 - 22:23

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