Posts Tagged ‘Robert Johnson’

‘Nation Sacks

Hear a sample of the song “Come On In My Kitchen” which mentions the ‘nation sack.

Access the complete lyrics of this song.'nation sack

BluesNotes, October 1, 2003

This issue of BluesNotes concerning “Nation Sacks” comes to me courtesy of Jennifer Bleck, a resonator player and one-time student of mine at one of the music camps around the country.

It has been my understanding from Gayle Dean Wardlow and Stephen Calt, that the term is a contraction of ‘donation sack’, and sprung from the double drawstring purses common for holding coins in the late 1800’s, and used by tent show revival preachers for their collected donations. And that these ‘nation sacs became fashion items for prostitutes who collected their ‘donations’ from their nightly ministrations and would wear the sacks under their skirts for security, and would further jingle the coins to attract customers. Continue Reading

Ras Tafari

For years Blues scholars and musicians have been intrigued by one of Robert Johnson’s lyrics in his most covered tune, “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom”. In the song, Johnson comes home to find his woman has been seeing someone else. The premise of the song is that he will “get up in the morning” and “dust” his broom–an expression meaning that he’s going to be hitting the road. And he goes all around the northern Delta region looking for an old girlfriend to take him in, someone who will treat him fairly and care for him: justice and love. Continue Reading

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