Myths and Music Daemons and Devils in blues and rock. Vesa Matteo Piludu Helsinki. Department of Comparative Religion University of Helsinki. Exú (Salvador, Brazil). Exu’s colors: red and black. Exú - Carybe. Traditional trickster Is uncontrollable, unpredictable
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Myths and MusicDaemons and Devils in blues and rock
Vesa Matteo Piludu
Department of Comparative Religion
University of Helsinki
The symbols are changing their meaning often, especially in oral and popular culture …
The world of existence isn’t static
According to Eero Tarasti (Existential semiotics, 2000 – Fondamenti della semiotica esistenziale, 2008)
the symbols are mobile, flying as the objects in a Chagall painting
fell down on my knees
I went to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
Standin' at the crossroad
Didn't nobody seem to know me
everybody pass me by
dark gon' catch me here
oooo ooee eeee
boy, dark gon' catch me here
tell my friend-boy Willie Brown
You can run, you can run
tell my friend-boy Willie Brown
I believe I'm sinkin' down
Robert Johnson, 1911-1938, the most influential Delta blues artist of all
King of Delta Blues
Granfather of Rock
so deep down in the ground
there's a hellhound on my trailhellhound on my trailhellhound on my trail
I's up this mornin'
ah, blues walkin' like a man
give me your right hand
and it tore me all upside down
is a low-down shakin' chillspoken: Yes, preach 'em now.
I hope you never will
is a schin' old heart diseasespoken: Do it. now.
is a low-down achin' heart disease
killing me by degrees
I'm 'on drive my blues away
stay out there all day
If I had possession over judgment dayif I had possession over judgment day
Lord, the little woman
I'm lovin' wouldn't have no right to pray
And I went to the mountain lookin' far as my eyes could seeAnd I went to the mountain lookin' far as my eye could seeSome other man got my woman and the -'a lonesome blues got me
Has the typical characteristics of Pomba Gira (sensual, gypsy looking) and the hoodoo woman of the blues (femme fatale, expert of love spells, creates love blues and desperation in men)
(hoodoo, love spells Devils, blues spirits) are extremely popular in blues lyrics
Rock music, practically born from blues, herded all this folklore themes, that has been reinterpreted in an original way by several authors
The “damned” but sensual and fascinating Robert Johnson became also a kind of “model” for blues and rock stars
Got me so blind I cant seeThat she’s a black magic womanShe’s trying to make a devil out of meDon’t turn your back on me babyDon’t turn your back on me babyYes don’t turn your back on me baby
Stop messing round with your tricks
Don’t turn your back on me babyYou just might pick up my magic sticks
Yes you got your spell on me babyTurning my heart into stone
I need you so bad, magic womanI can’t leave you alone
You're lucky, I'm a civilized manYou're lucky, I'm a civilized manOh yeah, a civilized man
I sold my soul, sold it to the Devil, and he won't let me alone I'm hateful and I'm evil, I carries a Gatling gun I drink carbolic acid, be darned if I will run
But I sold it, I have sold it Sold it to the Devil, and my heart has turned to stone.
Black ghost is a picture, and the black ghost is a shadow tooWhoa black ghost is a picture, and the black ghost is a shadow tooYou just can see him, but you can't hear him talkin'Ain't nothin' else that a black ghost can doBlack Ghost Blues!
I got a letter this morning, how do you reckon it read?"Oh, hurry, hurry, gal, you love is dead"I got a letter this morning, how do you reckon it read?"Oh, hurry, hurry, gal, you love is dead"
Willie Dixon(William James Dixon)July 1, 1915 - Jan. 29, 1992
And I was ‘round when Jesus ChristHad his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that PilateWashed his hands and sealed his fate
They built a blast furnaceHere along the shoreAnd they made the cannon ballsThat helped the union win the war
Here in YoungstownHere in YoungstownMy sweet Jenny, I'm sinkin' downHere darlin' in Youngstown
I lived alone my mind was blankI needed time to think to get the memories from my mind
What did I see? Could I believe? That what I sawthat night was real and not just fantasy
Just what I saw in my old dreams were theyreflections of my warped mind staring back at me?
'Cause in my dreams it's always there
the evil face that twists my mind and brings me to despair - Yeah!Night was black was no use holding back'Cause I just had to see was someone watching me
In the mist dark figures move and twistwas all this for real or just some kind of hell
6-6-6 the Number of the BeastHell and fire was spawned to be released
Torches blazed and sacred chants were praised as they start to cry hands held to the sky In the night the fires burning bright the ritual has begun Satan's work is done
I have the fire I have the force I have the power to make my evil take its course
The texts tells about an inner struggle against an evil power
The theme is quite similar to the Delta blues’ ones
Seize the throne Seize the mantleSeize the crown
Cause I am what I amWhat I am what I am I'm your loverman!
There's a devil lying by your sideYou might think he's asleepbut look at his eyesHe wants you, baby, to be his brideThere's a devil lying by your sideLoverman! Loverman!