The Blues: An Oral Tradition

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One of the greatest blues songs ever written: Hoochie Coochie Man

One of the greatest blues songs ever written is Hoochie Coochie Man by Muddy Waters, which was released in 1960. This song's narrator tells a personal story, which is one of the characteristics that classify it as a blues music. The singer expresses himself through the song by talking about his life and thinking back on the birth predictions his mother got. The song also follows a specific pattern, with the vocalist presenting a phrase and a brief pause before the accompanist improvises musical accompaniment to support the singer's words. Since the blues songs are culturally based as they emerged from African spiritual songs, one of the factors that make the singer 'bluesy' is the fact that he is an African American male. On the other hand, the manner in which he presents the song is such that he sings acoustically. Moreover, the singer can be seen to be 'bluesy' because he sings in a soulful and passionate manner. From his voice, the listener can connect with the singer on an emotional level where they can understand the feelings of the musician or composer. With this in mind, Water's music demonstrates blues songs genre characteristics since it incorporates realism and appeals to emotion.

I'm Tore Down: A Love Song by Freddie King

Consequently, I'm Tore Down by an African American by the name of Freddie King was another exceptional blue's song released in 1961. King's song begins with different pieces of instruments such as trumpets and guitars which are crucial in providing listeners with a relaxing mood. From the lyrics, the central message stipulates that lovers awaken their spouse's feelings while around indicating that it is a love song (Grove). His tone in the song is passionate, and this allows him to convey the music's meaning with compassion and clarity. The song targets lovers worldwide, and they can incorporate the message King depicts in the music to express their love to their spouses. Besides, his conviction skills are excellent, in one instance, he highlights, "I love you, baby with all my might, A love like mine is out of sight, I'll lie for you if you want me to..." (Grove). The quote from his song reflects the undying love partners have towards each other, which is a fantasy in the real world. Nonetheless, incorporating this allows him to connect with people who are in love and persuade them that love is long lasting and precious. In view of this, King's song portrays similar features as Waters because they both utilize relaxing instruments and they highlight the presence of social values in the society among them love and interaction.

Comparison of "Hoochie Coochie Man" and "I'm Tore Down"

An explication of the two songs reveals that Waters talks about being a ladies man while King talks about love and the importance of being around a loved one. In addition, Water's song has a slow tempo compared to King's song as can be heard from the music's rhythm and melody. The differences between the two songs reveal the fragmentation the blues genre of music had begun undergoing in the nineteen hundreds ( These differences are evident from Water's song where he uses the traditional acoustic approach while in King's song he utilizes a jazzier beat. From the differences exhibited by the two songs, it is evident that during this period American people had begun getting familiar with diversity regarding music preference, race, and other relevant social factors. Therefore, during their release dates, the two songs were a representation of the different cultures that existed in the United States. Given this, both songs highlight various views, beliefs and cultural practices that people in America had gradually begun accepting and embracing.

Works Cited "Blues Music Genre Overview." AllMusic, 2017,

Grove, Ash. "I'm Tore Down - Freddie King - Aug 25, 1970." PASTE, 2017,

June 19, 2023


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