musicology #483

SoulBoy#2

(Curtis Mayfield – Billy Jack)

So…after yesterday’s introduction to the musicology of Soul it’s time to turn up the heat with a cut from the 70’s..not to say that yesterday’s piece from the Miracles wasn’t ‘hotter than ten fire side’ as, for me, it most certainly is but as is often the case at the dawn of things, (the birth of Soul in this instance), it’s not always as accessible until the context is expanded and the horizon widened…

Significantly it was today’s artist that first touched both my conscious and unconscious in equal amounts beginning an appreciation for the man and his ‘language’ that started from babe in arms due, in part, to my dad who is a BIG Curtis Mayfiled, (and the Impressions), fan. One of the first LP’s that I can remember in fine detail is Curtis Live, (and it’s counterpart ‘Curtis’ you know the one with the man himself on the cover in them flared strides looking of into the sunset. I have featured and wrote about Curtis many times over the past three years so excuse me if I don’t repeat what I have already written for the sake of ‘information’.

Simply put….for me Curtis is Soul personified and his message has inspired me MANY, MANY times along the ‘way’…

Highlighted from his eponymous and hard hitting 1975 social commentary set ‘There’s No Place Like America Today’…..

Just out Monday
Run into a friend
Down the street, down the street
Where I live
Ahh ahh sad things begin
I could feel from within
From the message
From the message
He had to give

‘Bout a buddy of mine
Running out of time
His life run out of time
Somebody past noon
Shot across the room
And now the man no longer lives

Too bad about him
Too sad about him
Don’t get me wrong
The man is gone
But it’s a wonder he lived this so long

Up in the city they called him Boss Jack
But down home he was a alley cat
Ah! didn’t care nothing about being black
Ah! Billy Jack

Ahh can’t be no fun, can’t be no fun
To be shot, shot with a hand gun
Body sprawled out, you without a doubt
Running people out, there on the floor

Ah, ah bad bloody mess
Shot all up in his chest
Shot in the chest
One sided duel, gun and a fool
What a way to go

Up in the city they called him Boss Jack
But down home he was a alley cat
Ah Didn’t care nothin’ bout being black
Ah Billy Jack

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