Blues Fell This Morning: Meaning in the Blues

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 12, 1990 - Music - 348 pages
2 Reviews
This is a new, thoroughly revised edition of Paul Oliver's classic study of the blues. First published in 1960, this remarkable book has not been superseded and its reappearance will be welcomed by all who wish to understand the complexity of meaning in the blues and the experiences which they expressed. The book examines the functions of the blues as black American folk music recorded during the 78 rpm era, from the 1920s to the 1950s. The lyrics are quoted extensively throughout the book, revealing their significance as a means of communication within black society. The author shows how the themes of labour and unemployment, migration and the Depression years, love, sex, and marriage, crime, violence and imprisonment, disasters, sickness, war and death are expressed in black idioms and he discusses their meaning on many levels.

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Review: Blues Fell This Morning: Meaning in the Blues

User Review  - Curt Bozif - Goodreads

For many reasons, not the least of which being Oliver's rather bland writing style, this is my least favorite book about blues music. Oliver was an English man who, before writing this book in the ... Read full review

Review: Blues Fell This Morning

User Review  - Vicky Sharratt - Goodreads

An excellent study of the history of blues music through thematic analysis of lyrics and perfomers life stories. A must for any true fan of blues music cataloging the early years of the style and it's roots. Read full review


Got to work or leave
Railroad for my pillow
Pains in my heart
Im a rooster baby
The jinx is on me
Let the deal go down
Evil and mean and funny
World black as midnight
Going down slow
Blues like showers of rain
Bibliographical references
Discography of quoted blues
Acknowledgments to Discography
Index of quoted blues singers
General Index

Coin to take a rap

Common terms and phrases

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About the author (1990)

Paul Oliver is Principal Lecturer in the School of Education and Professional Development at the University of Huddersfield, UK.

Bibliographic information