Blues Leadbelly Told Alan Lomax Essay

Pages: 3 (951 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music

This is not to say necessarily that the lyrics focus on this, but the sense got out from the songs is related to this. For example, in "Ain't Nobody's Business," the sense is that the person is reluctant to any outside opinion and somehow disappointed in his condition ("There ain't nothing I can do, or nothing I can say, Some folks will criticize me. So I'm gonna do just what I want to anyway, And don't care if you all despise me.") This can be interpreted as a revolt against the society he lives in. Similarly, in "Nobody Knows You When-You're Down And Out," the disappointment is with the closer society and the intimate relations. For instance, "Well, once I lived the life of a millionaire, (…)Then I began to fall so low, Lost all my good friends had no place to go," it refers to the power of the money and the consequences when loosing it. The disappointment throughout the song is self-obvious.

Another example is present in "Night Patrol," especially in "Now I'm drawing unemployment / Got replaced by a machine," after the depiction of a poor society which is in contradiction with the American Dream and the success of the middle class. The song portrays a young woman, no more than seventeen who is left with only her shattered dreams. The disappointment is obvious in this song as well.

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Finally, in "Hard Times," the disappointment is triggered by the loss of a parent, the mother that always catered for the needs of the child. After her death, the hard times start to be visible, which can be interpreted as being both part of growing up and the moment when the child needs to face society, which is by no means friendly. More precisely, a passage that can reveal such a meaning is "Well I soon found out / Just what she meant / When I had to pawn my clothes / Just to pay the rent." The song reflects a sense of despair and disappointment at the larger society.

Essay on Blues Leadbelly Told Alan Lomax, Assignment

The songs chosen for this assignment can be, by extension, related to the American society, starting from the premise of the American Dream and prosperity. All these songs reflect a feeling of disappointment and poverty in the society and the way in which fortune and wealth can influence the people around, from friends to family, to lovers. The overall impression of the society depicted is one of decay and materialistic.


Berry, C. (n.d.) "The Blues, Rock-and-Roll and Racism," available at

Blues for Peace Corporation. (2013) "Blues Songs Lyrics," available at

Chuck Berry, "The Blues, Rock-and-Roll and Racism," n.d., available at [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Blues Leadbelly Told Alan Lomax" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Blues Leadbelly Told Alan Lomax.  (2013, October 6).  Retrieved January 24, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Blues Leadbelly Told Alan Lomax."  6 October 2013.  Web.  24 January 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Blues Leadbelly Told Alan Lomax."  October 6, 2013.  Accessed January 24, 2021.