The Obama Backlash Blues

What happens to the blues now?
Nina Simone’s Backlash Blues suddenly made a lot less sense today than it did last week. Something was missing, apart from George Bush. Obviously, the blues is more than just politics, but a certain kind of angry blues is now a bit more lavender. For the time being, at least.
Being the incredible, flexible musical form it is, it will adapt, and it is far too deeply interfused with existing popular culture to ever disappear. But surely the blues can only be sung by the underdog – not the winner. So as long as there are underdogs, someone will sing the blues.

‘Ain’t nobody perfect, ‘cos ain’t nobody free.’

And if Obama turns out to be only the first black president, and no more, the blues will definitely have to be unleashed again. He wasn’t elected to fight better wars, and make more billionaires, but to make more people free. Truly free, without fear of the same gangster world which has just gone into meltdown, forging Barack Obama’s victory in the process.

‘Mr Backlash, who do you think I am?
You raise my taxes, freeze my wages
And send my sons to Afghanistan.
You give me second class houses – and second class schools
Do you think that all working folk are just second class fools?
Mr Backlash, I’m gonna leave you with the backlash blues.’

You’re the one who’ll have the blues
Not me.
Just wait and see.

Maybe Obama should write himself a blues.

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