Friday, March 29, 2013

Country Club #4: Bob Wills teaches political economy

"Take Me Back to Tulsa" is a Western Swing classic, but it also has one of the most succinct lessons in political economy. In 1940, Bob Wills and vocalist Tommy Duncan put lyrics to a Wills fiddle tune.

Aocording to wikipedia

The song is a series of unrelated, mostly nonsense, rhyming couplets, i.e.: Little bee sucks the blossom, big bee gets the honey. Darkie picks the cotton, white man gets the money. Modern covers of the song, in order to avoid racial offense, tend to replace above line with: Poor boy picks the cotton, Rich man gets the money.
I've also heard "black man picks the cotton, white man gets the money."
Wills and Duncan weren't Woody Guthrie writing political songs. Wills said the lyrics were just nonsense lyrics he had learned as a boy. So, it might be said that Take Me Back to Tulsa reflects an unconscious class consciousness' Lots of country songs do.The left should listen.

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