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Bicentennial Blues

Artist:Gil Scott-Heron  Album:It's Your World  Writer:SCOTT HERON GIL  Composer:SCOTT HERON GIL 

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Some people think that America invented the blues And few people doubt that America is the home of the blues As the bluesicians have gone all over the world carrying the blues message And the world has snapped its fingers and tapped its feet right along with the blues folks But, the blues has always been totally American As American as apple pie As American as the blues As American as apple pie The question is why? Why should the blues be so at home here Well, America provided the atmosphere America provided the atmosphere for the blues and the blues was born The blues was born on the American wilderness The blues was born on the beaches where the slave ships docked Born on the slave man's auction block The blues was born and carried on the howling wind The blues grew up a slave The blues grew up as property The blues grew up in Nat Turner visions The blues grew up in Harriet Tubman courage The blues grew up in small town deprivation The blues grew up in big city isolation The blues grew up in the nightmares of the white man The blues grew up in the blues singing of Bessie and Billie and Ma The blues grew up in Satchmo's horn, on Duke's piano and Langston's poetry, on Robeson's baritone The point is That the blues has grown The blues is grown now, full grown And you can trace the evolution of the blues On a parallel line with the evolution of this country From Plymouth Rock to acid-rock From 13 states to Watergate The blues is grown But not the home The blues is grown But the country has not The blues remembers everything the country forgot It's a bicentennial year and the blues is celebrating a birthday And it's a bicentennial blues America has got the blues and it's a bicentennial edition The blues view might amuse you But make no mistake, it's a bicentennial year A year of hysterical importance A year of historical importance Ripped off like donated moments from the past 200 years ago this evening 200 years ago last evening And what about now? The blues is now The blues has grown up and the country has not The country has been ripped off Ripped off like the Indians Ripped off like jazz Ripped off like nature Ripped off like Christmas Man-handled by media overkill Goosed by aspiring vice presidents Violated by commercial corporations A bicentennial year The year the symbol transformed into the B-U-Y centennial Buy a car Buy a flag Buy a map Until the public in mass has been bludgeoned into bicentennial submission Or bicentennial suspicion I fall into the latter category It's a blues year And America has got the blues It's got the blues because of partial deification Of partial accomplishments Over partial periods of time Halfway justice Halfway liberty Halfway equality It's a half-ass year And we would be silly in all

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