Briefly describe how classic blues lyrics were typically constructed and elaborate on the type of themes that they commonly explored by referencing at least one specific example from EACH of (1) and (2) above [NOTE: please provide author and page # for each example]. Do you think blues lyrics, and song lyrics more generally, should be considered poetry? Were ideas about originality and borrowing different back then? Can you give an example of a contemporary song that you find to be particularly poetic and/or particularly inflected by a blues ethos?
Write your own blues song lyrics comprising at least 3 stanzas (or choruses) of the standard 12-bar AAB form. Each stanza should be 3 lines of text in the AAB format. IOW, the first line of text (A) is repeated with some subtle variation (the 2nd A), and then followed by a response (B), which should rhyme its final word with the final word of the A sections. Each of the 3 stanzas should explore a different but related theme. In total, you are composing a minimum of 9 lines of text (i.e., 3 stanzas with 3 lines each). Feel free to continue if your song has more to say! Your song should offer either socio-political commentary or an evocative and emotional telling of a specific event in your life presented in a way that can resonate more generally. In constructing your lyrics, examine carefully the examples provided in (1) and (2) and use poetic devices (in addition to the basic rhyme scheme) such as repetition, double or coded meaning, allusion, personification, etc. In addition to presenting your lyrics, briefly explain why you constructed your lyrics the way that you did.
record yourself singing your blues lyrics (or rhythmically reciting them, if you prefer) to one of the musical accompaniment tracks provided. Try experimenting with different styles until you find one that works for you. You will be graded on your effort and not on the quality of the final result.
Have fun! You are also welcome to create your own musical accompaniment if you wish.
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