Guidelines for Singing the Blues

  1. Most blues begin "woke up this morning."
  2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line. "I got a good woman - with the meanest dog in town."
  3. 3. Blues are simple. After you have the first line, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes - sort of: "Got a good woman with the meanest dog in town. He got teeth like Margaret Thatcher and he weigh 500 pound."
  4. The blues are not about limitless choice.
  5. Blues cars are Chevies and Cadillacs. Other acceptable blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.
  6. Teenagers can't sing the blues. Adults sing the blues. Blues adulthood means old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.
  7. You can have the blues in New York City, but not in Brooklyn or Queens. Hard times in Vermont or North Dakota are just a recession. Chicago, St Louis, and Kansas City are still the best places to have the blues.
  8. The following colors do not belong in the blues:
    1. Violet
    2. Beige
    3. Mauve
    4. Puce

  9. You can't have the blues in an office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong.

    Good places for the blues:

    1. The Highway
    2. The Jailhouse
    3. The Empty Bed

    Bad places:

    1. Ashrams
    2. Gallery Openings
    3. Weekends In The Hamptons
    4. Wine-tastings in Napa
    5. The Santa Fe Opera

  10. No one will believe it's the blues if you wear a suit, unless you happen to be an old black man.
  11. Do you have a right to sing the blues?

    Yes, if:

    1. Your first name is a southern state - like Georgia
    2. You're blind
    3. You shot a man in Memphis
    4. You can't be satisfied

    No, if:

    1. You were once blind but now can see.
    2. You're deaf.
    3. You have a trust fund or 401K.

  12. Neither Julio Iglesias nor Barbra Streisand may sing the blues.
  13. If you ask for water and baby gives you gasoline, it's the blues.

    Other blues beverages are:

    1. Cheap Wine
    2. Whiskey
    3. Muddy Water

    Blues beverages are NOT:

    1. Any mixed drink
    2. Any kosher wine for Passover
    3. Yoo Hoo (all flavors)
    4. Perrier

  14. If it occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is a blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse, or being denied treatment in a hospital emergency room. It is not a blues death if you die during rhinoplasty, a lipo-suction treatment, or while receiving dental implants.
  15. Some blues names for women:
    1. Sadie
    2. Big Mama
    3. Bessie

  16. Some blues names for men:
    1. Joe
    2. Willie
    3. Little Willie
    4. Lightning


    1. Anyone with the name of physical infirmity (Old blind Joe, Gimpy Jackson etc)
    2. Anyone with last name of a president (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)
    (Persons with names like Sequoia or Sierra will not be permitted to sing the blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.)