‘The Weary Blues’

Langston Hughes said his 1925 poem “The Weary Blues” was “about a working man who sang the blues all night and then went to bed and slept like a rock.” It also incorporated what Hughes said were the first blues verses he’d ever heard: “I got de weary blues/ And I can’t be satisfied./ I got de weary blues/ And can’t be satisfied./ I can’t be happy no mo’/ And I wish that I had died.” The reading posted above is by Allen Dwight Callahan, set to a performance by Cab Calloway.

Jazz great Charles Mingus was always trying out musical settings for poetry, so it’s hardly surprising that he wrote music for “The Weary Blues.” Below you’ll find the opening of a performance featuring D.C. area poet and performer Holly Bass. And yes, she certainly does things for that green dress.

2 thoughts on “‘The Weary Blues’

  1. […] ‘The Weary Blues’ « STEVENHARTSITE […]

  2. […] and music, usually in the form of settings for poetry, as with “The Chill of Death” or “The Weary Blues” by Langston Hughes. But for my money, his most perfectly realized fusion of words and jazz was the […]

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