Sunday 17 May 2015

Blues for BBK – an Elegy for B.B. King

“The thrill is gone” sings the reprise

I wipe the tears from my eyes.

“The Thrill is gone” is all the airways play

Hallelujah on this his judgement day.

Is it true the main man’s gone?

His music lingers long.


Raised sharecropping cotton in the American South

Discrimination and the Klan handing its justice out

a 15 dollar guitar nestling sweetly in your hand

“3 O’clock blues” sounding strong across the land

You hit the road in ’52

Nothing else for you to do.


The Beale Street Blues Boy and his bands

played a year of one night stands

Playing the juke joints, clubs and bars

You and Lucille were the stars

Heading t’ward the legend you became

“King of the Blues” in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Don’t fight over women. Don’t run into a fire.

Sing praises to the Lord in a gospel choir.

Foot stomping blues made me sway,

broken heart laments took my breath away.

Soulful 12 bar poems, finger-plucked in 4-4 time,

endorsing my heart strings to resonate in rhyme


With that deep gruff vibrato’s cadence

Full of pain and perseverance

Signature songs of lust and loss

overcame at such a cost

rhythmic rifts of grief and pains

The Man is gone, but the thrill remains.


© Sheila Ash 17th May 2015

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