Click here to download a PDF of this lesson. Overview This lesson focuses on how the blues both operates as poetry and informs the poetry of many prominent African American poets. Students consider the poetic devices and recurring themes in blues lyrics and the significance of the poetry of the blues as part of the African American oral tradition. Learning Objectives By completing this lesson, the student will: Consider songs as poetry Identify poetic devices used in blues songs and African American poetry Consider prominent themes in blues lyrics and how these themes influenced African American poets Standards Addresses the following themes in the National Curriculum Standards for English Language Arts : Primary: 6, 9 Secondary: 2, 3, 8. Introductory Exercise As a way to reinforce student understanding of poetic devices, this exercise considers the use of these devices in song lyrics, from both popular music and the blues. Start by asking students to bring in the lyrics to one of their favorite songs reminding them, of course, of the importance of selecting a song appropriate for classroom study.
Writing Workshop Will Combine Lyrics and Landscapes
Writing Workshop Will Combine Lyrics and Landscapes | WNIJ and WNIU
Sign In Register. Artist: Blind Willie Mctell. Album: The Early Years I wrote you a letter, mama Put it in your front yard I wrote you a letter Put it in your front yard I would love to come and see you But your good man's got me barred You wrote me a letter To come back the Newport noon You wrote me a letter, mama Come back the Newport noon To leave the town And don't spread the news I wrote you a letter, mama Sent you a telegram I wrote you a letter, mama Sent you a telegram Not to meet me in Memphis But meet me in Birmingham Um, hear me weep and moan Um, hear me weep and moan Don't you hear my pleading? Hear me grieve and groan If I could get me one more drink of booze If I could get me one more drink of booze I guess it would ease these ol' writin' paper blues I caught a freight train special My mama caught a pass'ger behind Caught a freight train special My mama caught a pass'ger behind Said you can't quit me papa There ain't no need in tryin'. Note: When you embed the widget in your site, it will match your site's styles CSS.
Many students will be totally unfamiliar with the blues tradition and will therefore benefit greatly from the playing of blues recordings in class in conjunction with the selections from blues lyrics printed in the text. In fact, playing these blues selections in class will help introduce the important point that the blues is an oral, not a written, tradition. Asking the students to write down what they hear on the recordings played brings up not only the problems that scholars have deciphering texts but also the issue of how one should render an oral production on the printed page. Students should be encouraged to respond to the voices of the lyrics. Are they voices of resignation and defeat, of hope and transcendence, of strength and pride, or of some mixture of all of these?
Last Updated: December 28, References. This article was co-authored by Tanisha Hall. There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.