Heart Got Happy, Soul Got Glad


I’ve never really subscribed to the view that the blues makes you unhappy. It often expresses unhappiness of course but it’s purpose then is to get the blues out – so it makes you feel better. But there are also plenty of blues songs that are in themselves happy or optimistic or celebratory and here are some by a wide range of blues singers about a variety of topics – if you’re feeling down, try them out (my title is from Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Bring It On Home”).

Incidentally what I love more than anything about the blues is not sadness but its strangeness. That’s why Robert Johnson is so remarkable (“I woke up this morning, all my shrimp was dead and gone …), it has nothing to do with my day-to-day world. It’s also why I’ve got a limited interest in recent British blues-rock which isn’t strange at all – merely predictable

Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby – Jimmy Reed

All Your Love – Otis Rush/Mayall & Clapton

Baby I Love You – Little Milton

Baker Shop Boogie – Willie Nix

Barbecue Bust – Mississippi Jook Band

Beautician Blues – BB King

Best of Friends – Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee

Blues Never Die – Otis Spann

Boogie Chillun – John Lee Hooker

Bring It On Home – Sonny Boy Williamson

Cakewalk into Town – Taj Mahal

Chicken and the Hawk – Joe Turner

Come Love – Jimmy Vaughan

Diddie Wah Diddie – Blind Blake

Down the Road Apiece – Amos Milburn

Everything’s Gonna Be Alright – Little Walter

Fine Little Mama – Elmore James

Found Love – Jimmy Reed

Gimmee a Pigfoot – Bessie Smith

Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy Waters

I Ain’t Gonna Be Worried No More – Sleepy John Estes

I Feel So Good – Big Bill Broonzy

I Found a True Love – Buddy Guy

I Got Love if You Want It – Slim Harpo

Steady Rollin’ man – Robert Johnson

Just to be With You – Muddy Waters

Man for every day of the Week – Sippie Wallace

Personal Manager – Albert King

Praise God I’m Satisfied – Blind Willie Johnson

Seventh Son – Willie Mabon

Sloppy Drunk Blues – Jimmy Rogers

Take a Walk With Me – Robert Jnr Lockwood

Truckin’ My Blues Away – Blind Boy Fuller

Wang Dang Doodle – Howlin’ Wolf

Wine, Women, Whiskey – Papa Lightfoot


Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

8 thoughts on “Heart Got Happy, Soul Got Glad

  1. Jim Jackson’s I Heard The Voice of a Porkchop” – oh yeah- weird or what?!?

    • True story – I first bought this track along with his famous Kansas City on an EP in Chesterfield market in 1965. In RP&G we used to do a track by Jim Jackson “I’m Gonna Build a Graveyard of My Own”. He’s surely strange with that lovely deep voice.

      • I rember it well, Dave! One of my favourite RPG songs.
        I was recently listening to a bootleg recording of Ry Cooder and David Lindley that I recorded at Hammersmith Odeon in July 1990 – they sang “I’m gonna build a CEMETARY of my Own”. It was interesting how inserting one extra sylllable into a songline makes it so different!

  2. Not sure if this is the blues or what – but Peter Stampfel was certainly a blues singer when he was in The Holy Modal Rounders

  3. Sweet Emma Barrett- “Ain’t Gonna Give You None Of My Jellyroll” – looking at her, that’s quite a relief!!!!!1

  4. “What’s That Smells Like Fish?” asks Blind Boy Fuller. Quite….

  5. But if you REALLY want weird – a good song for twelfth night from the great Joesph Spence – who never actually ever let not knowing the words stop him from tackling any song he wanted to sing!!!!

  6. This one doesn’t make you feel blue ……………………. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak51_xIQuwY

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