Played by the Blues

Bethany Howell dancing in Clarksdale in the rain with her umbrella.

Bethany Howell dancing in Clarksdale in the rain with her umbrella.

By Poor William

(Clarksdale, Mississippi) VIDEO IN POST

NOTE TO READER: Pontificus Minimus started writing this article as a result of being severely affected by his yearly holiday case of the blues. It began as more of a “Poor is me, but shame on me” lament written by a lad seasoned in depression and in guilt as a result of depression, which further foments more depression, ad finitum…

Poor William, who also gets played by the blues like Pontificus, got wind of this and felt compelled to assist his dear brother by helping him turn his lament into something holding hope and humor just a little tighter and higher.

Poor William, who can croon not a lick, has always loved some felicity imbuing nonsensical songs such as “Raindrops Keep falling on My Head.” He finds cute, innocent ditties possessing the ability to elevate what passes for serotonin in his brain.

Therefore, he shared the following Burt Bacharach lyrics with his forlorn sibling.

Raindrops keep falling on my head
And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed
Nothin’ seems to fit
Those raindrops are falling on my head, they keep falling

So I just did me some talkin’ to the sun
And I said I didn’t like the way he got things done
Sleepin’ on the job
Those raindrops are falling on my head they keep falling

But there’s one thing I know
The blues he sends to meet me won’t defeat me
It won’t be long till happiness steps up to greet me

Raindrops keep falling on my head
But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turnin’ red
Crying’s not for me
Cause I’m never gonna stop the rain by complainin’
Because I’m free
Nothing’s worrying me.


Pontificus might lean a bit more toward a literal interpretation of scripture as regards the root of the blues, but Poor William believes that BJ Thomas fellow who sang the line about freedom helping him not worry about the small stuff is the one who “gets it.”

Even Pontificus would agree with Poor William’s scripture-related belief that “this too shall pass.” Tough times may come and go, often staying longer than necessary–in our opinion–but most things “do pass,” and brighter days are often just around the corner.

The blues, cradled right here in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, IS a form of music; the blues ARE the monkey, which climbs up on Poor William’s back when stuff happens seemingly beyond his control–hard luck and trouble jumping on top of the usual seasonal affectations.

Poor William hates when the blues sent to meet him near about defeat him; his house is not hard to find during December the latter.

Even a stalwart, wanna-be-Judeo-Christian philosophe like Pontificus Minumus deals with seasonal depression. Christmas and all it entails can be particularly hard on those given to the blues. The Christmas holidays are usually centered on family or the holes left by family members departed or relocated.

Christmas celebrates the birth of the Messiah–the Chosen One in the Christian faith–God incarnate, who came to Earth to live a spotless life.

This very child, God Himself actually, born in extremely humble circumstances, came to Earth that we might have joy and peace and have it more abundantly than the greatest daydreamer could imagine.

Why then do people of faith often have the blues, give in to the blues, or even acknowledge the blues? Poor William will not tritely answer this rhetorical question smugly or in any grand depth. Sometimes only God knows!

Poor William sees the blues as more of a mind set, way of life, and something he just has to deal with at times.

Pontificus sees the blues as more of a personal weakness, adhering to the belief he simply gave in to his selfish nature and was not appropriately thankful for all his many blessings.

While depression and what constitutes the blues can be a sign of people focusing too much on their own predicaments, it is not healthy for them to hear from loved ones and armchair theologians that they just need to be thankful.

While it is true many blues sufferers may need to take stock and realize how blessed they are indeed, it is rare to find them miraculously throwing their arms around the neck of one who tells them to be thankful and to just deal with it.

The Apostle Paul said in the book of Romans, “The goodness of God leads men to repentance.” It is not the harsh rebuke that produces the sweetest fruit. God’s goodness makes us want to be better people and of more use to others.

In the same manner, folks suffering depression usually know something is not right with them and they surely do not enjoy being consumed by the ills before them. While it is a healthy thing for them to focus on the needs of others when depressed, it is difficult to do when they are not mentally healthy themselves.

The Beatles shared a bit of truth back in the day, “All we need is love…”

It is in loving that we are loved and in being loved that we find ourselves capable of extending love to others.

So, the next time somebody you love or serendipitously run in to has the blues, just love on ‘em and give them some room, but just not too much room! Instead of talking to the sun, maybe try talking to the Son–he is but a breath away.

Merry Day of the Lord. PW and PM

Comments anyone???!!!


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  1. If that doesn’t work try typing “ding fries are done” in a Google search. And watch the YouTube video. Make sure to turn the sound up too. That is sure to cure a case of the blues for us less philosophical troglodytes.

  2. Ah, but LD, I dare say we shan’t find anyone more philosophical than LD! Now, troglodyte, you may be right, but all men should aspire to be a trog! 🙂

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