True Blues

I listen to KNON a lot. Partially, because I’m the President of the Board of Directors and mostly because I like the music we play (pledge drive coming up in May – get your online pledges in early!) In fact, I’m President because I like what we play.

So, when I was coming home from my check-up this morning, I had KNON on the radio. Gregg Smith’s Blues Review, to be specific. (Every Friday, nine until noon. Heeeey.)

We play a lot of blues, and the longer you listen, the more you realize pretty much all blues is about sex, unless someone just died in the song. I was listening to someone moaning about not riding in his girl’s automobile this morning and after a couple of verses, I realized “He’s not really talking about her car.” Well, duh.

I’m sitting at a stop light, and I had just had this realization, and I thought “Blues artists can make anything into a sexual euphemism.”

There’s a basic blues premise “I don’t want to be your ——–, baby.” where the blank turns out to be the song’s specific euphemism for some sexual organ. That’s when I heard “I don’t want to be your pastrami, baby” in my head (yes, I probably should see someone about that.)

Then, a flash. Who’s ever written a blues song about a deli?

I thought, “There would have to be a verse about pastrami and rye bread. What else? A pickle. How could a pickle sound dirty?”

I know you love dill pickles.
But don’t you grab my pickle spear.
My woman said that ain’t kosher,
You better not come ’round here.

That came to me almost as it was written. Same with the verse about pastrami. Other than not being able to find a rhyme for “rugelach” or “knish”, the song almost wrote itself. Based on the quality of the final work, it did write itself, because that way, I won’t get blamed for it.

Inspiration strikes in truly bizarre ways at truly random times.