Birth of the Blues

by Benny Carter

Bennett Lester Carter (August 8, 1907 – July 12, 2003) was an American jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter, composer, arranger, and bandleader. He was a major figure in jazz from the 1930s to the 1990s, and was recognized as such by other jazz musicians who called him King. In 1958, he pe…




Oh! they say some people long ago
Were searching for a diff'rent tune
One that they could croon 
As only they can

They only had the rhythm so
They started swaying to and fro
They didn't know just what they had
And that is how the blues really began

They heard the breeze in the trees
Singing weird melodies
And they made that 
The start of the blues

And from a jail came the wail
Of a down hearted frail
And they played that 
As part of the blues

From a whippoorwill out on a hill
They took a new note
Pushed it through a horn
'til it was born into a blue note

And then they nursed it, rehearsed it
And gave out the news
That the southland 
Gave birth to the blues!

Written by: B.G. DESYLVA, LEW BROWN, RAY HENDERSON

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc., RAY HENDERSON MUSIC CO., INC.

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