Song of the Day: Me and the Devil by Soap&Skin (Robert Johnson cover)

Sofismi by Loputyn

This song is performed by Soap&Skin and appears on the single Sugarbread (2013)

Lyrics:

Early this morning
When you knocked upon my door
Early this morning
When you knocked upon my door
And I said hello Satan
I believe it’s time to go

Me and the Devil
Was walkin’ side by side
Me and the Devil
Was walking side by side

I’m gonna see my man
‘Til I get satisfied
I don’t see why
That he would dog me ’round
I don’t see why
People dog me ’round
It must be that old evil spirit
So deep down in the ground

You may bury my body
Down by the highway side
You may bury my body
Down by the highway side

So my old evil spirit
Can get a Greyhound bus and ride
So my old evil spirit
Can get a Greyhound bus and ride

……

“Me and the Devil Blues” is a blues song by Robert Johnson. It tells the story of the singer’s waking up one morning to the devil knocking on the door, telling him that “it’s time to go”. This song has been covered by Peter Green Splinter Group, Cowboy Junkies, Eric Clapton, Soap&Skin, Widespread Panic, Gil Scott-Heron and The Doors among others.

According to legend, as a young man living on a plantation in rural Mississippi, Robert Johnson was branded with a burning desire to become a great blues musician. He was “instructed” to take his guitar to a crossroad near Dockery Plantation at midnight. There he was met by a large black man (the Devil) who took the guitar and tuned it. The “Devil” played a few songs and then returned the guitar to Johnson, giving him mastery of the instrument. This was in effect, a deal with the Devil mirroring the legend of Faust. In exchange for his soul, Robert Johnson was able to create the blues for which he became famous.

An important aspect of Johnson’s singing was his use of microtonality. These subtle inflections of pitch help explain why his singing conveys such powerful emotion. Eric Clapton described Johnson’s music as “the most powerful cry that I think you can find in the human voice.” In two takes of “Me and the Devil Blues” he shows a high degree of precision in the complex vocal delivery of the last verse: “The range of tone he can pack into a few lines is astonishing.” The song’s “hip humor and sophistication” is often overlooked. “[G]enerations of blues writers in search of wild Delta primitivism,” writes Wald, have been inclined to overlook or undervalue aspects that show Johnson as a polished professional performer.

Soap&Skin

Also known as Anja Franziska Plaschg
Born 5 April 1990 (age 24)
Origin Austria
Genres Experimental, neoclassical dark wave, electronica, dark ambient,sadcore
Years active 2006-present
Labels Couch Records
PIAS Recordings
Shitkatapult
SOLFO Music
Website soapandskin.com Facebook

image by Loputyn

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