THE QUANTUM, RELATIVE, COSMIC BLUES ( © Words and Music by Paul F. Cowlan)

‘On the road’ through Asia in 1980 I carried a cheap little Chinese 1/8th-scale guitar which survived three months, eight countries and numerous adventures; including an encounter between a bus’s roof-rack and a low bridge in Sumatra. Since then it’s been on the shelf gathering dust, but when I was putting together the songs for this album I took it down, tuned it to open B and invited it to join Ljubo for a spot of double-tracking.

I heard the news. Times move fast.
They say the Blues is dead, it’s a thing of the past.
I hear them talking loud and clear,
but I know the Blues ain’t dead
‘cos I’ve got the Blues right here!
They’ve got their reasons but I don’t want to know.
If the Blues are dead how come they hurt me so?

I was walking the streets, trouble on my mind,
when I heard someone walking right behind.
I spun around but no-one could I see;
then I knew that is was the Blues
sneaking up on me.
That’s the way it takes me, everywhere I go.
If the Blues is dead I’ll be the first to know.

You can be anyone and you can go any place,
build yourself a rocket and ride around in space;
you might even think you’ve left your blues behind,
but the first place you land guess what you’ll find?
Any speed you travel, any galaxy you choose;
even walking on the moon you’ll soon be walking the Blues.

I spoke to the Devil. He wore a frown.
I said, “Won’t you tell me what is getting you down?”
He said, “Times is bad, as times could be.
Every time I turn around the Blues is after me.
I’m the Devil himself, but tell me what’s the use.
I keep stoking up the hellfires butI just can’t burn the Blues.”

I went down to the river, I fell down on my knees.
Cried out, “Angel of Mercy! Won’t you do something please?”
Took some time to answer, and this is what he said.
“Right now we’ve got the Blues boy! So you help us instead!”
Holy saints or sinners. Don’t matter which you choose.
I don’t make no difference. Everybody’s got the Blues.

They’ve got the Blues in heaven, and it’s just as bad in hell,
and you don’t need me to tell you we’ve got Blues on earth as well;
Blues up there on Venus, Blues out there on Mars,
Blues on every planet and Blues in all the stars.
So just keep your eyes on that rocky road ahead,

and don’t you let nobody tell you that the Blues is dead.