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Double meaning in the popular negro blues

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Abstract

After a long acquaintance with negroes and negro songs, the author feels that there is no doubt as to the existence of double meanings, chiefly of a sex nature, in the popular blues songs, and bases his contention upon research into negro vulgar expressions, and the origin and development of the blues. The double meanings found pertain either to the sex organs specifically, to the sex act, or to some other phase of sex life. These expressions are in everyday use among the common negro folk, and so find their way into the everyday songs of the negro adventurer. Some of them have made their ascent to the realm of decency, and are adopted and altered by song writers enough to be accepted. Many expressions, not being generally known, can be smuggled into songs and invested with passably respectable meanings. The opposition of negro educators and churchmen to the blues is an implicit recognition of the undercurrent of vulgarity running through these songs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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