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I don’t have a lot to say about B B King but I’d like to draw your attention to a song I heard him sing on the Radio. Here are the lyrics:

Me and my woman keep falling out

Let me tell you what it was all about:

She wants to sell my monkey

[audience: sell my monkey]

She wants to sell my monkey

[sell my monkey]

She wants to sell mymonkey

But, that’ll never do.

It used to be hers but she gave it to me

Why she wanna sell im I just can’t see


I have to stay at home both day and night

Can’t let that woman out of my sight.


Then vamp on:

She wants to sell my monkey

But that’ll never do.

Followed by bitchin’ guitar solo. Also preceded by bitchin guitar solo.

I can’t even enumerate the reasons I love this song. But let me try. The main thing is that he takes this ridiculous song seriously. He sang it in that same grind-it-out style he does his serious numbers. He accompanied it with the same dance-hall bounce as the sadder numbers. Was he making fun of himself? Was he showing off that with his voice and his guitar and his band he can make even the most ridiculous lyrics into a good piece? I practically wet the seat of the car laughing when I heard this song come on the radio. Remember radios?

Anyway: See for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXhlr2vShfQ

I’m pretty sure that was the whole of that awesome song. The article I read in the NYTimes mentioned his sharecropper upbringing, his pained expressions, his ‘soaring’ guitar, his influence. But what about his sesame street? What about goofy BB King? Just because he’s dead doesn’t mean he can’t still make people laugh.