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4.0 von 5 Sternen The Joy of Drowning, 28. Mai 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Essential Collection (Audio CD)
Ray Charles: I'm going down to the river.

This really is joyful and painful at the same time. Not at all costs because of the lyrics. More because of the bluesy melodies, the sharp nearly cutting horn section playing, and the way Ray Charles puts his emotions into his singing. I like my body slowly to move to the beat and I like soaking in the essence of the beautiful pain.

The singer talks about going down to the river and drowning himself. Why? Because his baby is loving someone else. He's tired of this misery, And asks the lord for mercy. He says goodbye to his baby, bye bye, it is to late to cry. He is going down to the river and drown himself.

Well as we all know, he didn't. This is quite an old recording, so Mr. Charles who died in 2004, had probably 40 more years of recording and bringing his fantastic music to us. Actually this was one of the very few (less than 10) records that could be found in the record 'collection' of my parents when I was a little child. Possibly just because 'Charles' was the middle name of my father. Charles is my middle name too.

I always love this record. And I did love the one or two early Beatles Records, which where also in that collection. And I still hate My Fair Lady, be it the German or the English Version. The collection was completed by a Hans Albers Record, including 'Mein Freund der Gorilla, der hat eine Villa im Zoo'.

Back to the drowning experience, which is a quite often used method of committing suicide, especially if you live close to a big river or the sea. In case you live in the north or in higher mountain areas, freezing to death could also be considered. In both cases alcohol might be a helpful supporting resource.

But blues singers in generally don't drown themselves; they prefer to sing about drowning. The piece has a 4 bar intro with piano only, then the singer comes in with six verses of 8 bar length. He is supported by a big band arrangement and, as mentioned above, the arrangement supports the painful aspects of the songs lyrical and emotional content. It's an old recording and I cannot hear exactly what bass and drums are doing but I think they lay out a four on the floor foundation. There are background singers too, giving the impression of the waving bye bye, while drifting on the river.

Have fun, enjoy the pain!
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