Blues legacies

For this assignment I decided to choose Bessie Smith’s song After You’ve Gone. The lyrics describe her lover leaving her. She sings about loving her significant other day and night. She also says that once they leave and left her crying, they will soon enough feel the same pain as her. Most of the blues songs that I’ve listened to from the playlist have all had a common theme of love and/or pain.

I compared Bessie Smith’s After You’ve Gone with Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black. It is characterized as a “full embrace of classic rhythm and blues.” Even just one playback of the song instantly reminded me of the blues. Furthermore, the lyrics are pretty similar. Amy describes her lover leaving her, yet she still loves him. Both songs describe a lover leaving the woman behind regardless of her pain and sadness. Amy’s voice is very soul-y, for lack of a better term, which further adds to the bluesy vibes to this song. Although Winehouse probably wasn’t directly inspired by Bessie Smith, I believe she was influenced by this era of music when she composed her songs.


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