“It’s too rough a place”

Philip Morgan

I had two uncles, two brothers, and my father did get killed in Chicago That’s why I don’t like living there; it’s too rough a place” That’s the late R.L. Burnside, showing one approach to storytelling. I do not know if it’s an ideal approach to storytelling, but it’s interesting because he summarizes in 26 words the action and feeling of a 532-words long story. Starting with this condensed, peak-level interest makes it kind of hard to not listen to the rest of the story. It makes the story hard to ignore. R.L. seems to have practiced telling the story enough that it comes out almost exactly the same way in very different contexts. In a recording studio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw1EAIif7xY In a yard somewhere, probably outside his house: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSRdQgidCHY&t=29m47s I think there’s something for us to learn there as we are communicating a point of view, or something about our services. Here again is the studio version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw1EAIif7xY. Listen and learn. :) And here are the lyrics, from Genius.com:

“I had two uncles, two brothers, and my father did get killed in Chicago That’s why I don’t like living there; it’s too rough a place” People, going up down the street shooting, killing peoples, which it done it everywhere but they been doing it there a long time you know, and that’s a sad thing Well uhh, my brother, he was a doctor, i think he been, i’m not for sure but i think he been selling, some dope to him and he, i reckon quit, and they killed him And my uncle, one of them they killed him, another guy killed him about his wife. he, with his wife, and about two years after, he killed him. he he, stayed with his lived with his wife And my other uncle, i don’t know the what reason he got killed, but i know he, got killed and my dad they killed him and robbed him, he, he got his, check you know his, and uhh, somebody, ganged up on him and stabbed him oh lord dang, twenty-five thirty times. and nobody never went to to jail for it cuz they never found out who it was Ahh, then i was, that was in uhh, uhh, fifties, yeah cuz i lived there in the forties, and my uhh, soon as i left there, 'bout uhh, eleven months after i left there, my father got killed, then about a week later, my both of my brothers got killed the same day. and then uhh, one of my uncles got killed about three months later, and it was about, six or eight months 'fore my other uncle got killed; but they all got killed in a year’s time… ...yeah, i’m glad i i made it out man Yeah both of my brothers got killed the same day But uhh, my uncle my daddy got killed, when he drawed some money back you know his, time, and somebody, he went out and get him a drink i imagine, the whiskey store not too far from his house. about, a block and a half and somebody killed him umm, between there and there before he got there, he was just at the, other side of the next house from where he lived but uhh and he killed him there, and took his money And one of my uncles they, the guy, killed him about his wife he caught him there with his wife, and he killed him. and i don’t know what happened to my other uncle but he got killed you know i don’t know just what happened Naw, no no done nobody ever went to jail, cuz they ain’t, don’t know who did nothing Well uhh, yeah, i share-cropped, down at senatobia, and then uhh, i moved down to, tunica, i stayed down there a, couple years at uhh, hollywood, and uhh, i came from there back to coldwater, oounce and stayed there, two years and went back to memphis, we stayed, two or three years and we came back, stayed here a year and went back to memphis and stayed a couple years, then we come back and we ain’t been back since

Keep building; keep taking risks y’all, -P