Tom Rushen Blues by Charlie Patton

Examine the lyrics of Charlie Patton’s “Tom Rushen Blues” and craft your own response song using the AAB lyrical structure typical of the twelve-bar blues. You could choose to retell the story from the perspective of one of the other characters or objects referred to in the “Tom Rushen Blues.” You could write a “sequel” to the story, or you could engage the subject matter in another creative way. In your lyrics, use at least one “coded reference” that would be understood by members of your learning community but not necessarily by the general public. You may choose to make reference to a particular event of importance to you, a place that’s important to you, use a person’s nickname, or employ some other technique.

Remember, a coded reference is one that is referred to, and only those “in the know” would know what you’re talking about. Avoid giving away your “secret reference” by explicitly stating it. Consider the following hypothetical lyric:

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“No clue what time it is, but it feels like 4:20.”

This would be meaningless to straight-laced older people. But those familiar with smoking pot would immediately recognize its meaning — THAT is a coded reference. For more information on Tom Rushen Blues by Charlie Patton check out :

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