A couple of years ago I was working for the city council, and as I was sitting on the bus going home from work one day I decided that now was the time to write a blues song. I’m not going to pretend to compare working in a mediocre job and being a bit depressed to several centuries of African-American oppression, but something about working for the man really made me feel like singing the blues. It’s superficially about a woman that’s just out of the singers reach, but someone once told me that when it comes to the blues, it’s about what isn’t said just as much as it’s about what is. I would describe the song as a parable in many ways.
The grass is green
Green is the grass, blue is the sky,
I got a feeling and I don’t know why;
I’m stuck in the blues for you girl,
I’m always alone.
But girl I need you
Just like a dog needs a bone.
A dog needs a bone like rock needs roll
And like Mr Johnson, I sold my soul
I sold it for you girl,
But you keep letting me down.
And the more I try to please you,
The more I look like a clown
Green is the grass on the other side
I can’t cross over – I’m wrapped up in real life
I don’t know, don’t know
What I’m waiting for
When all of my dreams could be
Waiting for me through that door.
I’m clowning around all up and down;
Behind this make-up I’m hiding a frown
Because I’m thinking about you girl,
I’m picturing the scene.
But I can’t cross on over
To where the grass is green.