A talkin' blues song is a format used by many folk music singers. A song is entitled "Talkin' _____ Blues", e.g. "Talkin' Alien Abduction Blues" by Dan Bern. Or else the title drops the word "Blues", e.g., Talkin' Vietnam by Phil Ochs. The singer speaks the lyrics, which often are humorous, and are often social commentary, and are sometimes both.

A talkin' blues song follows the following chord progression: G, C, D, G, C, D, G, C, D, G (is one stanza). That is to say a talkin' blues song by the 60s era Phil Ochs has the same tune as one by the 90s era Dan Bern (I just checked and compared talkin' blues songs by the two). It's a neat tradition, sort of like practically every folk singer doing a version of Amazing Grace.

Some singer-songwriters, if they've written a few talkin' blues songs, add an extra layer of form, bringing the entire stylistic exercise to the level of a sonnet. For instance, every talkin' blues song by Dan Bern has a final stanza beginning with the line "Well my life's back to normal now, I do the things I always do". Hilarious in context, e.g.: "Well my life's back to normal now, I do the things I always do/ Except once a week I meet with 5 other people who've been abducted too!"

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.