“DEATH LETTER” is the blues song as far as I am concerned. This song has the blues from which most other blues songs come from. With “death letter,” Son House leaves absolutely no doubt that blues music is about sadness and tragedy turned into works of art. There is blues as entertainment and then there is the blues of Son House.

Based on his 1965 recording sessions in New York city (when he was quite full of days—some say he was 63 years old while others place him in his 80s), I have the impression that Son House had many versions of “death letter.” Evidently, each version of the song has different lyrics. I took it upon myself to decide which song had the best lyrics and I wrote the words out in the manner of poet. I took some liberties in this “translation” in my use of line breaks, punctuation, the use of the word mourning, etc.

1999 had two funerals for me. One service for a close friend of mine and another for my grandfather, the father of my mother. It was somewhat comforting to know that Son House has gone very deep down inside this kind of sorrow. It was good to know that such a great creative human presence has gone before me to make a place for my feelings.


Based on the song “Death Letter” by . . . . . . . Son House
HTML/CSS Programming by . . . . . . . Bryan Wilhite