23.5.06

hoo dat?

In Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West he's called the Judge and at the end of the book, after he has murdered the Kid in an outhouse jakes, it is written: His feet are light and nimble. He never sleeps. He says that he will never die. He dances in light and in shadow and he is a great favourite. He never sleeps, the judge. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never die.

In Tom Waits' Black Wings he has no name, only attributes and a history: He once killed a man with a guitar string / He's been seen at the table with kings / He once saved a baby from drownding / There are those who say beneath his coat there are wings ... One look in his eyes / Everyone denies / Ever having met him ...

Same guy turns up in Talking Heads' Swamp: How many people do you think I am / Pretend I am somebody else / You can pretend I'm an old millionaire / A millionaire washing his hands / Rattle them bones, dreams that stick out / A medical chart on the wall / Soft violins, hands touch your throat / Everyone wants to explode ...

He's in a Dylan song too: Somebody seen him hanging around / At the old dance hall on the outskirts of town / He looked into her eyes when she stopped to ask / If he wanted to dance, he had a face like a mask / Somebody said from the Bible he'd quote / There was dust on the man / In the long black coat.

I walked forty seven miles of barbed wire, Bo Diddley sang. I use a cobra snake for a necktie / Got a brand new house by the roadside / Made out of rattlesnake hide / Got a brand new chimney set on top / Made out of a human skull / Now come on Baby take a walk with me / And tell me who do you love?

Who is that man?

5 comments:

Bernardus Sylvestris said...

the mojo?

Martin Edmond said...

yeah ... or Joe Moe

Okir said...

Baron Samedi, also known as Legba or Ghede, God of the crossroads, god of the dead...

Great line that: "walked 47 miles of barbed wire."

Okir said...

I have no doubt that after the debacle of Hurricane Katrina, the good Baron, along with Marie Laveau, were invoked to affect the fortunes of the current Republican administration...

Martin Edmond said...

dat's him, Jean. think the Dylan song was written in New Orleans, while he was down there with Daniel Lanois recording Oh Mercy. he talks a bit about it in Chronicles.