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Author: Subject: What is "Leave My Blues At Home" all about?

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  posted on 9/15/2003 at 07:04 PM
My first Forum thread ever, folks. Here goes.

A friend of mine is studying to be a minister at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary here in Louisville. He belongs to a group that meets once a week and discusses different spiritual matters over coffee. Each week, on a rotating basis, one member of the group brings a topic to the table, speaks about it for a few minutes, and then they all kick it around.

Now, Presbyterians are one of the more liberal and pragmatic denominations of Christianity. To put it another way, they are a denomination that generally shys away (in my experience, at least) from fundamentalism and Bible thumping. One result of this philosophy is that Satan and Hell are, in general, not mentioned or discussed very much. Again, this has been my experience as a lifelong Presbyterian myself.

So my friend Justin was telling me that he was going to shake things up a bit and start a "thread," if you will, about Satan at the group's next roundtable. When I asked why, he said, "Because I feel like Satan has been riding my ass a lot lately."

To which I responded, without missing a beat, "Satan on your back and he don't care, where you come from or where you're going."

So of course he wanted to know what that line was from, and I told him it was an Allman Brothers song, and he asked if he could hear it. The next day I brought it to work, and he played it in his car during his lunch break. When he came back, he said that he really liked the song, and asked if he could play it for his next group meeting as an impetus for discussion about Satan in our daily lives. Naturally, I said that would be fine.

Then he asked, "What do you think the song means?"

My response was that I had always taken the lyrics to be a metaphor for kicking drug addiction, but now I wasn't so sure. He asked if the person who wrote it and sang it (bear in mind he has NO clue who Gregg is) is a spiritual man, and I said that was certainly an interesting question to ponder.

So, all of this has been a long-winded (but necessary, I hope y'all will agree) way of asking for input about what exactly Gregg is singing about in "Leave My Blues At Home."

I decided to do this here because I know that spiritual matters can be a touchy area, and I certainly didn't want to start any contentious exchanges over on the Guest Book. Please don't take this post as any sort of forwarding of a religious agenda on my part, 'cause it absolutely isn't. I promise. Just curious to see what some of you guys might have to say on this subject.

Thanks.

[Edited on 9/16/2003 by GreatScott]

 

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  posted on 9/15/2003 at 07:17 PM
Hmm...Dreams is about tripping on psilocybin.
But that doesn't really answer your question.

I think leave my blues at home is about getting out and enjoying life instead of just sitting around and letting life pass you by, or changing your routine habits so you don't give into temptation of some sort...

I was raised a Presbyterian too.
My church in my hometown used to be very liberal
now it's ALL about being SAVED.

 

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  posted on 9/15/2003 at 07:34 PM
This is all assuming Gregg hasn't explained the song to be about something totally different in some interview I haven't read:

I'm not sure Leave My Blues at Home (or Dreams, or most of Gregg's other songs) are about anything beyond what they appear to be: sometimes, life gets to be just too much, and right now I'm gonna go out, forget about it for a while, and have some fun.

The lyrics are mostly a list of the speaker's grievances and hassles and things, but he keeps reminding himself that he's got to put it behind him to keep himself sane. The key line for me is "before I get myself all down, I'll jump up and kick the door down."

[Edited on 9/16/2003 by Marley]

 

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  posted on 9/15/2003 at 07:39 PM
As for Gregg - if you're curious, Scott, you can check his Forum, because there's a thread about his spirituality in there. I maintain what I said in there: he's said in several interviews that he's a more spiritual guy since kicking his various habits, but not a religious one.

 

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  posted on 9/15/2003 at 07:44 PM
I don't have an answer for you that would be any different than the ones already mentioned....I just wanted to say welcome to our little corner of the web, GreatScott.....you need to come by here more often

 

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  posted on 9/15/2003 at 08:30 PM
quote:
I just wanted to say welcome to our little corner of the web, GreatScott.....you need to come by here more often



What Razor Guy said!

 

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  posted on 9/15/2003 at 08:48 PM

What she said, Great Scott! The forum is fun -- there's more to life than the Guest Book.

 

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  posted on 9/15/2003 at 09:25 PM
Or the listserv. Which I don't give a #$%^ about either.

 

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  posted on 9/15/2003 at 09:40 PM
Welcome greatScott.
I enjoyed chatting with you and the others that were in the chat last night.
What's the guestbook?
I was once a member of the listserv but I stopped my subscription.

 

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  posted on 9/16/2003 at 05:09 AM
First of all, thanks for the nice greetings. I'll definitely be in the neighborhood a little more often from now on. Much obliged!

Yeah, we definitely have a tendency to read more into song lyrics than is actually there. I read some fun stuff recently about different theories of the meaning of "Hotel California." If you're so inclined, check it out under the music section at snopes.com.

Anyway, what got me thinkin' about the drug addiction angle on "Leave My Blues At Home" were two lines. The first is, "If you ride you pay the fare." Which I took to mean, if you choose to hit the hard stuff, be prepared to suffer the consequences.

The other is, "I can't stay and I can't run." I remember reading an interview with Stevie Ray Vaughan once after he had cleaned up, and he was talking about his dark days of addiction, and how he couldn't get sober, but he couldn't go on living the way that he was. In short, he was trapped by the life he was living.

Thanks for the tip about Gregg's Forum, Marley. I'll check it out.

 

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  posted on 9/16/2003 at 05:42 AM
GreatScott - I can definitely see where you're coming from, re those specific lyrics.

I think we need to be careful with drug references in some of Gregg's early songs, though - Don't keep Me Wonderin' has "you were caught in the silver spoon, I pulled you out in time"; a fine sentiment but, if much of what we hear from that time is true, the boys weren't practicing what they preached in '70/'71!

I hasten to add that when Gregg sings those lines nowadays, they have a new force of authority; listen also to other pre- and post- "clean-up" songs on similar subject matter - Change My Way Of Living, The High Cost Of Low Living, All Night Train, End Of The Line etc.

He sings it like he means it (for which we're all grateful)

 
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  posted on 9/16/2003 at 08:32 AM
I would suggest that Leave My Blues At Home is basically talking about letting go. Bad stuff happens, things don't always go the way we want, but don't dwell on it. Move forward and leave the blues behind you.
 
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  posted on 9/16/2003 at 12:41 PM
quote:
Hmm...Dreams is about tripping on psilocybin.
But that doesn't really answer your question.

I think leave my blues at home is about getting out and enjoying life instead of just sitting around and letting life pass you by, or changing your routine habits so you don't give into temptation of some sort...

I was raised a Presbyterian too.
My church in my hometown used to be very liberal
now it's ALL about being SAVED.


newt, your old church probably switced to Presbyterian Curch Of America (PCA); the old Presbyterian Church (USA) is still a very forward thinking, prgoressive denomination that ordains women and preaches that Christ came to save all sinners, not just those who the "righteous" deem appropriate.
"I've laughed with the sinners
and cried with the saints
The sinners are much more fun
only the good die young"- B Joel

 

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  posted on 9/16/2003 at 05:04 PM
quote:
I think we need to be careful with drug references in some of Gregg's early songs, though - Don't keep Me Wonderin' has "you were caught in the silver spoon, I pulled you out in time"; a fine sentiment but, if much of what we hear from that time is true, the boys weren't practicing what they preached in '70/'71!

They sure weren't. There's also the other meaning of "silver spoon," though, as a symbol of being born rich and never having to do anything for yourself. Like Gregg saved this woman from being lost in the wrong scene. I suppose either one could make sense.

 

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  posted on 9/16/2003 at 06:31 PM
quote:
quote:
Hmm...Dreams is about tripping on psilocybin.
But that doesn't really answer your question.

I think leave my blues at home is about getting out and enjoying life instead of just sitting around and letting life pass you by, or changing your routine habits so you don't give into temptation of some sort...

I was raised a Presbyterian too.
My church in my hometown used to be very liberal
now it's ALL about being SAVED.


newt, your old church probably switced to Presbyterian Curch Of America (PCA); the old Presbyterian Church (USA) is still a very forward thinking, prgoressive denomination that ordains women and preaches that Christ came to save all sinners, not just those who the "righteous" deem appropriate.
"I've laughed with the sinners
and cried with the saints
The sinners are much more fun
only the good die young"- B Joel


That's weird, I remember my church had an ordained woman pastor and wasn't about being saved; but now since she moved to MN to start her own congregation, my old church became all about "saving" people so I stopped going.

 

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  posted on 9/16/2003 at 06:41 PM
That's how I always interpreted "silver spoon" in the song too Marley. However, I see the other interpretation too. They both make sense, and make for a great song. It's just amazing to me how a man in his VERY early 20's could write such emotional lyrics....not just in this song, but Dreams, Whipping Post, It's Not My Cross to Bear, Leave My Blues at Home, Please Call Home, etc. Whether to experience all of this at such a young age, or to just be able to write about it and make it so real and sound like it's from firsthand experience is AMAZING to me!

[Edited on 9/16/2003 by kjw818]

 

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  posted on 9/16/2003 at 07:02 PM
the PCUSA is the liberal one and actually holds papers on me! the "other" one is charimatic, into biblical inerrantcy, and generally conservative...the scary coral ridge hour on TV with "dr" kennedy (speaking of manufactured ph.d.'s) is an example of that one...

the good PC holds that hell is a separation from god...like separating one's self from one's blues...so get up and kick the door down!

 

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  posted on 9/16/2003 at 08:29 PM
quote:
the PCUSA is the liberal one and actually holds papers on me! the "other" one is charimatic, into biblical inerrantcy, and generally conservative...the scary coral ridge hour on TV with "dr" kennedy (speaking of manufactured ph.d.'s) is an example of that one...

the good PC holds that hell is a separation from god...like separating one's self from one's blues...so get up and kick the door down!

hmm, the one I used to go to always told us how hell was seperation from god.
I'll have to see which branch of the PChurch my old one belongs to.
Maybe it's a hybrid...

 

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  posted on 9/17/2003 at 11:22 AM

 

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  posted on 9/17/2003 at 12:22 PM
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