Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(1,975 posts)
Thu Oct 4, 2018, 06:17 PM Oct 2018

Blind Willie Johnson

I just finished watching a documentary on Voyager 1 & 2. Some of the topics that they were talking about were how long the records would last (long past the time of humans) possibly longer than a billion years from now.

Song #26 Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground by Blind Willie Johnson is on there. He recorded this song in 1927, long before the thoughts of satellites leaving our SolarSystem. He was born on January 25, 1897, both parents were sharecroppers. Its said that he was blinded at around the age of 7 or 8, either by his stepmother throwing a caustic substance into his eye, or looking at a solar eclipse (depending on who and where you hear the story from). He had varying success, but ended up dying in Chicago in 1945 after his house burnt to the ground and became homeless. I don't think Blind Willie Johnson would ever dream that his music and voice are now on this record traveling through the cosmos. When I listened to the song, it was both haunting and, ironic. Thinking about the vast emptiness of space and the fact that the son of Sharecroppers could possibly be the introduction from us to another species. It was definitely a nice break from everything else going on.

You can hear the song

2 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Blind Willie Johnson (Original Post) Separation Oct 2018 OP
That is one amazing piece. cemaphonic Oct 2018 #1
Thats immediately what I though. Separation Oct 2018 #2


(4,138 posts)
1. That is one amazing piece.
Thu Oct 4, 2018, 09:10 PM
Oct 2018

Really evokes suffering and loneliness.

A lot of Ry Cooder's soundtrack for "Paris, Texas" was based on it:

I also really like "John The Revelator."


(1,975 posts)
2. Thats immediately what I though.
Fri Oct 5, 2018, 12:10 PM
Oct 2018

And thanks for the heads up on that movie. I've never seen it and I've always been a fan of Harry Stanton.

Latest Discussions»The DU Lounge»Blind Willie Johnson