Behind the Sun...

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Behind the Sun...

Postby stumblin » Sun Oct 30, 2005 8:40 am

The current issue of Blues & Rhythm magazine (#204) contains a discussion of the meaning of the phrase "behind the sun", probably most famously deployed in Muddy Waters' "Louisiana Blues". I've also heard it in a song by Louisiana Red. It occurs in other songs too.
"Behind the Sun" seems to be usually used in reference to Louisiana.
But why?
Various contributors to the magazine have suggested a number of possible interpretations for this phrase, including:
a: A voodoo/hoodoo reference (exact meaning unclear), Muddy does mention that he's going there for a mojo hand.
b: A reference to a Native American (specifically Tunica/Biloxi) belief in "the power behind the sun". Apparently, Tunica, Clarksdale, Stovall and Rolling Fork all lie within the Tunica tribal area and a reservation is in Louisiana.
c: A long way away from the singer's present location.
Anyhoo, I wonder if anyone here knows more about the meaning and derivation of the phrase "behind the sun" with reference to Louisiana. BMcG, you're in that neck of the woods, any clues?
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RE: Behind the Sun...

Postby stumblin » Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:19 pm

No takers?
Hmm...
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RE: Behind the Sun...

Postby stumblin » Sat Nov 05, 2005 1:29 am

Oh come on...
Surely there's some mileage in this...
:(
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RE: Behind the Sun...

Postby sandy » Sat Nov 05, 2005 2:36 pm

Does it have anything to do with Rupert Murdoch?
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RE: Behind the Sun...

Postby mikey » Sat Nov 05, 2005 4:31 pm

Does it have anything to do with Rupert Murdoch?
.....Where are those little yellow smiley faces, when you need one?

The only thing I can add to this is a Nick Drake song..
"Things Behind The Sun"
Although I've got to say the lyrics are a little "other worldly".
It has to be said also, that the guitar playing in "Things Behind The Sun" makes it hard to believe it was done by a mere
earthling!.

Never reticent to spread the word, one could certainly do worse than listen to a few of Nick's other voice and acoustic guitar songs,
such as..
Black Eyed Dog
Road
Place To Be
Which Will
From The Morning
Pink Moon
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RE: Behind the Sun...

Postby les » Mon Nov 28, 2005 6:44 pm

One of my all time favorite records is that Louisian Blues by Muddy Waters.
About that phrase 'behind the sun' I always thought it meant simply 'after dark', like i am going (west) to Louisiana right after the sun goes there.
Or I thought maybe it meant how Louisiana to the west.
However when I think about it,
the after dark idea lacks some plausibility because at that time (50 years ago) traveling at night in the Mississippi delta region was particularly dangerous for non-Whites.
But the 'to the west' idea is likewise lacking, because the target area of Louisiana lies more to the south of the delta than it does to the west.
However, the context of the phrase clearly indicates that the phrase refers to either the place, "down in Louisiana", or to the action, "I'm going".
I do know for sure that the term 'behind' is often used to mean 'after', in time or sequence, by speakers of Mississippi Delta English usage. eg 'Behind that' means the same as 'after that'.

Les from Chicago
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RE: Behind the Sun...

Postby bluesmcgoo » Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:55 pm

Hey Stumbles.

Sorry...I just now found this post. Don't know how I missed it.

At any rate, I don't have any local knowledge about what this might mean, but my gut reaction is that it means "after the sun goes down". Not sure why that would necessarily reference Louisiana, though.

Maybe, as Les asserts, it means heading West.
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