This song’s premise is fairly new in the series. While it is not a protest song or a song hat decries slavery, it is a song that directly criticizes society’s treatment, in this case to a young african american woman. This Blues song features Vaudeville vocalist Bessie Smith and would sounds like a jazz quartet.
Based on what I can gather from the lyrics, Bessie begins by telling about her woes and the mistreatments she has endured. Her lover has left after a disagreement between them. She then continues to crone about how she wants sexual and societal freedom and does not want to marry and does not care about the implication of that /i’m just as good as any woman in your town/. This is very feminist and vocal expression but I think it’s also important to note the context of her race as that will also mean she was seen in even less of a positive light in her time.
The song for me breaks away from songs that have their base on slavery and where they start to comment on society. I think this is an important transition to songs in the civil rights which would cover the “daily indignities”
I personally really liked and related to the song. I liked listening her to sing the song which such a confidence and disregard with what others might think of her “/Some people call me a hobo/ some call me a bum/Nobody knows my name/ nobody knows what I’ve done/” I would love to listen to more of Bessie if the rest of her songs are like this.