Video and Audio

The Non-Blues - It's All in Your Point of View (Ep. 31)

Keshava Betts
March 20, 2022

Lyrics (Swami Kriyananda)

(Spoken: What’m Ah doin’, hangin’ out in this cellar?
It’s like this: Ah’m composin’ a blue!
No, it ain’t the blues, ’cause it’s only one—
An’ brother, one’s all Ah can do!)

Ah’m a-hangin’ Mah haid like Ah oughta—
(Spoken parenthetically: How’s this? Have Ah got the hang of it?)
Mah chair is a case of gin,
An’ mah mouth Ah have drooped like a Saint Bernard
Till its corners are touchin’ mah chin.

You may ask, “Why ya feelin’ so blue?”
Well, Ah ain’t; Ah jus’ thought Ah should try,
’Cause some feller said, “All those songs o’ yours
Ain’t fer real: they don’t make no one cry!”

So Ah thought, Let’s jus’ find me some cellar,
For the only way to feel blue
Is, forget the sun, an’ pretend the world
Is as dark as a fireplace flue.

(Spoken: Oh, that’s realism, yeah! Love that gutter!
Yet, Ah wonder if we ain’t been misled.
How much reality can a man see, anyway,
When he sits all day, hangin’ his head?)

Now, it ain’t that Ah don’t know what grief is;
This ol’ heart has had its full share!
But grief’s one thing, an’ complainin’ another:
Why multiply grief with despair?

For Ah find that this whole world around me,
Like a mirror upon the wall,
Smiles back when Ah smile, looks blue when Ah’m blue,
An’ that blue shade Ah don’t like at all!

So Ah’m goin’ back to mah bad ol’ haunts!
Mah time here is almost done.
The fact is, feller, Ah can’t stand this cellar;
Ah jus’ gotta get out in the sun!

— from A Tale of Songs, 5/2013


“Reality, to many people, is the dark side of life.
Are we fools, that we should join them
In their self-inflicted misery?”


“I wrote this song because my guitar teacher complained to me one day that my songs were too cheerful.
“Reality,” he pointed out with a frown, “is sordid. It’s grim. It’s something to protest and get angry about. Why, you haven’t even written a blues!”
Well, to please him I went home and wrote this little piece. As a blues it’s a failure, I’m afraid: hence the title. But he was gracious enough to like it. In gratitude to him for inspiring what has since become one of my most popular numbers, and also for being an excellent teacher – an excellence never, alas, justified in this student – I dedicate this
song to Larry Hanks.”
(From Swami Kriyananda’s book of poetry, “Winging on the Wind”)