"Weary Blues" - Kid Ory
My friend’s name is Pat, which is short for Patrick but nobody ever calls him that. His name is Pat. Perhaps in a more professional or formal setting he would be referred to as Patrick, but he is not called Patrick because his actual name is Andrew. His first name, just like his father. So to avoid any confusion about the inherited first name, my friend prefers to use his middle name, Patrick, or Pat. My friend’s name is Pat.
And the first time that I was introduced to this tune by my friend Andrew, I had learned it as “Shake It & Break It,” a phrase repeated in the lyrics during a vocal section. Keep in mind that this was before I understood the differences between a rag, a stomp, a boogie, and a blues, so for as much as I knew this tune only had one name. Imagine my confusion when I was introduced to another early jazz tune also called “Shake It and Break It” but featured a completely different melody, tonality, and disregard for the ampersand. Everything I had previously known, the years of familiarity, had been shaken, broken, and hung on the wall.
Then along comes this ditty who calls itself the “Weary Blues,” a brief romp in the 12-bar blues form before launching into a melody built around an AABA song form and sounds EXACTLY like my old friend. But without a vocal section, how was I to recognize this blast from my past? Simple: I asked for some documentation. It remains unclear to me as to the origin of the lyrics, but to my delight “Weary Blues” is the actual first name of the “Shake It & Break It” middle section that I had known this entire time. A bit more weary around the corners, perhaps, but time will do that to you.
Here is a YouTube video of the Tuba Skinny version of "Weary Blues."
Recommended reading: Creole Trombone: Kid Ory and the Early Years of Jazz by John McCusker. Published by University Press of Mississippi.