Posts Tagged ‘Good Bye Pork Pie Hat’

Good Bye Pork Pie Hat – lyrics

In Good Bye Pork Pie Hat, Lyrics on November 27, 2013 at 10:26 am

Good Bye Pork Pie Hat
(music by Charlie Minugs, words by Joni Mitchell)

When Charlie speaks of Lester
You know someone great has gone
The sweetest swinging music man
Had a Porkie Pig hat on
A bright star
In a dark age
When the bandstands had a thousand ways
Of refusing a black man admission
Black musician
In those days they put him in an
Underdog position
Cellars and chittlins’

When Lester took him a wife
Arm and arm went black and white
And some saw red
And drove them from their hotel bed
Love is never easy
It’s short of the hope we have for happiness
Bright and sweet
Love is never easy street!
Now we are black and white
Embracing out in the lunatic New York night
It’s very unlikely we’ll be driven out of town
Or be hung in a tree
That’s unlikely!

Tonight these crowds
Are happy and loud
Children are up dancing in the streets
In the sticky middle of the night
Summer serenade
Of taxi horns and fun arcades
Where right or wrong
Under neon
Every feeling goes on!
For you and me
The sidewalk is a history book
And a circus
Dangerous clowns
Balancing dreadful and wonderful perceptions
They have been handed
Day by day
Generations on down

We came up from the subway
On the music midnight makes
To Charlie’s bass and Lester’s saxophone
In taxi horns and brakes
Now Charlie’s down in Mexico
With the healers
So the sidewalk leads us with music
To two little dancers
Dancing outside a black bar
There’s a sign up on the awning
It says “Pork Pie Hat Bar”
And there’s black babies dancing…


Grilles d’Accords (Chords Tables )

In A Night In Tunisia, Blues for Yna Yna, Canyon Lady, Chitlins Con Carne, Cold Duck Time, Good Bye Pork Pie Hat, Listen Here, Partitions, Recado Bossa Nova, Watermelon Man, Well You Needn't on January 5, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Quelques grilles concernant nos principaux morceaux. (Chords tables for:)

ou directement dans la librairie.

Grilles d’accords

In Chitlins Con Carne, Good Bye Pork Pie Hat, Partitions, The Jody Grind, Well You Needn't on June 11, 2009 at 7:17 am
Chitlins con carne

Chitlins con carne

Good Bye Pork Pie Hat

Good Bye Pork Pie Hat

Well You Needn't

Well You Needn't (AABA)

The Jody Grind

The Jody Grind

Chord summary sheet, scores,  Jody grind chords, well you needn’t chords,chitlins con carne chords, Good bye pork pie hat chords score, accords, grilles

Good Bye Pork Pie Hat (Charlie Mingus)

In Good Bye Pork Pie Hat, Scales, Technics on April 2, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Analysis: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

Goodbye Pork Pie hat is a 12-bar form consisting of three four-bar phrases, in the key of F minor. The melody tends to outline an F blues scale. when viewed as four-bar phrases, the first and second phrases of the melody are not as similar to each other as you’d expect in a traditional blues.

I think it’s open to interpretation, but you would probably not be wrong to look at this as a basic blues form with unusual turnarounds. The first chord of the first phrase is the i (minor). The first chord of the second phrase is the iv (minor). Where we go wrong is on the third phrase–instead of arriving solidly at the V on beat on of bar 9, we detour through two other chords to arrive there at the top of bar 10. But that does set up the return to i in bar 11, which is quite blues-like. I think that in spite of the chord complexity, the phrasing of the melody argues in favor of blues.

So let’s take this apart one phrase at a time…

| F7 Db7 | Gb B7 | Eb7 Db7 | Eb7 F7 |

The usual turnaround for a minor key would be i – III7 – ii – V or possibly some tritone substitutions for some of those chords. The turnaround in the first two bars is similar, but different. The motion is still circle-of-fifths (Db Gb B), but the B chord is a tritone sub for i rather than for V, which is what makes this odd. The motion from B7 to Eb7 probably can’t really be called a cadence–up a third is just about the weakest possible root motion. I think it’s right to look at the second turnaround as setting up the iv chord in bar 5. The first chord (Eb7) is problematic to analyze. The melody in the third bar is extremely close to the first bar. Eb7 as a sub for F7 is unconventional, but one possible interpretation. So, to place these two turnarounds above each other, we have

| F7 Db7 | Gb B7 |

| Eb7 Db7 | Eb7 F7 |

They are similar, but the second one subs Eb7 for F7, and Eb for Gb (a minor third sub for a dominant chord is more familiar, Coltrane did it a lot). The F7 sets up the iv chord in bar 5 very strongly.

| Bbmi7 Db7 | Gmi C7alt | D7b5 G7 | Db7 Gb |

Standard blues would have two bars of iv followed by two of i here. Mingus gives us the iv, and sets us up to expect the i, not just with the C7, but the melody also really sets up a cadence that we get denied. What we do get in bars 7 and 8 is circle of fifths root motion, and some parallelism (bar 8 echoes bar 7 down one half-step, very familiar in Charlie Parker’s blues changes).

| B7 Bb7 | C7 Eb7 | F7 Db7 | Gb B7 ||

This is truly the difficult one to justify in traditional theory terms. What a traditional blues progression would have here is V, iv, then two bars of i. Mingus delays the appearance of the dominant one bar (that’s one way to look at it). He does deliver us a “cadence” sort of by having Gb in bar 8 resolve to B7 at the top of bar 9. But I sure don’t “hear” that as a cadence. What I think is going on instead is a reversal of the iv and V chord. To me the last four bars function like

| iv | V | i | i ||

Viewed this way, the B7 is a dominant sub for the Bb (iv). Eb is a legitimate sub for C7 (Coltrane-style), and we do land at the i in the right spot, and additionally revisit the first turnaround from the first phrase. What I don’t have a great deal of comfort for is the B7 -> F7 “cadence” from the bottom of the form to the top. That would be weak in most cases. It seems to work out okay here though.

Pork Pie Hat

In Good Bye Pork Pie Hat on March 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm



Jazz musician Marcus Miller wearing a pork pie


Lester Young and his Pork Pie Hat

The pork pie hat  originated in the mid 19th century. Originally referring to a type of woman’s hat, it gets its name from its resemblance to a pork pie.

The pork pie hat was a staple of the British man-about-town style for many years. Pork pie hats are often associated with Jazz, Blues and Ska musicians and fans. Charlie Mingus wrote an elegy for jazz saxophone great Lester Young  called “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” and the story said i wrote this tune during the night just after Lester’s death. Many artists have performed this tune, including Jeff Beck and Joni Mitchell.

Charles Mingus – Ah Um – Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

In Album, Good Bye Pork Pie Hat on February 10, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Mingus Ah Um est un album de jazz signé Charles Mingus mis sur le marché en 1959. 


Il est le prolongement du mouvement

 d’évolution vers le bebop, puis le free-jazz, entammé avec Pithecanthropus Erectus 3 ans auparavant. Produit par Atlantic Records, cet album reste l’un des plus importants de Charles Mingus, et aura une influence majeure sur les artistes qui suivront.


  • Contrebasse : Charles Mingus
  • Saxophone : Booker Ervin and John Handy
  • Trombone : Willie Dennis and Jimmy Knepper
  • Piano : Horace Parlan
  • Batterie : Dannie Richmond


  • 1. Better git it in your soul
  • 2. Goodbye pork pie hat. (Hommage à Lester Young)
  • 3. Boogie stop shuffle
  • 4. Self-Portrait in three colors
  • 5. Open letter to duke
  • 6. Bird calls
  • 7. Fables of faubus
  • 8. Pussy cat dues
  • 9. Jelly roll
  • 10. Pedal point blues
  • 11. GG train
  • 12. Girl of my dreams


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