Field hollers et work songs

This clip is from Blazing Saddles. Mel Brooks (and very possibly Richard Pryor, who was a writer on the film) created a brilliant segment that manages to cut right to vicious racist heart of the u.s. in ways that only satire can achieve. I hesitated to add this clip in with eminently serious songs, but the songs speak for themselves, and the use of satire is deadly serious. The best satires crush your heart and make you laugh a the same time. Absurd, non?

Richard Pryor had the Blues – and could sing ’em too

He was blowing out the little sound system in that club. Going from cool sophisticated delivery to an almost primal scream…that was Richard…and that is what runs through the black experience of the good ol’ u.s. of a. He transmitted that and so much of human experience in everything he did. To say he was a brilliant performer just doesn’t do it. Brilliant human is closer to the mark.

Pryor brilliance

Whoever uploaded this gave it a stupid title – and why do i always manage to find amazing clips that aren’t exactly HD…Well, again, it’s worth putting up with the poor quality because it’s a gem. In a way this is unadulterated Richard. He is in full fuck it mode. Machine-gun truth, hyper self-consciousness, crude, hyper-aware, satirical, ironical, crass, incisive, brilliant, witty, rude, kind, brash, impish, funny, cutting, profound.  He is rich, famous, playing hard, and there is a sadness and self-loathing that cannot be hidden away…It is a Shakespearean struggle.

Pryor brilliance

Whoever uploaded this gave it a stupid title – and why do i always manage to find amazing clips that aren’t exactly HD…

Well, again, it’s worth putting up with the poor quality because this is a gem. In a way this is unadulterated Richard. He is in full fuck it mode. Machine-gun truth, hyper self-consciousness, hyper-aware, satirical, ironical, crass, incisive, brilliant, witty, rude, kind, brash, impish, funny, cutting, profound.  He is rich, famous, playing hard, and there is a sadness and self-loathing that cannot be hidden away…It is a Shakespearean struggle.