Willie Dixon and Folklore


As mentioned in my previous post, Willie Dixon liked to cater his songwriting to the demographic that he is writing for.  One way in which he did that was by including references to folk beliefs in his songs.  There was a certain appeal of black folk beliefs that people with down-home Southern roots could relate to.  Furthermore, Dixon believed that those who sang the blues were preachers, as well as musicians, therefore elements of the supernatural were extremely likely to play into the lyrics of WIllie’s songs.

Willie Dixon would include topics such as numerology, voodoo, and religion in the lyrics of his songs.  In “Hoochie Coochie Man” he references the number seven continuously.  “On the seventh hour, on the seventh day, on the seventh month the seven doctors say,” croons Muddy Waters on this Dixon composed tune.  This number is significant in Christian theology due the seven days in a week, or the seven days of creationism, and the seven deadly sins.  The song “Ain’t Superstitious”, performed by Howlin’ Wolf, spends the entire duration of the song listing different superstitions, such as “black cat just cross my trail”.