Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues. – Ida Cox
What does that mean?
This is a line from one of her blues songs, of the same title. A slightly longer chunk of lyrics are included at the end of the post. It’s a song from the 1920’s, and is about the difference between the ‘nice girls’ who sit around and complain about their men and wondering what they are doing, and how the ‘wild women’ don’t have those worries.
At the time, it was a scandalous song, in both word and concept. You have to remember that at that time, the women of the world had been (and in some places still were) second class citizens, meant to be seen and not heard. Men held all the power, and were pretty much free to pursue ‘outside interests’ with little to worry.
This song was a simple statement that if you lived your own life, instead of sitting around waiting for someone else, you would have fewer regrets, and not have the blues (American slang for feeling down or depressed). While that doesn’t mean you have to be wanton or crazy, it does mean that sometimes conventional behavior should be avoided.
Why is being wild important?
Not that I am advocating being totally wild all the time (unless you’re in college, where it’s pretty much expected), but just a little every now and then. It reminds me of a quote I wish I could use, but haven’t been able to source yet: “Moderation in all things, including moderation!”
Life can become pointless if you never have any fun. Being a little wild every once in a while is a good thing. It helps you blow off a little steam, helps you relax, helps recharge your batteries. It also helps to remind you that there are some rules that are meant to be bent every once in a while.
Whether it’s attending a live sports event or concert, going to the beach or mountains, heading out to a party or going for a long drive, do something wild every once in a while. The definition of wild, of course, will be very personal, and differ based on your age, location, and culture. But the central point is to enjoy yourself every once in a while.
Where can I apply this in my life?
How long has it been since you went out and did something silly, just for fun? As a kid, I used to ride roller coasters and do all kinds of other silly things at carnivals and amusement parks. But as I got older, those things became less and less interesting, as I was a (sometimes) mature adult.
My wife loves riding on roller coasters, and so she often took my son on the rides, and I stayed on the ground with my daughter. Now that my daughter is getting braver and more interested in roller coasters and other thrill rides, I’m getting to have some fun again. Not that I didn’t enjoy the time on the ground with my daughter, it just wasn’t as wild on the Tea Cups.
What are some of the things you like to do when it’s time to get wild? When was the last time you went out and had some fun? Depending on how young you are, and your regular schedule for gratuitous self-enjoyment, that might have been last night. For us older, up-tight people, it may have been months or even years.
Another way to ask the question is to consider what you do to help yourself feel better when you’re feeling down. Also consider how far down you have to feel before you do something about it. How ‘blue’ do you have to feel before you do something a little wild to pick yourself up?
I hope you remember that wild isn’t defined as illegal, and that one can be plenty wild and still stay within the bounds of legality and even morality. Some would argue that if it isn’t illegal, immoral, or fattening, it isn’t really wild, but I would ask you to remember the basic point.
The whole point is to shake things up, to do something different and outside of your normal behavior. As an engineer, doing anything with a social connotation is well outside my normal behavior. Fortunately, while amusement parks are public, and full of people, I’m not expected to greet every one of them, much less remember their names.
So, I’ve considered several points, and invited you to do so as well. What have you come up with as potentially wild things to do? When was the last time, and (more importantly) when will you next take a little time to go out and get a little wild?
It might be worth making a short list of things to do, so that the next time you get the urge, you don’t have to think, just pick something off the list and get going. You don’t have to plan it out completely, but having an idea is better than sitting around trying to come up with one, right?
Don’t let life get you down, don’t suffer the blues. Fight back, and do something a little wild. You just might like it.
Happy Birthday to the lady known as “The Uncrowned Queen of the Blues,” Ira Cox, born 25 February, 1896.
You never get nothing / By being an angel child,
You better change your ways / And get real wild.
I want to tell you something / I wouldn’t tell you no lie,
Wild women are the only kind / That really get by,
‘Cause wild women don’t worry, / Wild women don’t have the blues.
-Ida Cox (blues singer/songwriter) from http://blueslyrics.tripod.com/lyrics/ida_cox/wild_women_don_t_have_the_blues.htm