Song Post: Grinning In Your Face, Son House
05 Dec 2013
I first heard this song while watching the documentary “It Might Get Loud”. In the film Jack White from the white stripes talks about his favourite song of all time, this is it. I immediately tracked the song down, expecting a bit of a blues rambler, maybe some acoustic guitars, a touch of piano. Boy was I surprised.
Grinnin in your face consists of 1 thing. Son House clapping (mostly off time) and singing. In our modern age of massive studio’s, pro tools and computers you would think that this song would fall flat in terms of what my expectations would be.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The complete and utter rawness of this song is almost too much to handle (for me anyways). The lyrics are simple, the time is 4/4 and is simple. But there is so much more to consider. A black man who grew up in the racially charged south talking about being the bigger person and understanding that people arund you are going to try and take advantage of you. This advice, likely written and sung in the 50’s and 60’s rings incredibly true to me even now.
The implication that people will say one thing to your face, while saying another behind your back is just so simply put. There are no great metaphors here, no visual worlds painted with words. There is only the simple truth.
So bear this in mind, a true friend is hard to find. Don't you mind people grinnin in your face.