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Time Out Ten

When It's Sleepy Time
Down South

For this item you need to be able to stop for ten minutes.


We are often moving on to the next job, the next meeting, scrolling down social media, taking the next call ......'Time Out Ten' asks you to stop for ten minutes and listen to a particular piece of music; to find a time when you won't be interrupted, when you can put in/on your headphones and chill out. Ten minutes isn't long.

Sonny Stitt 2a.jpg


Pale moon shining on the fields below
Folks all crooning songs soft and low
You needn't tell me so, because I know
It's sleepy time down south

This 1931 jazz standard written by Clarence Muse and brothers Leon and Otis René  can somehow capture a feeling of slow, relaxed life and to that end is good for our ten minutes time out this month.

In reality, it had a less relaxed history. At a time when African Americans were moving north, the lyrics tell of their missing home in the southland. The song became one of Louis Armstrong's signature tunes but we are told that "Armstrong's popularity among African-American audiences dropped because of the song, but at the same time it helped the trumpeter to make his fan base broader. In protest during the 1950s, African Americans burned their copies of the song, which forced Armstrong to re-evaluate and change the song's lyrics in a reissue (the word 'darkies' is changed to 'folks'). There is a 1942 film short of the song here where Armstrong and others played slaves and farm workers."

For our time out ten minutes, however, here is a lovely instrumental version of When It's Sleepy Time Down South by saxophonist Sonny Stitt.

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