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Don’t Take Everybody To Be Your Friend

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Yeah, it seems to be an undeniable truth – take everybody to be your friend and you guarantee some hurt, cos’ some people are just plain bad.

As the lyric says:

Some will cause you to weep
Some will cause you to moan
Some will gain your confidence
And cause you to lose your home.

But what’s an evangelist doing preaching suspicion and caution about making friends? Shouldn’t those with faith, of all people, have faith in their fellow humans … at least until the small percentage prove faith misplaced. Which is what Sister Rosetta found …

While sitting at home
Talking to the Lord,
When some old hypocrite
Cast your name abroad.

It sounds like a bit of back-stabbing disrespect prompted the advice about not accepting everyone as a friend and the realisations that a true friend is hard to find.

Maybe taking everybody to be your friend will mean you get smacked down, betrayed, injured or hurt. And maybe it’s just the price you have to pay for being open to friendship.

And when you do find a friend who maybe shouldn’t be a friend, either forgive & forget, or write a song like Dylan’s Positively 4th Street a cracking response to betrayal. (Well maybe most of us should just lay the song on the turntable, turn up the volume and sing along loudly!)

What connects Don’t Take Everybody To Be Your FriendIt Ain’t Necessarily So.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Cab Calloway performed and recorded together.

The songs are both telling us to beware or be aware … or both.


Other Stuff You Might Enjoy.

* Johnny Cash sings the song in his inimitable style.

* Didn’t It RainSister Rosetta Tharpe – a great clip recorded in 1964 during an tour of England that was entitled The Blues & Gospel Caravan – the Caravan included Muddy Waters, Otis Spann, Sonny Terry & Brownie McPhee, Reverend Gary Davis & a swag of others. This performance is at a disused railway station near Manchester. The audience on one platform, the performers on another, railway tracks between them.

* Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Godmother of Rock & Roll – PBS – American Masters episode about Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The link takes you to the page of this episode that has the filmmaker – Mick Csaky – talking about the film for 11m 52s. On the right hand side of this page you will see a list of other resources you can use to find more information about her. Unfortunately, the film can’t be viewed in this region.

* Shout, Sister, Shout! – this website is an offshoot of the 2007 book Shout, Sister, Shout! The Untold Story Of Rock-And-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. This link takes you to an interview with author, Gayle Wald.

Destination next?

North:  Positively 4th Street by Bob Dylan.
East:     (I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man by Muddy Waters.
South:   Death Don’t Have No Mercy by Reverend Gary Davis 
West:    It Ain’t Necessarily So

Crossroad 21