Boogie Woogie

Meanings of “Boogie Woogie”

The phrase “boogie woogie” refers to a music style that belongs to Blues. It is also linked to Jazz. Its reformist styles such as stride and ragtime are often combined with piano playing.

Origin of “Boogie Woogie”

The phrase “boogie woogie” is stated to have originated in the United States recorded in a piece of jazz music that appeared in 1929. It goes thus: “We’re gonna pitch a boogie right here.”

Examples in Literature

Example #1

From Poetic Expressions Vol. II  by Carl McKever – Boogie Woogie

I’m not tired
Nor wrapped in my snuggie;
I choose to do the boogie woogie

Feet gliding, then staying in motion;
Snapping my fingers, no time for commotion!
I choose to do the boogie woogie.

The above stanzas is about the joyous mood of the poet as he talks about his music style of boogie woogie synced with the dancing style. Here the poet is not tired or sleepy, and he wants to continue to celebrate.

Example #2

Dream Boogie By Langston Hughes

Good morning, daddy!
Ain’t you heard
The boogie-woogie rumble
Of a dream deferred?

Listen closely:
You’ll hear their feet
Beating out and beating out a—

You think
            It’s a happy beat? 

The narrator is a child in this poem. She goes to his father and asks him to hear the music and the beat of the feet and evaluate whether it is a piece of happy music. The father should have deduced that this music is the product of the deferred dreams of the black young men. It is probably the footsteps of African-Americans running for their lives.

Example #3

Boogie: 1 A.M. by Langston Hughes

Good evening, daddy!
I know you’ve heard
The boogie-woogie rumble
Of a dream deferred
Trilling the treble
And twining the bass
Into midnight ruffles
Of cat-gut lace.

This is another beautiful and short poem by Langston Hughes. He has again repeated the same phrase, calling boogie-woogie as a rumble. He answers the question of his son or daughter about the deferred dream where bass and treble are involved in a midnight ruffle. Saying good evening to his father, he/she asks if the father has heard this music. The poem is a powerful expression of racial discrimination in American society.

Example #4

Complete Blues Keyboard Method: Beginning Blues Keyboard/Piano by Tricia Woods

Tricia Woods has beautifully presented how to learn boogie woogie music and dance. The book highlights its importance, its basic playing lessons, and details of melodies and improvisations. It also includes bar blues, walking bass style, and things when playing in a band. The best about this book is that all the instructions have been given by experts in a sequence. The meanings of the phrase used in its reviews become clear that the book provides details of boogie woogie style of music.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “He is an expert in all types of music and dance and thinks that he knows how to do a boogie woogie.”

Example #2: “Once the lockdown is over, Sam was planning to throw a huge party and boogie woogie. Sadly, he was not granted permission.”

Example #3: “When I entered the main hall, boogie woogie contest was going on. All the contestants were seated on the floor with their hunches crossed. None was moving around. There was complete silence in the hall.”

Example #4: “Start working hard instead of doing boogie-woogie as they don’t get your grades up.”

Example #5: “You don’t have to boogie woogie when you are sad. Jake was willing to stop the music and finally sat quietly in his room.”