"Where did you get a name like Blind Lemming Chiffon?"

I picked it up on eBay for $2.99.

"That isn't true. Where did you really get the name?"

In the first half of the 20th century in the USA there was no Americans with Disabilities Act. A visually-impaired African American could have difficulty finding gainful employment. As a result, many took to begging in the streets, and those with musical talent became street musicians. This gave America the rich heritage of works by such artists as Blind Willie McTell, Blind Blake, Blind Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Willie Johnson and, perhaps best-known, Blind Lemon Jefferson.

Blind Lemon Jefferson has become part of blues folklore - many a musician who never met him has boasted of leading him through the streets of Texas, and it is a truism in the blues that to create an instant blues name, the formula is Affliction + Fruit + Dead President.

Also rich in folklore, the lemming, a 2-ounce visually impaired rodent common to Norway, is legendary as one of the few creatures in nature that indulges in mass suicide. This is explained away by naturalists as overpopulation combined with nearsightedness. What better animal to provide a totem for a struggling blues singer?

"Ah," you say, "But isn't calling yourself 'Blind' when you can see an insult and mockery to those who truly are blind?"

No, it isn't. I call myself "Blind" to honor and respect the great blind musicians who have contributed so much to my style and repertoire. Anyone who can't see that is blind.

"That explains "Blind" and "Lemming," you say, but what about "Chiffon?"

Well. That's just the icing on the cake.

"And what, if I may ask, is your claim to fame?"

I'm working on a book, to be called, "The Autobiography of a Schizophrenic," and as soon as I find out who it's about, I'll let me know. Did you know that two in every one people are schizophrenic?

The Lemon and the Lemming
(after "The Clover and the Plover" by Robert Williams Wood)
by Blind Lemming Chiffon

The lemon, and the lemming:
The two are oft confused,
And mind, I'm not condemning
The fact that you're amused.

The lemming, like the lemon
May fall out of a tree,
But he tastes just like a gremlin
When you squeeze him in your tea.

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All content is copyright ©2004 by Blind Lemming Chiffon.

Last Update: November 20, 2004