Jesse Jarnow

“soul master” – edwin starr

“Soul Master” – Edwin Starr (download here)
released by Motown (1968)

(file expires October 6th)

In a perhaps misguided attempt to derive some truthiness (listening to lotsa shitty hippie bands’ll do that to a fella), I once posited that anybody who sings literally about having a soul (especially one that, uh, “shines”) simply doesn’t have one, at least for the duration of the time he’s singing about it. In the case of Edwin Starr’s “Soul Master,” which I found on the MoistWorks blog over the summer, I am perhaps willing to make an exception — partially because maybe it is as Starr claims, that he’s “the guy they named soul after.” And, well, partially because it’s such a ludicrous rhyme — “I’m the soul master / I’m the guy that they named soul after” — and it somehow works.

“Soul Master” is, no doubt, a silly song, but I love the shit outta the chorus, and love even more singing it to myself in the most honky voice I can muster (which, given my general demeanor, is quite a lot, dankyouvedymuch). It’s fun, especially in public, to take this chorus for my own: I’m the soul master. I’m the guy that they named soul after. Me! It’s a good feeling. Try it some sunny afternoon.

1 Comment

  1. Check out Edwin Starr dancing and talking about Motown artistes in the clip from Pogus Caesar’s 1993 documentary…[[oom gallery films page]]