The poem begins with a speaker telling someone about a piano player he heard a couple nights ago. This musician was playing a slow blues song with all his body and soul. The speaker starts to really get into the sad music. Starting at line 19, we get the first verse to the song. This musician is singing about how, even though he's miserable, he's going to put his worries aside. The second verse is more of a bummer: nothing can cure his blues, and he wishes he was dead. The musician plays on late into the night; and when he finally goes to bed, he sleeps like a dead person or something else that can't think.