I realized this morning, in between a workshop on murder ballads in the key of F and running to a mentor session on how to get gigs in Lithuania, that there was no way I was going to be able to turn in a column this week.
I explained this to editor-in-chief John Lawless because he’s at the Bluegrass Today booth, which I can actually see from my own booth I have for my side business in bluegrass-themed dental products (dental floss that doubles as a banjo G-string being one of my biggest sellers). John was unmoved by my plea to take a week off, and he suggested that I just write it from my booth, so here goes. I tried to explain to him that I’m likely to be interrupted early and often, so anything I write will seem a little disjointed. He said he didn’t mind, so I’ll give it my best shot:
I had promised two weeks ago to do a column on incorrect and generally mangled, botched and twisted song titles, and one of the reasons this has always interested me . . .excuse me . . .
“Oh hello! No, I’m not busy, what’s on your mind? Oh thanks, that’s nice of you to say . . .well, actually it’s Night Drivers, but close enough . . . You want Ned to sing backwards all the time? Okay, I’ll pass that on. Can I interest you in some Molly and Tenbrooks dental rinse?….Sure, I understand. Some other time then. So long.”
Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, song titles. Have you ever noticed that . . . (hold on just a minute)
“Yes. . . .Oh nothing really at the moment. . . Nice to meet you. . . Uh huh . . . Well, I think you’re actually thinking of a different Chris Jones. You mean the blues guitarist who lived in Germany, I think. . . Yeah he was a great musician. Sadly, he’s no longer with us . . . No I didn’t mean that he’s no longer in our band—he never was—I meant that he’s no longer living. Yes, I know . . . but the fact that you just bought one of his CDs doesn’t mean. . .Sure. Nice to meet you too.”
Anyway. . .song titles. It’s common of course for bands to receive requests for songs in the form of. . .(sorry again!)
“Hello! Oh yes, the festival in Florida in 1986. It’s all coming back to me. How have you been? (I still have no idea who I’m talking to). . . Oh, sure. . . I . . .Yes, I appreciate you listening. . . Oh, thanks. Actually, I didn’t write that. That was Chip Davis and C.W. McCall. . . No, I don’t have any personal experience driving a truckload of chickens through a tunnel. . . Sure. See you later.”
Okay. Let’s try this again. I think one of the most common errors in song titles that I see. . .
“Hi. . .Yes, that was me. . . Yes, Missy Raines is her name. . .Yes, we really enjoyed getting to do the keynote together. . . Okay, well, I’m sorry you feel that way. . . We certainly didn’t intend to personally offend. . .uh huh. . . Oh, well I guess we all have our opinions . . . Okay, well, I’d love to continue this discussion some other . . .uh huh. Sir, have you ever been to Rachel, Nevada? Nice place. Cozy. Dry.”
John Lawless, can we just continue this next week?
About the Author (Author Profile)
Chris Jones wears many hats in his bluegrass career. In addition to leading his own band, with whom he tours and records, Jones is an award-winning broadcaster and songwriter.
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