Don’t they know…?

Chris JonesI got a wide range of response to my suggestion that the world was going to be ending during the IBMA World of Bluegrass in Raleigh. After reading those responses, and in giving the whole issue some thought (but not too much thought; this is no time to be putting too much stress on the brain), I’ve concluded that this whole Bluegrass Apocalypse could be great for business.

I’m told that already last-minute conference sales are up, and they’re anticipating big numbers for the awards show and Wide Open Bluegrass. In the comments section last week, Stewart Evans correctly pointed out that if you went the “binge” route in your approach to the end of the world (of bluegrass), money would be no object, since you might as well max out the credit cards. Mind you this might also require that the people in Delaware who issued your card also believe the world is ending. This added economic stimulus will do nothing but bolster Raleigh’s view of the benefits of holding the WOB in their city, even if it never happens again. City officials and local businesses can go out with a really good feeling about how the last week on earth went.

For those choosing the “love and spread goodwill” approach to their last days, they’ll be giving the week a warm fuzzy feeling it hasn’t known since the event was held in Owensboro.

I never discussed the third option last week, which would be a combination of these two approaches, in which you binge-eat, drink, and play music, but also spread love amongst your fellow bluegrassers. We might call this the “eat, pray, pick” approach, or perhaps “pick, pray, love” (if you’re not that hungry).

What if we’re wrong, though? History does tell us that, with the notable exception of Nostradamus’ eerily accurate prediction that Kenny Ingram would join The Larry Stephenson Band, most predictions by religious leaders, self-proclaimed psychics, and television financial advisers are known for being wrong. What if we go into this IBMA World of Bluegrass with the kind of fervor we reserve only for the last one in history, only to find out that the world is still turning, the sun has risen, and a lot of people haven’t gone to bed yet? How will we deal with that kind of letdown?

Perhaps if we had a theme song for this very occasion, we could learn to face the fact that we now have to pay that credit card bill, and we’ll have to apologize to that person we were so blunt to in the Marriott lobby. I’ve composed just such a song, or rather, come up with alternate lyrics to a classic. Perhaps it’s wrong to have a World of Bluegrass song that’s based on a Skeeter Davis hit, and I know it’s definitely wrong to have one in 6/8 time, but the IBMA Awards have had a theme song for years featuring clawhammer banjo, of all things, so I figured some license could be taken.

The End of the World (of Bluegrass)

Why does the band go on playing?
Why does this showcase drag on?
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
By now I thought we’d all be gone

Why are they still out there schmoozing?
Why do they give out awards?
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
A gig fair won’t help us anymore


I woke up at 11:00 with a headache
And the World of Bluegrass still is here it seems
I can’t understand, but mostly I’m tired
I’ll hit the snooze, perhaps it’s all a dream

Why does that fiddle keep screeching?
Isn’t this a non-jamming floor?
It may be the end of the world
But I’ve still got a seminar at 4:00

That song makes me cry. See you in Raleigh!