I Miss When Corona Was A Beer from Donna Hughes

One of the most enduring aspects of the human condition – and the bluegrass community – is the ability to laugh in the face of hardship, to find humor in dark or dangerous times. This new virus, and the worldwide reaction to its spread, has caused great concern for many people, but despite the seriousness of the situation, we can always find solace in whimsy.

In that light, we share the latest video creation from Donna Hughes, a bluegrass singer/songwriter of long standing, with songs cut by luminaries like Alison Krauss, Seldom Scene, Wyatt Rice, and Kati Penn, among many others. Our current dilemma inspired her to see levity in the name coronavirus, which quickly led to this new song, I Miss When Corona Was A Beer.

From concept to completion was the work of a moment for Donna, who hurried to shoot a video simply to share the song with a troubled world.

We’ll let her pick it up from there…

“I had the idea for the song from a cousin of mine (Bob Harris,) who was complaining about everything being closed. And the line just appeared in my head, ‘I miss the days when Corona was a beer.’

So I gave my friends with Hot Wax & The Splinters a call to see if they wanted to come and sing a song I wrote in my barn, and I said by the way do you have lab coats and overalls? They did me one better and also brought masks and goggles!

Within hours of making a call to their leader Clyde Lewis, they were getting out of their cars with lab coats, instruments, sound equipment, and the works.

I love a bit of spontaneous bluegrass fun on the fly during a world crisis! With everything being canceled… I thought someone needs to lighten the load. I would love to get in the studio and do a professional version of the song, and plan to, but realized people needed cheering up immediately.”

The Splinters are David Medlin on banjo, Clyde Lewis on mandolin, Ed Renn Jr. on guitar, Jeff Rumsey on bass, and  Nathan Farlow on reso-guitar.

Donna also assured us that she is keeping up with her music, despite us not hearing anything new for some time. Her daily efforts have been focused on her real estate career, to raise the necessary funds to restore her grandfather’s farm in North Carolina. But she has been making regular trips to Nashville, and a set of new tracks are “getting fixes” there as we write.

And she is still writing new songs, and expects to see several on new projects from bluegrass stalwarts this year.

Thanks so much to Donna Hughes for taking the trouble to make this video, and give us all a little something to chuckle about. Wash those hands!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.