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?