Well, I think it’s high time we had this talk.
You and I have been friends for over two years now.
I haven’t ask much of you. Sure, I’ve had the occasional request that you watch Coal Miner’s Daughter or that you listen to George Jones.
But otherwise, haven’t I done my best to make sure you fall in love with all the best things in life? I’ve introduced you to my buttercream icing and other butter-laden joys and I’ve even tried to convince you paint your cabinets and start homeschooling your children.
So, I’m gonna need you to stay with with me on this one. Our friendship could be in jeopardy here.
Because, you see I love bluegrass music. Like LOVE….IT. It even made it to the number one thing on my ‘100 things about me list’-–which as you’ve pointed out—I’ve never finished.
And that’s just a teeny bit beside the point right now.
Right now, I need you to pledge your love to the music of my people.
And I’m gonna lead you through it slowly. Take your time. Don’t jump to the 3rd video and think you can just automatically ‘get’ Ralph Stanley. He’s like good wine.
It’ll take some time.
But surely, every solid citizen of the u-es-of-A can agree on Allison Kraus? Right?
Angelic voice, fiddle-playing Allison Kraus? So start with her.
Now don’t rush it. Listen to this one when you’re ready. Maybe this afternoon. In the twilight between dinner and bedtime.
But I think you’ll agree that the Cox family is pretty awesome too. And ‘I am Weary’ is a perfect Monday morning song. In fact, after my funeral, when you’re talking about how crazy I was and fighting over my vintage aprons, could you be so kind as to hire a bluegrass band to play this song in my honor? Pretty please? I had a bluegrass band at my wedding and in general feel that all major life events should be accompanied by the banjo.
And this is where it might get tricky. See, I could listen to Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain boys ’til the cows come home.
(I can see the Clinch Mountains from where I live, btw)
And I did listen to them for a good two hours yesterday. I also like to play this song in the car when my nieces are with me. They snicker and giggle the whole entire time. My girls are so used to it that they don’t even react much anymore. But I realize this is where the rubber meets the road.
So when you’re ready, give Ralph Stanley a try. In fact, you should probably download the whole ‘O, Brother Where Art Thou’ CD.
It’s music for the soul. And it might be hard for us to remain close friends if you turn your back on me here.
You know the old saying, “You can’t trust a fella who don’t like banjo music.”
I could have just made that up but I think it’s true.
Ralph, take it away.
Don’t rush it. If you don’t love it yet, I won’t give up on you. Remember, fine wine takes time.
But I guess you can, then, understand my deep love and respect for the Reverend Matthew Harrison.
He’s the tall guy in the clerical collar playing the banjo and the new head of my church body. He was installed as president of the LCMS on Saturday.
Friends, he plays the banjo, loves bluegrass music, enjoys a Heineken or two , is a scholar of the scriptures and the church fathers and now just so happens to be the ‘new overseer of my soul’–to quote Pastor Bill Cwirla.
It doesn’t hardly get any better than that.
To see his speech after he was elected president, click here
My favorite quote: “I will do my best by the word of Christ to lead with the generous gospel of Jesus Christ which forgives us all our sins motivates us to love and care for our neighbor in mercy and compassion…..and I will work for unity around the clear and compelling Word of God and nothing else.”
Now tell me , what level of love can you pledge to bluegrass? Can you go as far as Ralph Stanley or do you need to stay with Allison a while? And doesn’t watching Pres. Harrison playing the banjo sorta make you wanna become Lutheran?
As far as the banjo music goes, don’t be too hard on yourself. You probably grew up in Wisconsin or Seattle or Boston. I’ll give you plenty of time!