Saturday, April 29, 2006

An Anthem for the Ecosystem


Well, the clock is tickin' on the official song submission for the Ecosystem. And I must confess, I'm still stymied. Not being a country music aficiando-I actually depise it to be honest- a near blaphemous statement for one such as myself, I know. I used to joke that there had to be some sort of federal FCC rule that ALL radio stations in rural areas and markets of less than 10,000 in population MUST be country music format or face stiff penalities and loss of their broadcasting license.

My mindset for this sort of thing isn't in the 21st century. When I think hillbillies, white trash, Ozarks and all things 'hick-y' the kind of music that comes to mind is stuff that was popular with the locals in the 30's and 40's.
The fact that we are in a time warp here just reinforces that thinking. The soundtrack in my mind as I drive these backroads and see ramshackled barns and old abandoned farmhouses would be akin to what they used in the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou"-it captured the mood and times perfectly. I wasn't alive then, but my parents were teenagers during the Depression and lived in rural America. Their taste in music set from those times, so that's how I learned and found out about it, hearing the tunes they'd sing idlely while doing work around the house, the stuff they'd recollect about -conversational osmosis. My Dad's favorite song was "Big Rock Candy Mountain", which opens that film. That movie was the last one he ever saw and he completely enjoyed it.

I have fondness for that film, too. I think it's one of the more funnier movies I've seen in the past 10 years. Yeah, yeah-I know-Clooney has the lead in it, but I'm able to use that same sort of disconnect the Hollyweirdos use when they say they support the troops but are against the war- I enjoy Clooney as an actor, but hate him as a human being.
To me that film captured the essence of dumb white trash and desperate hillbillies better than anything to date. But I don't get out much, so if there are any other films that perhaps portray hicks in a better light, then by all means correct me.

Of course the centerpiece song in that movie was "A Man of Constant Sorrow", sung by Dan Tyminski.
The origins of that song are shakey. No one source seems to agree. It's one of those old bluegrass tunes that have been around since the dawn to time, getting retooled every few decades or so.

"I am a man of constant sorrow
I've seen trouble all my days
I bid farewell to old Kentucky
The state where I was borned and raised

For six long years I've been in trouble
No pleasure here on earth I find
For in this world I'm bound to ramble
I have no friends to help me now

It's fare thee well my own true lover
I never expect to see you
For I'm bound to ride that northern railroad
Perhaps I'll die upon this train

You can bury me in some deep valley
For many years where I may lay
Then you may learn to love another
While I am sleeping in my grave

It's fare you well to a native country
The places I have loved so well
For I have seen all kinds of trouble
In this cruel world, no tongue can tell

Maybe your friends think I'm just a stranger
My face you'll never see no more
But there is one promise that is given
I'll meet you on God's golden shore"

OK, so what does that gotta do with hillbillies and the like? Nothing really, just the genre of music. But I had to pull something outta my butt for this, so that's my best shot. Personally, I'm favoring my pal, Kathy's suggestion. She is way more clued in to modern country music than I. And I wasn't gonna cheapen this by coming up with the "Duh" choices like "Dueling Banjos".

Did "The Dukes of Hazzard" tv series have a theme song? I honestly never saw one single episode of that show! I was a loopy teen and had better things to do when that was on. Maybe that would be more appropriate. But perhaps it depends on what sort of image you're trying to convey. But when I think Ozark Hog Roast I think bluegrass. When I think of the people here whether they be slack jawed, booger eating inbreds or noble folks of the land, I think bluegrass.

5 Comments:

Blogger Lemuel Calhoon said...

Good choice. It does not have to be a song about hillbillys just a song that hillbillys would like to llisten to.

Now for the unpleasant part:

The Dukes of Hazzard

Just some old boys
Never meaning no harm
Beats all you never saw
Been in trouble withe the law
Since the day they was born
Making their way the only way they know how
But that's just a little bit more than the law will allow

It goes on a bit more.

4/29/2006 8:09 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Okay, I confess too - I used to hate Country (but always loved Bluegrass) however there are some excellent Country singers and songwriters nowadays and some of the new musical arrangements beat any pop hands down. Plus most Country singers are patriotic.

I'll vote for your sad and lovely song as long as we can sing as the sun sets and we're all feeling rather drunk and sentimental.

4/29/2006 9:17 PM  
Blogger Lemuel Calhoon said...

The post is up with all the songs. Go and cast your vote.

4/29/2006 10:21 PM  
Blogger Cookie..... said...

Well Missie...I proposed three to choose frum...all Bluegrass cause this here cookie loves it...I finally settled on "Duh"...Duelin Banjo's" as it seemed the most fittin fer some booger eatin reason....

4/30/2006 11:34 AM  
Blogger white trash republican said...

Ugh, Ok...I do now seem to recall hearing that song somewhere, Lem, I just didn't know that was the theme for that show.

'Dueling Banjos' would be alright, but whenever I hear it, I think of the "squeal like a pig, boy!" scene in 'Deliverance'...ewwwww, we maybe trash and hillbillies, but honest to Gawd, for the most part I'd like to think we ain't that sick...even to non-locals.

What a wonderful image you bring to mind, Patrick-like I said on Lem's blog, I would be honored to attempt that.I might not get past the 2nd verse, but it would be fun! Maybe if we all was hammered enough, your quirky South African hit might get melded in and we'd have a whole new song!

5/01/2006 9:08 AM  

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