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Family, Music - Life Parallels

Posted by Bob Buckingham on Monday, March 22, 2010

Forty some years ago, I used to ride in the car, going somewhere with my family to visit friends or more family.  Riding along I would dream about playing music, hope to have the radio on, then hope it would play something I wanted to hear.

Today I still long to play music while on those drives to visit family.  Most of our friends play music, so there is a joy in that, but when riding with family, you cannot play the music you love.  They are not comfortable with anything as real as fiddle and banjo tunes, ballads from days gone by or a good train wreck, murder, cabin song.  Heck, some of them live in McMansions where the only thing that is real is debt!

But we all still love our families, we just don't get to choose them.  Still it would be nice if families played music together and not just those nauseatingly, fresh faced, family bands that are a dime a dozen and their own cliche.  Once in a while families just get together and play tunes for the joy of the music and not with any hidden agenda of salvation or good clean fun.  Playing tunes is good clean fun.  Perhaps that is why some of the young folks don't go for it?  It is it too "square"?  I am showing my age.

Also, I resent being called a consumer.  We are much more than consumers.  We all produce music.  We also produce a bunch of our own food, and make new things out of old things under the philosophy of reusing, recyclling and reducing.  But that is due in part to our parents and their youth in the depression era.  

So we recycle the same tunes, which we also save like heirloom seeds.  Life has many parallels.  It is our fault if we don't see them, live them and make them work for our lives.

This past weekend we surprised some family members, had wonderful moments of love and laughter.  A couple of times while riding, driving or resting amidst the mirth of good family time I found myself wishing I could hold an instrument and play a tune.

8 comments on “Family, Music - Life Parallels”

banjowannabe Says:
Saturday, May 22, 2010 @11:46:01 AM

Amen, brother. After graduating from college, my son (viola) and I (banjo) played together for the first time. My mom and dad were there, and were totally floored. My son can play most anything, so he just follows whatever I happen to play. Why didn't we do this when he was growing up? Well cause, I'd quit playing a long time ago, and it took the kids getting out of the house for me to find the time to pick again. Now if we get a chance to go fishing up north together we bring our instruments and have a great time. Families would function a lot better if they played together. Except my wife's brothers. Every jam would have turned into a fist fight. Next project: learning to sing together.

iceburg Says:
Monday, November 22, 2010 @5:41:38 PM

Great post Bob. I listened to a lot of great music on my way back from NC a couple of weeks ago. I'm really enjpoying the clawhammer and my instructor up here is working with me to continue the work you taught me.

I'm bringing my banjo to Thanksgiving to entertain my family members.

banjotom2 Says:
Friday, December 24, 2010 @8:16:07 PM

That is so true... and an excellent piece of writing!

Merry Christmas, Tom...

MoPac Says:
Thursday, January 13, 2011 @2:38:06 PM

I like this. It's good writing from the heart.

Keith Madison Says:
Saturday, January 15, 2011 @4:31:42 AM

Like the ol' adage, " good things ( songs) are worth repeating - well said.

Don Huber Says:
Sunday, January 30, 2011 @5:21:46 PM

Your paragraph about consumerism struck a chord with me. Recently I read something by Kentucky farmer, writer, and poet Wendell Berry. In a nutshell he said every plateful of food we grow for ourselves is an act of rebellion against the agribusiness industry. And every time we entertain ourselves, wether reading a book or playing an instrument, it's an act of rebellion against the media corporations. In the world we now live in, just finding simple ways to enjoy life apart from the consumer culture is an act of resistance. We must teach this to younger folks too.


maddogonbanjo Says:
Tuesday, February 1, 2011 @5:55:01 AM

Well said Buck, I miss the old Red Lion saw mill shack with two finger Luke and the old Bill Gipe chicken coop jams, you know places that were so small you had to rub elbows, and you threw your troubles and cares out the windowand had a fune night.

NickC Says:
Tuesday, February 1, 2011 @6:08:06 AM

Thought provoking reading this. I consider myself lucky that my kids have taken to music and often choose to play their instruments over playing on the Nintendo WII. They certainly don't consider it 'square'. In fact they seem to deride the pop music tastes of their peers. This may change i know, it's nice to see. I think playing an instrument, particularly for kids fosters an appreciation of beauty that pays great dividends later. Especially as we are all subjected to a 'consumer' barrage every day. Like Don points out very perceptively it's 'an act of rebellion'.

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