Author: Daniel, Bert

Easter Set List

Happy Easter everybody! I had another column all written for you today. But I sent it to to my web posting emissary (a guy who actually owns and raises llamas, if you can believe that), when I realized that today is Easter! It falls early this year and even earlier in 2016, but the earliest possible date for Easter is March 22, I'm told. Anyway I got caught off guard this year so now I have to write an appropriate column for this special day. Here goes my best shot, off the cuff. Possibly not as good as my next effort but you can be the judge when I resubmit that other column next month (nothing wasted).

If the title of today's column applies to you, there's something seriously wrong. Easter is not the right day to play a gig. You either love bluegrass too much (if that's possible) or you need the money from an extra gig a little too much. Easter is a day to relax with your family, frolic in the beauty of another springtime, and think about what gives life meaning to you and others of your species. You can play a little music if you want to, just make sure you are appropriate to the context. Or you can listen to your favorites play the music you love through the miracle of recordings, made on wax, acetate, vinyl, cellulose or I don't know Ethernet?

So what should our set list be today? You might have fun setting up your own list, but you probably have better things to do today like watching your youngest relatives brave the perils of locating their prized Easter eggs. Here are some of my suggestions:

1) Little Annie

I like this tune for Easter because it's secular. It cuts across all creeds and it celebrates the coming of spring. Easter is a springtime holiday at its core. It comes after the first full moon following the vernal equinox and is based on the Jewish Passover. In the old days, if the barley wasn't ripe, the rabbis would just add an extra month!
"Now the springtime has come Little Annie, and I am on my way back to the lane. For you promised me, Little Annie. You'd be waiting when the springtime comes again."

2) The Old Crossroads

Bill Monroe's classic. A couple of months ago I mentioned this tune in connection to the crossroads we all face in life. We have to choose a path in life for good or evil and the cross of Easter is a powerful metaphor for that crossroad.

3) Amazing Grace

"Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me". As a music fan, I always find it interesting that it is a sound that leads the author to grace. Perhaps it was something heard in a hymn. All I know is that I feel closer to God when I am around my friends playing music. "I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now can see".

4) Before the Fire Comes Down

Del McCoury sings this song powerfully. We all know that sins abound in this world, and the sins Del sings about are modern ones like "slipping silver needles in their veins." But even with a hard core drug addict redemption is possible! You have to doubt it at first when you hear of it but, I can tell you without a doubt, I have seen it.

5) He Took Your Place

This one from Flatt and Scruggs is one of my favorites "His hands are gently knocking on your door. Outside he's pleading to come in. His heart is breaking as he waits for you. To wash you free from every sin".

6) Carpenter of Wood

This song by the Bluegrass Cardinals is a real classic. Perfect harmonies for the great story of a simple fisherman, son of a carpenter who asked the question: "is the best you've done always the best you could?"

7) The Cry From the Cross

This Stanley Brothers song tells the crucifiction story in more detail than any other bluegrass song that I can think of.

8) My Name is Judas

Claire Lynch sings a good version of this tale of betrayal.

9) Power in the Blood

I've always liked this old gospel classic but it is rarely heard these days.

10) Remember the Cross

Bill and his Bluegrass Boys sing this one to great effect: "Remember the cross on which Jesus died. Follow in his footsteps each day. He shed his blood for you and he shed his blood for me. Never cast that cross aside."

11) Were you There?

Need I say more

12) The Old Rugged Cross

Ditto to the last liner note comment.

That's my even dozen for this Easter. Have a happy one!
Posted:  3/31/2013

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