Author: Ramos, Jean

Pickin’ Weather

Lately, the topic of conversation always seems to turn to the weather. In California, it’s the drought, in the Midwest it’s the record cold, in the East it’s the snow and ice storms. Our Swampgrass friend, Larry Gillis posted a video on Facebook showing how they keep the ice-laden trees from falling on their house, a process which involves chewing tobacco and shooting the limbs off with rifles. Our daughter in New York posted pictures of her back deck with patio table buried in about twenty inches of snow. My niece in Missoula, Montana posted a poem with the last stanza that goes like this: “Yes, the weather here is wonderful, so I guess I’ll hang around.

I could never leave Montana, ‘cause I’m frozen to the ground!” Meanwhile, in California, my friends are voicing concerns and posting pictures of our reservoirs at record low levels.

It’s apparent that the weather can create a mood, which is apparent as you listen to the lyrics to many of the songs we hear and sing. For instance, the song, “Each Season Changes You,”

In the springtime you found me like the flowers
And your love grew warmer with the summer sun
Came the fall and I can see your love was changing
Broke my heart to see what wintertime had done

In many songs, rain and storms are synonymous with teardrops, loneliness, and lost loves. I’m sure you can come up with a list of songs with this as a theme. Consider the lyrics to Jim and Jesse’s song, “Stormy Horizons.”

I scarcely hear the wild winds cry or feel its sudden blast
A greater storm just swept my world apart
Today you’re with somebody new, my hopes are gone at last
There’s stormy horizons in my heart

On the other side of the spectrum, songs that portray happiness and well being use sunshine as a theme. You Are My Sunshine, Sunnyside of Life, Sunnyside of the Mountain are songs with this theme. One song that is kind of a puzzle to me is “Sitting on Top of the World.” I guess the man is glad his gal left him.
Was in the spring, one sunny day
My sweetheart left me
Lord, she went away
And now she’s gone and I don’t worry
Lord, I’m sitting on top of the world

The wind is another weather condition used in many songs. Oftentimes it is like a messenger warning of things to come, stirring up mixed emotions. Many years ago when I worked for the local school district, we all knew that if the winds were blowing we would be in for a rough day, the kids would be rowdy and restless. In Rhonda Vincent’s song, “Lonesome Wind Blues,” the wind stirs up the heartache of a love that’s gone. Seldom Scene recorded a beautiful song called, “Something in the Wind,” in which the man knew he had a restless lover who was about to leave even though she still loved him. One of the saddest songs I’ve ever heard is “It’s Only the Wind,” a story of a dear old mother whose children had left and never came back to visit her. She would sit gazing out the window waiting for a knock on the door. She often mistook the sound of the wind for her children finally at the door.

It’s only the wind
Your children are not at the door
It’s only the wind
The wind, restless wind, nothing more

I went through my iPod looking for songs with references to weather either in the title or in the lyrics and was amazed at how many there are. A partial list:

Storms are on the ocean
Hobo Bill
Waitin’ for a train
I still miss someone
Just like rain
November Rain
It’s gonna rain
Days of Gray and Black
Blue skies and teardrops
Footprints in the snow
Lizzy and the Rainman…

I think you get the picture. As I said before, the weather is a popular topic this winter. It seems like none of us are happy with the weather and of course there’s not much we can do about it. In California, the threat of a water shortage is very real. I noticed that I was allowing two gallons of water to go down the drain each time I was waiting for water to get from the water heater to the faucet. I have begun saving that water in a large container and using it for cleaning, flushing a toilet, laundry, etc. A few days ago I started a thread on Facebook regarding the things we can do to conserve water. I was very pleased to hear that many of my friends are heeding the warnings and are doing their part. Here’s a list of things we came up with for saving water:

Don’t leave the water running while brushing teeth.

When showering, shut water off while soaping up (or shampooing) then turn back on to rinse.

Save gray water in a storage container to water plants in house or yard.

Wash dishes by hand rather than running a dishwasher.

Use towels more than once, and wear outer clothing more than once before laundering.

If it’s yellow, let it mellow…

Put a brick in the toilet water tank.

Pretend you are boondocking (dry camping) in an RV.

If a clean car is important to you, use a carwash, they recycle the water.

I’m sure many of you can come up with more suggestions. If we all do our part, we can keep a lot of water from going to waste.

That’s it for this month. Get out and enjoy the weather and we’ll see you down the music road somewhere. God bless.

Posted:  2/23/2014

Copyright © 2002 California Bluegrass Association. All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Please email