Author: Compton, Cliff

The Silly Season

Well, I’ve figured out a few things….People don’t have much Christmas spirit in April. Ever tried to find someone to play Christmas carols at a bluegrass campout in springtime? I didn’t think so. It ain’t easy. Even Chef Mike. He can sing them things like Andy Williams or Andy Griffen or something. He knows all those major 7ths and suspended minors and he’s got that voice like melted butter and sand paper and he can sing those songs, and make the holly and the ivy crawl right up your spine…but not at the spring campout. No sirree Henry, and he turns the lights off in his R.V. when you try to sing them outside his window after bedtime. Me an Vic, we gave it a good go. Joy to the world, jingle bells rock, we three kings (and we did the verse about the rubber cigar.), but nobody wanted to help us out. Dennis walked away in disgust, much too mature for the likes of us. And the ladies snuck away too, as soon as we had our backs turned. Here I was, full of the joy of the season, and everybody else wants to play murder ballads and love songs.I’ve figured out a few things… There seems to be a correlation between the lack of a successful nap and the in ingesting of star bucks double shot espresso in a man’s appreciation all things relating to the mid-spring celebration of the songs of the yuletide, though I do remember that at fathers day Armando Garcia strung Christmas lights around his pop-up tent and I felt a certain surge of the Christmas spirit, until I realized that the light bulbs were red glass chili peppers instead of the usual festive fare and that was the last I thought about it….until now.

Looking for Christmas, I found Randy Morton and Mikki in the middle of a great jam . Randy was singing a song about woman who killed her cheating boyfriend. The dead mans name was Kelly Compton. Randy honored Kelly Broyles and me by combining our names and making a murder victim out of us. Be careful about making friends with Randy. You might end up the victim of a tragic song. No jingle bells in that jam.

I thought maybe Deb Livermore would want to play some songs of the season. She wanted to play them back in December for the folks in those nursing homes, but not at the campout. She had cheese sandwiches to make, murder ballads to play, trains to listen to.

Still feeling full of love and joy, I sang a half verse of “Silent night” standing between Valerie Comejo and Ruth Truesdales tent, and walked away feeling I had truly shared my heart, but when I walked into Jeanie Ramos’s jam about twenty feet away, there was Ruth listening in rapt attention to Jeanie belting out some Jimmy Rodgers train song. Apparently, I had been singing from my heart and soul to an empty tent.

Well, that was a blue Christmas.

I don’t think I’m out of line. Bill Monroe himself sang “Christmas is coming” which is unarguably the worse Christmas song ever written, and he wasn’t ashamed to sing it either. And they didn’t even have star bucks espresso back then.
But they did have little glass mason jars and a recipe.

I reckon that might have helped!

Posted:  5/13/2011

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