Valentine’s Day is typically a day to show your love for someone, whether that someone is your significant other, your mother or father, your siblings, children, or even pets. But let’s just say that your life is like the typical upbeat bluegrass song (Please note, this is advanced bluegrass content performed by professionals in a safe environment. Do not try to be this sad at home). Your spouse cheated on you. Your parents died when you were young and/or got shot when their moonshine still was discovered. Your siblings stole all the life insurance when your parents died and you refuse to speak to them now. Your children decided to move out because the family business was too dangerous (i.e. moonshine still owner). Oh, and the revenuers ran over the family dog.
So now what? Well, here’s a list of reasons that you should give your love to bluegrass, instead of moping about the fact that prohibition is over and moonshine is no longer such a lucrative business venture:
1. Bluegrass will never lie to you
Music is one of the purest things on the planet, and therefore incapable of lying to you.
2. Bluegrass will never leave you
Bluegrass doesn’t just hang around for your good looks or money. It will always be there for you when you go to work, go to the store, get home after a long day, and when you go to sleep. You might not always hear it, but it’s there. It’s just hiding behind a thin veil, just waiting for you to lift it and let it be heard.
3. Bluegrass is full of love
While not always present in the lyrics, bluegrass music in general is one of the most loving genres of music, especially if you immerse yourself in it. Every time you go to a festival, or get people together to jam, you are showing bluegrass your love, and it will give back to you whenever it can.
4. Bluegrass doesn’t need presents
You don’t need to buy bluegrass a fancy car or a new watch. It only needs your participation and perpetuation. Every time you pick up that guitar, or put on some Bill Monroe, you’re giving bluegrass a love card.
5. Bluegrass isn’t embarrassed by you
Bluegrass will never judge you. It doesn’t care one bit what you look like, what your weight and height is, where you live, what kind of car you drive, or how much you make a year. It doesn’t even care how good your instrument is, it just wants to be played.
6. Bluegrass is loyal
While it’s not capable of playing fetch or wagging its tail, bluegrass can be one of your most loyal pets. Like a pet, it needs to be nourished, but as long as it has its basic needs met, it gets along with everyone. It won’t nip at your hand or ever try and guard its food from you. Although I can’t guarantee that it won’t keep you up all night. That part is completely up to you.
7. Bluegrass isn’t out to get you
You don’t have to worry about what bluegrass might be saying behind your back or if it’s trying to cut you out of the will. It would never even consider doing something to hurt you.
8. Bluegrass will never fight with you
Bluegrass is always harmonious. It might be a hassle to get a particular lick down sometimes, but bluegrass will actually try and guide you and help you along the way. It’s always thinking exactly what you’re thinking, and playing what you’re playing. It never stops in its tracks and decides it doesn’t want to go on any farther, it gives its all and keeps going until you’re ready to call it a day.
9. Bluegrass isn’t demanding
You can spend hours and hours practicing a song, trying to perfect it and make it better, or you can come home and play a few notes before drifting off to sleep. You can even go days without playing, and just try and fit it it when you have time. Bluegrass never expects more than what you can give, and it always gives back more than it takes. It never wants you to do something you don’t want to do, or play something you’re not capable of playing.
10. Bluegrass always remembers
Even if you go to college and leave your instrument at home, or quit your habit of playing music every day because your job is too demanding, bluegrass won’t forget about you. It remembers everything you were capable of, and will try to jog your memory if you have put it aside for a few years and are feeling a bit rusty. It doesn’t feel let down if you don’t remember to play it. Even if you put it aside, it doesn’t put YOU aside, and it will pick you up where you left off, ready for the next song.
So if you find yourself feeling down because nobody sent you a Valentine’s card, or the revenuers found your still again, just pause for a moment and remember that bluegrass will always be around to comfort you. For better or for worse. So let’s remember to give it our gratitude every once in a while, as well as our love.
(Cameron Little is a bluegrass lovin’ teen from the Sierra Foothills, who is almost healed from a recent chainsaw wound, while simultaneously taking his first semester of full-time college courses)