Country Music


Country Music

I could have been a country music guy,

with cowboy hat and pointy boots,

and an old guitar I couldn’t play, and sung

those songs of love and loss behind

the fence in honky tonks, and stayed

in frayed motels with worn-out women,

always smoking dope to keep up hope.

I could have been a country music guy,

except that country music makes me cry.












Too Much for Bubba and Me


I like country music                                                                                                         though it always makes me cry.                                                                                   Someone’s always got to lose;                                                                                        the winner’s bound to die.




Bubba Shot The Jukebox                      Image result for jukebox photos

We were all down at Margie’s bar

Telling stories if we had one
Someone fired the old jukebox up
The song it sure was a sad one

A teardrop rolled down Bubba’s nose
From the pain the song was inflicting
And all at once he jumped to his feet
Just like somebody kicked him

Bubba shot the juke box last night
Said it played a sad song, it made him cry
Went to his truck and got a forty five
Bubba shot the juke box last night

Bubba ain’t never been accused
Of bein’ mentally stable
So we did not draw an easy breathe
Until he laid that Colt on the table

He hung his head till the cops showed up
They dragged him right out of Margie’s
Told him, “Don’t you play dumb with us, son
You know damn well what the charge is”

Bubba shot the juke box last night
Said it played a sad song, it made him cry
Went to his truck and got a forty five
Well, he shot the juke box last night

Well, the Sheriff arrived with his bathrobe on
The confrontation was a tense one
Shook his head and said, “Bubba Boy
You was always a dense one”

“Reckless discharge of a gun”
That’s what the officers are claimin’
Bubba hollered out, “Reckless, hell
I hit just where I was aiming”

Bubba shot the juke box last night
Said it played a sad song, it made him cry
Went to his truck and got a forty five
Well, he shot the juke box, stopped it with one shot
Bubba shot the jukebox last night

Well, he could not tell right from wrong
Through the tear drops in his eyes
Beyond a shadow of a doubt
It was a justifiable homicide

Bubba shot the juke box, stopped it with one shot
Bubba shot the jukebox last night

Songwriters      Linde, Dennis      Published by   Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Ban the Pipes !


NANCY STONE/CHICAGO TRIBUNE   Here comes the god-awful sound of a bagpipe band marching down South Western Avenue on Sunday at the South Side Irish Parade.

Ban Scottish bagpipes on St. Patrick’s Day
By Elizabeth Greiwe   Chicago Tribune 3.17.15

   It happens every St. Patrick’s Day.   The bagpipers come crawling out from their whiskey-laden lairs. Dressed in tartan with tilted glengarries and jaunty sporrans, they nestle themselves into the back rooms of bars and terrorize street corners. Then, without fail, they let free the sound of a dying sheep being squeezed by a very angry elbow.   Or, as they would have you believe, the sweet sound of the bagpipes.  

I used to dread March. Both my parents played in bagpipe bands — in fact, my dad still does. As a kid, I was dragged to every St. Patrick’s Day parade in the Chicago area. St. Charles? Check. Elmhurst? Been there. South Side Irish Parade? Don’t even get me started.   Almost every parade started and ended with a bar. I developed the uncanny ability to tell down to the minute when we’d be leaving a bar based on how much beer was left in the pint glass.   I’m not sure what I hated more: the long underwear my mother insisted I wear because of the chilly weather, the long hours of the holiday or the grating sound of a bagpipe band in its prime.

   But here’s the dirty secret: Bagpipes aren’t even Irish, at least not the kind used in parades. Those are Scottish.   So I’m asking politely: Please. Ban bagpipes on St. Patrick’s Day.   The world would be a better place without them. Imagine, no more requests for the umpteenth rendition of “Amazing Grace.” No one asking what bagpipers wear under their kilts. No bizarre news stories about a man losing his pipes after a late night at the pub.   You want something Irish? Try the fiddle. Or the bodhran. Or the harp. There’s no short supply of Irish instruments.  

A full set of Uillean pipes.I’d even settle for the uilleann pipes. They’re the smaller, quieter Irish cousin of the Scottish Great Highland pipes. Most important, though, they can’t be used while marching; the piper uses his elbow to work the bellows and sits while playing, rather than standing. Did I mention they’re quieter? Americans have a tendency to mix-and-match cultures. We don’t mind when pork fried rice ends up on the same menu as shrimp tacos. Tex-Mex is in the dictionary. In most instances, America’s a la carte attitude toward culture comes as a boon.  

But what is the benefit from bagpipes?   They’re rarely in tune — but the casual listener can’t tell anyway because their sound is so god-awful. I’ve often heard the word “bleating” used to describe the sound of the bagpipes.   Plus, they’re loud. Really loud. They’re louder than a jet taking off if you’re standing close enough. True. Even the members of the band wear earplugs when they’re playing, and many of them end up with some amount of permanent hearing loss.   Bagpipes also can play only nine notes, which means every song sounds pretty much the same. And, no, pipers can’t take requests for “Free Bird.”   On a day where “everyone is Irish,” the Scots should keep their instrument to themselves.   Leave the Scottish bagpipes where they belong — on the battlefield or the burial ground.   Or better yet, never take them out of their case.  Elizabeth Greiwe is the Chicago Tribune’s Editorial Board coordinator.


I sent a note to Ms. Greiwe this morning, telling her I had enjoyed this piece, thanking her, including the lines below.  She answered thanking me for the note, saying that others had not been so kind.

More on pipes.


Now come the sturdy kilted pipers, striding up in strict formation,

pumping tartan bags with elbows–music of the arm-pit calls,

bleating come-do-battle, leading farm boys into slaughter,

dry, derisive hoots, striking drums that pound my bowels to paper;

I am bone-racked as they pass.   We had crepe and toilet paper floats

to promise life and peace and progress–                  

Come now the skirring stone-eyed pipers, silver daggers in their boots.

From “Fourth of July”,   rjn