Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ricky Skaggs - Pig In A Pen

I was a slow child, when I was a teenager. That wouldn't have been so bad, except I was obstinate, too. Couldn't tell me nothin'.

I just knew, for example, that Dad's Bluegrass music was dumb. I mean, just look at how dumb the lyrics were (somehow I managed to conveniently gloss over 80% of Rock 'n Roll - Put the lime in the coconut).

It too me a bit to appreciate that Bluegrass isn't (often) about the lyrics; it's about the artistry of the performers on their instruments. Virtuoso performances.

Well, nobody does virtuoso instrumentals like Bluegrass, and not many do Bluegrass like Ricky Skaggs. It may be because he was performing by age six, but he's had fourteen grammys. Sometimes called the "Ambassador of Bluegrass", he performs with many other musicians, in many other genres. Most recently, he's done a concert with Phish, and released an album with Bruce Hornsby.

But he hasn't forgotten - or ignored - his Bluegrass roots. Here is is playing at about Mach 3, bringing down the house at the Boston Pops. Seems even a Harvard Man can get a little redneck on, even in Boston.

Pig In A Pen (Songwriters: Carter Stanley, Ralph Stanley)
I got a pig at home in a pen
Corn to feed him on
All I need's a pretty little girl
to feed him when I'm gone.

Goin' on the mountain
to sow a little cane
Raise a barrel of Sorghum,
To sweeten ol' Liza Jane.

Yonder comes that gal of mine,
How do you think I know I know
by that gingham gown,
Hanging down so low

Dark cloud's a-risin'
surely a sign of rain
Get your gray bonnet on
Little Liza Jane.

Bake them biscuits, lady
bake 'em good n' brown
When you get them biscuits baked
we're Alabam-y bound

When she sees me comin'
she wrings her hands and cries
Yonder comes the sweetest boy
that ever lived or died.

Now, when she sees me leavin'
she wrings her hands and cries
Yonder goes the meanest boy
that ever lived or died.

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