Sunday, September 9, 2007

"Remember what Jesus says about 'neighborly love' and all that? Guys? Guys? Can you put down the pitchforks now?"

This photo was found on Ebay. I have unforunately lost the url. Forgive me.

I'm pretty sure that Carroll College should have rules about banjos in on-campus housing. A mere three inches of wall separate each of the monastic-looking single rooms in my hall, and I don't doubt that my banjo practice sessions can be heard by anywhere from two to twenty-two hallmates.

This summer I made the decision to not let my family's rusty ancestral banjo go to waste as it has for as long as I can remember. A lifetime Faithful Member of The Order Of The Eternally Broken Items In The Basement, this banjo, or "The Banjo," is reported by my boyfriend's father, Matthew, an expert musician, to be an excellent instrument for Irish folk music. After I dis-mantled, de-rusted, re-oiled, and re-stored the Silvertone tenor banjo, Matt and my boyfriend Ian made the final adjustments and applied a custom set of strings. Finally a stringed instrument of my very own!

I find the narrower bridge and lesser number of strings to be advantageous, and am rapidly learning songs by picking them out by ear. This is the first time that I have ever learned something musical without sheet music, which I consider to be an accomplishment.

Thus far, I can play the Civil War tune "Aura Lee," The Shins' "Teeth In The Grass," Irish traditional "Minstrel Boy," eucharist hymn "Come Share the Wine," and everybody's favorite, "Kumbayah." My poor, poor neighbors.

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