Everyone very loudly but gently say “congratulations” to Sen. Robert Byrd, who became the longest-serving lawmaker in the history of Congress today. He’s like, “I look forward to serving you for the next 56 years and 320 days,” which is very gracious! Here’s this video of Robert Byrd playing the ancient instrument of “fiddle” back in the 1870s, when people would watch other people do “fiddle” on teevee for enjoyment. It’s like eight minutes long though, so just as with any old person thing, you can get away with turning it off after like 24 seconds and then saying that you love it. [HuffPost]

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  1. He’s actually a pretty good fiddler. I have his album (on vinyl, even) and still listen to it every so often.
    Congrats, Senator Byrd. WestbyGod’s gonna name a mountain after you — if they can find one that’s older than you are, that is.

  2. whoa, the local TV “reporter” who did this little feature was sure in the tank for Byrd. Says that for every one of the millions of people watching this on the TV, “it was a like a dream.”

  3. I’m a fiddle geek so I had to listen to the whole thing, by law. And now I’ll have “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” in my head all day. Could be worse I guess.

  4. 6 hours of country music broadcast live coast to coast by free liberal socialist TV? No wonder the terrorists struck.

    As for Byrd’s rendition of Turkey in the Straw, is it me or does he seem to be tacitly invoking the murder of Emmet Till, oh so subtly. Also he is teh suxxor on the “fiddle.”

  5. West Virginia was going to name a mountain after him but he let them all get blown up by mountaintop removal.

    I still love him though.

    I think it’s the way he used to say Bush was the worst president he’s ever worked with. And since that’s basically all of them, that’s pretty catty.

  6. Gwan ‘n’ taunt ol’ Byrd all you like, but watch his best Iraq speech or two, and most of all ponder the fuckwit who WV will send to replace him when he kicks it.

  7. [re=461451]Mr Blifil[/re]: Given that I am a North Eastern Eeeeeeleeeeetist who acquired her appreciation of fiddle music after the turn of the millennium, it is possible that I missed a lot of the true appalachian subtext present in that rendition of Turkey in the Straw. Plus the sound sucked.

  8. I appreciate Senator Byrd when I drive the highways of West By God Virginia. They are MUCH MUCH MUCH nicer than the roads up through there when I was a kid.

    Pork does have its benefits.

  9. [re=461416]SayItWithWookies[/re]: “Well you’re pretty good ol’ son.
    “But if you’ll sit down in that chair, right there, and let me show you how its done.”

  10. [re=461464]Norbert[/re]: Word. He was one of the few, back in those dark days, to actually get up and say something serious about The War and dammit he was right too.

  11. Congratulations are in order. Obie is clearly rewarding Byrd with 10 more years of life for his support in W.Virginia when all the “democrats” went wing nuts on him during the primary.

  12. “Robert Byrd COMMA is AN official old enough for A superlative”


    And I thought this place was full ‘o English teachers and the like.

    [sits back smugly, takes sip of coffee]

  13. Wonketteers, I’m touched.

    Being a bit of an old-timey music fan, I dreaded an avalanche of hipper-than-thou snark for this story (see, and I find some genuine affection. Bravo! Byrd maybe is not God’s gift to music, but my heart is warmed to see “just folks” perform for the love of it, which is how I read these videos.

    On the other hand, more snark about that self-infatuated crap-fest aesthetic abortion called Grand Ole Opry would be heartily welcomed.

  14. [re=461416]SayItWithWookies[/re]: they might name a mountain after him, if there are any left after the mountain-top coal mining…

    [re=461543]Noonan[/re]: and Hey! Minnie Pearl! I luvs her….rip lady with the hat. (it was always the pricetag, not a teabag)

  15. [re=461543]Noonan[/re]: A price tag, I beleive. I think that’s HeeHaw’s Minnie Pearl and her hat with the ever present price tag dangling. I don’t know if that’s because she was so proud of her hat she just had let everyone know how much/how little it cost her, or whether she wasn’t sure she was going to keep it and and left the tag on it so she could return it to the general store.

    Probably just so lit up on ‘shine she didn’t notice it hanging there.

  16. [re=461594]Lascauxcaveman[/re]: [re=461582]sati demise[/re]: Well, you learn something every day. Funny how topical context will make you perceive things all funny. Funny.

  17. [re=461545]Accordion-o-rama[/re]: We know it not, therefore can hate it not so much. But true oldtimey fiddlin’, who can hate that, who hears it?

    Needing to get out of this grammatical construction, badly.

  18. I spent last night watching “Porter Wagoner Show” re-runs on YouTube, listening to Jerry Reed albums, and dreaming of Juli Weiner, who is totally awesome, pass it on!

  19. If there is such thing as personal and social redemption, Byrd is a perfect example of it. I love how the South conservative good ole boys will forever hold his past against him, but seem to ironically forget that while he genuinely changed, they are basically still back in America’s Dark Ages, ideologically. If he’s forever to take him lumps, and he should be, then let it be from the left, not current racists, themselves. Byrd is not nearly my favorite congressman, but damn, you have to admire his passion for public service, something so few of them actually have, these days.

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