Trying to dream up a festive blog for this week, I rather hopefully googled ‘Christmas Grass.’
To my delight and amazement there are three CDs called Christmas Grass (Vols 1-3).
This celebration of Christmas Bluegrass style – is a collection of hauntingly beautiful festive songs and instrumentals including classics like God Rest You Merry Gentlemen and Silent Night.
Bluegrass is a kind of soft mix of Irish jig, blues and jazz. With Scottish, English and Welsh roots, it was originally inspired by the music of immigrants living in America. Traditionally Bluegrass is played with fiddle, banjo and acoustic guitar.
But where did the ‘grass’ in ‘Bluegrass’ come from?
Well there are direct links with the Bluegrass of Kentucky – which grows in many pastures there. It grows on fertile soil and is one of the reasons Kentucky is famous for breeding high quality livestock – most notably racehorses.
Its Latin name is Poa pratensis; Poa is Greek for fodder. It is also known as Common Meadow Grass – the perennial version of Annual Meadow Grass (Poa annua.)
Its more colourful name comes from its blue flowers, visible when the plant grows to 2ft high and sets seed. It also makes excellent amenity grass – it is estimated that half America’s lawns contain Kentucky Bluegrass.
PS Spotted on the staff whiteboard in my local Starbucks:
What is the purpose of reindeer?
To make the grass grow, sweetie!