We have all – I’m sure – gazed with awe and wonder upon the spectacle of a fully-bearded folk singer as he (or she*) struggles manfully (or womanfully) with a wild accordion or feral banjo. Some of us may even have managed to survive the traditional folk-singer’s Ordeal by Cider, which they use to separate those that have the hollow legs necessary to become fully-fledged (or bearded) folk singers and those who lack the strength to stay upright when under attack from those vicious creatures the accordion and the banjo.
There are even some folk singers who have managed to overcome the guitar and even the violin – that savage creature that wails in pain when approached by a bow-wielding musician. Some say it is cruel for the folk singers to cause so much suffering to these poor creatures, but those people have never seen the damage that just one wild accordion or feral banjo can do to a herd of prime hairstylists or pedigree lawyers.
We rural folk rely on these traditions and the folk singers – made fearless by the quantities of cider they imbibe before staggering out on the stage to tame these vicious creatures – to keep us and our domesticated stock safe. Just think what our world would be like if the wild accordions and the feral banjos were allowed to run wild and free and what destruction they could wreak were they to get established in urban areas where no boy band, solicitor or travel agent would be safe to walk the streets at night in fear of being set upon by a pride of accordions or pack of banjos.
No, the folk singers do a wonderful and important job in keeping these vermin under control and must be allowed to continue with this vital work unimpeded by urbanites who just see these dangerous creatures as something natural and picturesque, rather then the vicious predators they are.
*As naturalists (and naturists) know, the difference between the male and female folk-singer lies in the position of the beard. The male has his beard permanently on display on the lower portion of the face, while the female wears a small goatee-style beard much lower down the body, and will only reveal it to an acquaintance once they have both consumed the requisite amount of cider for an attempt at mating to take place.