That doesn’t mean you can’t singnalong with bluegrass if you want to.nJust spot yourself own and glow-ry andntake your best shot. Another song Inheard over and over as a child was Flattnand Scruggs”‘ril Just Pretend,” whichnstarts out, “You spurned the love I gavenyou, darlin’.” Until I was 12 years old Inthought they were singing “Younburned the goose I gave you, dariin’,”nand the funny thing is, I was unfazednwhen I learned of my mistake. Whethernthey (and I) were singing of spurnednlove or burned geese, Flatt andnScruggs were aces with me. Manynyears later, there would be similar instancesnof misunderstanding when mynchildren encountered bluegrass music.nBut unfortunately, the outcome wouldnbe much different.nEarly on, one of my minor goals as anmother was to instill in my children anlove of country music. Part of mynmotive was affection. There was pleasure,nand more, to be had in the music,nand I intended to give it to my childrennas a gift. I was also motivated by anparticular kind of vanity. I wanted to benable to look up from my ironing andnthink: mine are the only kids in thenneighborhood who know who MissnAudrey was. (No cultural illiterates innmy house.)nWell, I tried, and my record is now anshaky one-for-two. My son likes somencountry music; my daughter loathes allnof it. And neither of them gives a fignabout Miss Audrey. I know now what Indidn’t know then: force-feed kids toonmany Bill Monroe songs and countrynlegend stories and there’s at least a 50npercent chance they’ll turn on you.nFor a while, though, my results werenspectacular. By the time she was twonand a half, my daughter could singnmost of Jimmie Rodgers’ repertoire,ncomplete with yodels, and you haven’tnlived until you’ve heard a two-year-oldnsing “Train Whistle Blues.”nBut things went downhill fromnthere, and I knew I had lost her forngood when she was about nine. Shenand her brother and I were riding innthe car one day, and Ricky Skaggs’n”Don’t Get Above Your Raising,” annold bluegrass number, was playing onnthe radio. Before I realized what wasnhappening, it was the spurned love/nburned goose problem all over again.nBased on Skaggs’ diction, my kidsnthought he was singing of dried fruit —nraisins. When I explained what thensong was about, my son laughed, butnmy daughter said, “That’s stupid. If henmeans ‘raising,’ he shouldn’t makenpeople think he’s talking about raisins.”nLike me as a child, my daughter hadn’tnunderstood what she was hearing; unlikenme, she did not find this situationnintriguing. As far as she was concerned,ncountry music was designed tonmake her seem dumb — and shenwasn’t the least interested in seemingndumb. Case closed.nLooking back, I realize it wasn’t allnmy fault. The failure of my countrynmusic plan for my kids can be attributednin part to the simple fact that I wasnforced to work alone; that is, I got nonhelp from my husband. When ournchildren were small, my husbandnwould jump up at the first sound ofncountry music, then stomp his foot,nhold his nose, and sing “twang-twangy-twangy”nover and over again. Infound this performance unimaginativenin the extreme; however, it’s the kindnof thing that is a surefire hit with kids,nespecially when their daddies do it. Butnwhen you once taught your children —nas babies, in their cribs — all the wordsnto “Waiting for a Train” {with yodels!),nit can break your heart to hear themnyelling, “Dad! Do your twangy stuffnagain!”nToday I am still trying to figure outnthe words to “Camping in Canaan’snLand.” My husband is still making hisnlame jokes (while secretly playing PatsynCline tapes in his car, and I can’t figurenout whether this makes him a hypocritenor a convert). My son listens to RandynTravis but “not to anything with ‘Boys’nin their name,” by which he means thengreat bluegrass bands — the FoggynMountain Boys, the Clinch MountainnBoys, the Blue Grass Boys, etc. Yes tonTravis; no to Monroe; my son gets thengeneral idea but misses the point. It’snlike ordering a chili dog and saying,n”Hold the chili.”nAnd my daughter? Well, she is nearlyngrown up and has a desire to see thenworld. And this brings up one of mynfavorite fantasies. My daughter is innEurope — Paris, maybe — and she isnriding in an elevator, when suddenlynshe hears the sound of vaguely familiarnmusic drifting through the headphonesnof a fellow passenger’s Walkman. Andnright there on that elevator, wearingnItalian shoes and surrounded bynnnFrenchmen, my daughter feels her eyesnwell up as her mind floods with thenthought: my home, my mother, myn. . . raisin’nIs the song on the Walkman “ThisnLand Is Your Land”? Get serious —nthe girl has been brought to tears. Far,nfar from suburban Cincinnati, far fromnthe golden shopping malls and verdantnLittle League diamonds of home, myndaughter is hearing the words of JimmienRodgers, the words she herselfnsang as a babe:nMy pocketbook is emptynMy heart is filled with painnI’m a thousand milesnaway from homenWaiting for a train . . .nBut the part that really gets to her is thenyodel.nJanet Scott Barlow writes fromnCincinnati.nCOMMONWEALnThe Politics of AcidnRain in Canadanby Kenneth McDonaldnUntil this year, acid rain was rarelynfront-page material in Canada,nthough a Parliamentary Special Committeenon Acid Rain did solid work bothnon identifying the sources and proposingnremedies. As a newsmaker, however,nit was overshadowed by such Canadiannstaples as the whopping nationalndebt, constitutional wrangles betweennAUGUST 1990/53n