The great debate continues: violins vs. fields

“A violin is a fiddle; a fiddle is a violin. There are no differentiating features, period. The only true reason you’d call one instrument a violin and the other a fiddle is the approach…”

(Violin vs. fiddle: What’s the Difference?)

I, like millions of Americans, have been “tuned in” to the presidential debates and campaign music, hoping to hear a peculiar sound that would resonate– listening attentively to the bow tickle the strings in perfect pitch and harmony. 

Whether they’re nylon or synthetic or steel, the strings of both the violin and fiddle regretfully sound GUTLESS! 

They ‘SHOULD BE’ playing the music of OUR SOUL rather than contracting like an accordion!

Watcha say, Lauryn, “Strumming my pain with his fingers. Singing my life with his words. Killing me softly with his song. Killing me softly…”  

(Yet I’m not sure that either climbed the ‘Hill’.)

 Neither has plucked the ‘Strings of Urban Poverty’, nor stroked the ‘Sentiments of the Angst in Appalachia’. 

 Yes, each has “brushed” the bow of “Bureaucracies”– our need “to tinker” around the edges; but neither has “HOOPED” from the pulpit, nor sang a ‘Psalm from his Heart’! Beloved listen: NOTHING IS FREE! BOTH SOCIAL PROGRAMS AND TAX CUTS COST! 

  IT’S A MORAL IMPERATIVE! Whatever the musical genres– Baroque music, classical, jazz, folk music, rock and roll, or Soft rock– play a song from your HEART! 

 Don’t just ‘Tickle’ my ear with sweet music…Don’t just tell me the tales of glee… 


 …In the proverbial “Cabrini Greens” or “Green Acers”, ASK AMERICANS TO ASSUME PATRIOTISM! Because, neither “Trickle down Economics nor “Trickle down Government”, truly works in a vacuum– We MUST, ALL, recognize that WE’RE ‘IN THIS’ TOGETHER!  

 It’s ‘Time for Martyrs Now’…Those who would DIE to Cynicism, Indifference and Greed!

 Enshrine Andrew Ross Sorkin’s terse, “Too Big to Fail” onto the granite face of Mount Rushmore next to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln or next to “The King” on the National Mall. 

Chris Hayes called it “the sharp line between the Virtuous private sector and the Vicious and Predatory public sector.”  

Now, I know this is a bunch to take in, even in a “brief” as short as this– like trying to empty Hurricane Sandy with a teaspoon; this might be a bit TOO much. But, if you will for a second, pretend that we are NOT polar opposites, because actually it’s colder at the South Pole than it is at “the North.”

 Yes, Rachel Maddow is right, “We live at opposite ends of the telescope and when we look into the middle, we can’t see much of each other.” 

And unless we more soberly view our responsibility to humanity as more than a conservative stronghold of states rights and limited government or progressive aspirations of unlimited, unfettered altruism– OUR UNION WILL PERISH.  

“Some fiddlers will shave their bridge flat to ensure an easily attainable double-stop (two strings played at once)…so the set-up may be different on a fiddle… [YET] they’re still one and the same instrument.”

Play it again, Uncle Sam, via violin or by fiddle, “…with Liberty and Justice for All!”



Anthony E. Jones is a Grambling alum now residing in New Orleans.