Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

Southern Appalachians songs with lyrics, commentary & some sheet music.

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treading their edges has no fear of falling into an abyss.3 These mountains are therefore more thickly populated than those in the north. The scenery is magnificent. The atmospheric condition lends a peculiar charm to the panoramic views, for these highlands cover a great area and do not lie in perceptible ranges. They appear as one vast whole, though they are dis­tinguished as ranges by name, such as Blue Ridge, Great Smoky, Black, Pisgah, Balsam, Nantahala, Cowee, Tusquitee, Beech, Roan, etc. Here is the superb sight of mountain overtopping mountain and reaching over vast areas of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia and here in this still somewhat isolated region the people speak, to some extent at least, a language of the past — a language in many respects like that of Shakespeare's time — and sing the old ballads and folk-songs.
"The Blue Ridge! What mountains ever offered themselves to the sun so enchantingly as the long curve of the Appalachian chain where it passes through Virginia and North Carolina down to Alabama, running all the way full southwest! This battlement of heaven was not named by accident. It was named Blue because there was no other name for it. It is blue; tremendously, thrillingly blue; tenderly, evasively blue. And the sky that contains it is also entrancingly blue; even the storms do not make it sullen, and when they pass, the sun breaks out more radiantly than ever. Beyond the Blue Ridge in North Carolina, other and higher mountains rise like spirit forms into the deep sky, rank upon rank, height upon height, guarded as it were and protected by the encircling wall of the Blue Ridge."4
Strictly speaking the southern highlands are located in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. The average tourist from the North takes a run into Virginia and thinks he is seeing the high mountains of the South. However, a visitor can soon reach the southern plateau either from Bristol, Tennessee, or from the east via Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The two ranges seen in Virginia, the Blue Ridge and Alleghanies, continue into North Carolina and Tennessee, but there they reach great heights. There are two hundred and eighty-eight peaks in the southern highlands above 5,000 feet; there are forty-six peaks above 6,000 feet; and twenty-one peaks are higher than Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina is 6,711 feet, and Clingman Dome, Le Conte, and Mt.
J Hoi ace Kepharr. Our Southern Highlanders, New York, 1913, p. 51. 4 Margaret \V. Morlcy: The Carolina Mountains, Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1913, p. 6.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III