Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

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

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Introduction
native conditions and a splendid base for expeditions to Gregory Bald, Clingman Dome, Thunderhead, etc., is to be found at Cade's Cove, Tennessee, an oasis-like spot three by six miles in the midst of wilderness. Entirely surrounded by mountains, the Cove can be reached by automobile by only one way, a hard surfaced road over Rich Mountain. The approach from Knoxville is either via Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Elkmont, and Tucka-leeche Cove; or via Maryville and Tuckaleeche Cove. Cade's Cove is the best center for exploring the Smokies that we were able to find during our summer's visit (in 1928) and it is practically free from the haunts of men except for the native mountaineer in his natural state. The tourist rarely passes beyond Gatlinburg. Cade's Cove is about forty-five miles farther in the interior. The post office is Cade's Cove, Tennessee.
In addition to the scenery of the mountains, the trees, and the plants, the mountain people are most interesting, hospitable, and kindly. As intimated before, they still talk to some extent the language of Shakespeare's time and sing the songs and ballads of that period. They cling even yet to the manners and customs of the 18th century. They are mostly descendants of immigrants (Swiss, German, Scotch-Irish, English) who came to eastern Pennyslvania about 1682 and again about 1740. Many Germans arrived at the former date. Large bodies of the persecuted Scotch-Irish came from the north of Ireland at the latter date. These people later followed the mountains southward as far as North Carolina and Tennessee. In eastern Pennsylvania were born the ancestors of Lincoln, Boone, Calhoun, Davy Crockett, Stonewall Jackson, and Sam Houston.
In "Americans the Twentieth Century Forgot"10 Miss Laura Thorn-borough has the following interesting comment on the people she knows so well :
"'It's a mystery how they make a living,' you murmur to yourself. But
is it a mystery? These descendants of pioneer ancestors, proud of their
spanned the backbone of the Smokies. This road was built at Indian Gap above the headwaters of Little Pigeon River at an elevation of 5317 feet. It was an impossible grade from its very inception, and during the sixty-odd years of abandonmeant since that time it has fallen into such disuse that now only a trace of it remains and this is difficult of negotiation even on horseback
"There has never been any other road over the Smokies except bear- and man-made trails. Only travelers afoot could traverse its steeps from the Tennessee side of the divide or from The North Carolina slopes The sinuous trails worn knee-deep in some cases by Indians were precarious enough at their best to the uninitiated and often misguided wayfarers vanished forever in the intricate maze never to return again."
10 TRAvEL, April, 1928.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III