Far Side Banks of Jordan

Granny and pap
Granny and Pap Thanksgiving 2015

Pap and Granny's 52 Wedding Anniversary would have been tomorrow. That's a whole lot of years. The Deer Hunter and I passed our 20 year mark a few years ago. He teases me that it seems a whole heck of a lot longer than that! He and I both agree the years of our marriage have flown past at record speed and I'm happy to say we both agree our lives have been better because of each other. Pap and Granny felt that way too.

Seemed like the older Pap and Granny got the closer they became and the more they held onto each other. I think Granny told every last person who spoke to her at Pap's funeral that she'd lost her best friend and I know she has. 

As we talked about what songs Pap would want played at his service Granny teared up as she told us they'd recently seen Jimmy Fortune sing On the Far Side Banks of Jordan on tv. She said Pap told her "Now you remember those words and think of them when I'm gone." Over the last few months I know Pap knew his death was drawing nigh. 

Pap had told my brothers he wanted the Robbinsville Quartet to sing for his funeral. We ask if they knew the song On the Far Side Banks of Jordan but they didn't. The only folks I'd ever heard sing it was The Marksmen. I used to have a cassette tape with their version and it always made me sad and happy at the same time. Terry Smith wrote the great song and although I didn't know it, the song has been recorded by lots of folks. 

Far Side Banks Of Jordan written by Terry Smith

I believe my steps are growing wearier each day
Still I've got a journey on my mind
Lures of this old world have ceased to make me want to stay
and my one regret is leaving you behind

But I'll be waiting on the farside banks of Jordan
I'll be sitting drawing pictures in the sand
And when I see you coming I will rise up with a shout!
And come running through the shallow waters reaching for your hand

If it proves to be his will that I am first to cross
And some how I've a feeling it will be
When it comes your time to travel likewise don't feel lost
For I will be the first one that you'll see

But I'll be waiting on the farside banks of Jordan
I'll be sitting drawing pictures in the sand
And when I see you coming I will rise up with a shout!
And come running through the shallow waters reaching for your hand

Through this life we've laboured hard to earn our meager fare
It's brought us trembling hands and failing eyes
So I'll just rest here on this shore and turn my eyes away
Until you'll come then we'll see paradise

But I'll be waiting on the farside banks of Jordan
I'll be sitting drawing pictures in the sand
And when I see you coming I will rise up with a shout!
And come running through the shallow waters reaching for your hand

Here's the Jimmy Fortune version Granny and Pap watched.

 

I could never repay you for the kind words you've sent about Pap. Words that have and will uphold me during this sad time. 

Paul and Pap's new cd Shepherd of my Soul contains 13 original songs written by Pap. What a comfort all the songs Pap wrote will be for us as we go forward. Even though Paul has listened to the songs on the cd hundreds of times as he did the mixing of the recording, he said when he heard them yesterday he heard them anew. I haven't been able to listen to any of Pap's songs yet. But I know they're there when I'm ready.

If you're interested in purchasing a cd you can buy one directly from me (go here for the details) or jump over to my the Blind Pig and The Acorn Etsy shop and pick one up there. 

Tipper

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I'm Traveling the Road that Leads Home

Pap Jerry Wilson

Photo of Pap courtesy of Ed M.

 

Just Going Home written by Jerry Wilson

I may be bowed down with sorrow Trouble where ever I go
Yet in my heart I'll be singing I'm traveling the road that leads home

Oh nothing could thrill my heart more than to know that my trials will be o're
To this world my soul don't belong In this life I'm just going home

Though I may not have great riches In this world I own no great thing
Yet at the end of my journey I'll be rich as the greatest of kings

In this world no treasures I'll seek I've lain them up where they will keep
To this world my soul don't belong In this life I'm just going home

Oh nothing could thrill my heart more than to know that my trials will be o're
To this world my soul don't belong In this life I'm just going home

Home

 

Tipper

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Who Will Sing For Me?

Who Will Sing For Me?

Oft I sing for my friends
When death's cold hand they see
But when I am gone
Who will sing one song for me?

I wonder who will sing for me
When I'm called to cross that silent sea
Who will sing for me?

When a crowd shall gather round
And look down on me
Will they turn and walk away
Or will they sing one song for me?

I wonder who will sing for me
When I'm called to cross that silent sea
Who will sing for me?

So I'll sing for my friends
And death will brighter be
Assured some friend 
Will sing one song for me. 

I wonder who will sing for me
When I'm called to cross that silent sea
Who will sing for me?

written by Thomas J. Farris

 

I've heard this old song my whole life. I tried to find out the history of it to share with you but didn't find much. What I did find can be read on The Mudcat Cafe

Although I haven't asked either Pap or Paul, I would assume its a meaningful song for each of them. They have sung at many funerals over the years. Some for friends who had lived a rich long life some for friends who left us way to soon. I imagine each of them have wondered who would sing for them someday. 

There are many variations of the song so you may be used to hearing different words than the ones in the video. It's certainly a song with a sad subject matter, however there's a lovely beauty to it as well...or maybe that's just Paul and Pap's outstanding harmony I'm hearing. 

Tipper

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RIP Merle Haggard

Merle haggard fan

I grew up in a family of Merle Haggard fans. How can anyone deny the man's musical genius? I believe his name was uttered with deep reverence in my home because as a musician he truly had it all. Haggard had a voice that arguably is among the best ever recorded, he had the guitar playing down too, but his appeal doesn't quite stop there.

Haggard was often called The Poet of the Common Man. All one has to do is listen to his original songs to understand why.

The songs Haggard penned speak directly to the every day, hard working, trying to get ahead, life is sometimes a pain, Joe on the street. His songs are about real life.

Courting days

The Deer Hunter and Tipper (early 90s)

Through the years I can trace my love of Haggard songs by the way they came packaged. 

  • First there were the albums Paul and I listened to as kids. One day as we were digging the Merle tunes I said "You know we should invite him to come over." Paul said "Yeah like why would he come here? He's famous." Even at that early age I had found the secret to Merle Haggard's success. By listening to his songs I truly believed he must be just like us. And hey someone was always coming by to pick and grin with Pap so why not Merle?
  • Elementary school was made happier the day I got my first portable 8-track tape player. The teachers allowed me to bring it to school as long as it was only played during recess. One of Granny's trips to Gainesville GA supplied my most popular 8-track for school, Merle's Rainbow Stew album.
  • During my last year of high school I bought my first car and it had a cassette player. As most high school seniors I had all the angst about what to do with my life going round and round in my head. The Merle song that takes me back to those days-Momma Tried.
  • Most couples have a certain song or type of music that brings to mind the early days in their relationship. Without a doubt the courting days between The Deer Hunter and I were filled with the songs of Merle Haggard blaring from the cd player.

A few years ago when we first filmed one of my favorite Merle Haggard songs, Silver Wings, Paul joked that it almost seemed a sacrilege to put our version on youtube because no matter how many times we did it our attempt would never even get close to the original.

I love playing Silver Wings because  it's one of my favorite songs, but mostly I love knowing that as kids Paul and I sat around in the floor and listened to Merle sing it and here we are as adults playing it ourselves. 

For this Pickin' & Grinnin' In The Kitchen Spot Silver Wings written by Merle Haggard.

I posted portions of this post a few years back and decided to re-post it since Merle Haggard died earlier this week. I've got too many favorite Merle Haggard songs to narrow it down to just one, but you can check this link out to hear a few of my favorites: Merle Medley.

Tipper

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Looking Back at Music here on the Blind Pig and The Acorn

The pressley girls at appalachian story telling festival

We had a great time at the Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival and we thank all the Blind Pig readers who came out to see our show, you really made us feel special. During the festival quilts are displayed throughout the entire banquet hall. Attendees can go around and admire the handiwork and also read the 'story' of each quilt. On the first day of the festival we wandered around and read about each quilt as went. We were both pleased and surprised to find quilts made by Blind Pig Reader Ethelene Dyer Jones. The girls are posing in front of one of Ethelene's beautiful quilts in the photo above. 

David Holt and Josh Goforth played before us at the festival. Wow what an amazing show they put on! If the duo comes to your area they are a must see attraction. Fantastic music, singing, and storytelling that will make you laugh till tears run down your face. 

Between listening to David's stories related to his musical journey and seeing Blind Pig Readers spread throughout the audience I headed home thinking about the music I've shared on the Blind Pig and the Acorn since I first started eight years ago.

I knew without looking back through the archives the first song I ever shared was our version of Simon and Garfunkle's El Condor Pasa. But I was surprised that I shared it very close to this day eight years ago. I published my first Pickin' and Grinnin' video on March 29, 2008.

We didn't even have a video camera to film the song. Chitter filmed it with her small hand held camera, you could have probably guessed that by the poor quality of the video. I remember after we watched it we told her she must have been trying to make it look like a rock band with all the moving back and forth. And we still tease her abut filming the feet! When I watch the video today I can't believe how young the boys (my nephews) were, I think Mark was still in middle school. 

We filmed the song again in 2013. By then we had a video camera and the boys had turned into men.

The music of the Blind Pig and The Acorn has changed much in the 8 years since I started the blog. My nephews almost always showed up in those early videos. Chatter and Chitter only showed up when we could tie them down long enough to sing one song without too much arguing and fussing.

Gradually the girls began playing instruments themselves and began to take more of an interest in the music we were making in Paul's kitchen. The nephews headed out into the world to make their own way. With one living in Connecticut and the other in Texas they rarely get to play with us these days. I can't see the girls moving off as far as the nephews did, but who knows what path their lives will take and whether they'll always be able to make music with us. Whatever the future may hold, I'm glad the girls and my nephews have a warehouse full of stories and memories about making music with their uncle, their aunt/mother, and their Pap that they can pull out and tell to each other or to anyone else that will listen. 

AND I'm thankful you've let me share the music we make with you!

Tipper

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The Mountain Burned With Fire

Shepherd of My Soul by Jerry and Paul Wilson

The Mountain Burned With Fire by Jerry Wilson

Oh the mountain burned with fire
Smoke was everywhere
The trumpet sounded long and loud
God’s holy word all the people heard
His voice speaking from the cloud
Great was the fear they could not endure
God’s righteous law and man would fail

God’s holy son the perfect sinless one
Oh he came to seek and save the lost
Sent from above with the father’s love
To die for all upon the cross
Now you need not fear Jesus Christ is near
Call on his name and you’ll be saved

A man named Saul
God changed his name to Paul
Oh he made it plain in all the land
If you’ll believe grace you shall receive
So plain a child could understand
That Jesus is the way come to him today
Through faith by grace you must be saved

Graham the name message yet the same
But published now to all the Earth
The father’s plan free to every man
With power to give to all new birth
Now the way is made all the price is paid
Come to the Lord just as I am
Jesus is the way you don’t have to pay
Call on his name and you’ll be saved

----------------------------

Pap's original song, The Mountain Burned with Fire is one of the tracks on his and Paul's new cd Shepherd of my Soul.  The cd contains 13 original songs written by Pap, 1 written by Paul, 3 gospel standards, and one Instrumental Reprise of the first song on the cd.

 

 

Out of all the songs Pap has written this is one of my very favorites. The tune bounces along and the words jump along to the beat. Its a very fun song to play on the bass.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has already bought a cd. If you're interested in purchasing a cd you can buy one directly from me (go here for the details) or jump over to my the Blind Pig and The Acorn Etsy shop and pick one up there. 

Happy Easter to each of you from the whole Blind Pig Gang.

Tipper

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Growling Old Man Grumbling Old Woman

Growling Old Man Grumbling Old Woman

The Pressley Girls are busy as bees these days. They are full time college students and work as part time landscapers. They do chores for us, they do chores for Pap and Granny. Chitter runs her Stamey Creek Creations Etsy store and hand crafts all the items in the store. Chatter makes all our soap, deodorant, and various other items in an effort to keep us healthy.  In addition The Pressley Girls are garnering more and more attention for their musical pursuits.

Whew! It makes me tired to think about all that busyness and I didn't even mention the things they do for fun like crocheting and reading!

As with most musicians the girls always have a new favorite song to perform until the next one comes along. Just after Christmas they began playing the old fiddle tune Growling Old Man Grumbling Old Woman. The tune is often played at Contra Dances and because of that the girls and I have been familiar with it for many years.

The liner notes for the Thrufters and Throughstones cd has this to say about the fiddle tune:

"Growling Old Man and Grumbling Old Woman" is a traditional fiddle tune heard in many fiddling traditions from Ireland to Scotland to Cape Breton to Quebec to Vermont. It is a popular tune for dances, fiddle contests and music sessions with a long history dating back to at least the 19th century. The first half of the tune (played on the fiddle in the low register) sounds the man's part and the second half (high register) is the lady's. In 1973 legendary fiddler Louis Beaudoin from Burlington recorded it on his debut recording on Philo Records and Ron West recorded it on Smithsonian Folkways "Mademoiselle, Voulez-Vous Danser?"

Check out The Pressley Girls' version of the tune.

 
I hope you liked the fiddle tune! As you might guess, there has been much teasing about the name of the tune around here. The Deer Hunter and I have been told its about us and Pap and Granny's been told it's about them too.

Tipper

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Paul and Pap's New CD - Track 9

Shepherd of My Soul by Jerry and Paul Wilson
Last Sunday I told you about Paul and Pap's new cd Shepherd of my Soul.  As I mentioned last week, the cd contains 13 original songs written by Pap, 1 written by Paul, 3 gospel standards, and one Instrumental Reprise of the first song on the cd. Today I'm going to share one of the standards with you.

 

The Gloryland Way has always been one of my favorite gospel songs. I just love the peppy optimism that runs throughout the song. I wrote about it way back when I first started the Blind Pig and then re-published the post in 2013. If you'd like to see the post, which includes a live version of Pap and Paul singing The Gloryland Way go here

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has already bought a cd. If you're interested in purchasing a cd you can buy one directly from me (go here for the details) or jump over to my the Blind Pig and The Acorn Etsy shop and pick one up there. 

Tipper

p.s I'm making a last call for Cucumber Reporters @ Large. Go here for the details!

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Paul and Pap's New CD

Shepherd of My Soul by Jerry and Paul Wilson

Paul and Pap have been working on the cd above for the last several years. Paul's goal was for them to record as many of Pap's original songs as they could. Pap's written so many songs that Paul could make a boxed set of cds if they got them all recorded! Paul finally decided to put the 14 original songs they had completed on this cd and get it out there while he continued to work on the others. 

Song list for Shepherd of My Soul by Paul and Jerry Wilson

The cd contains 13 original songs written by Pap, 1 written by Paul, 3 gospel standards, and one Instrumental Reprise of the first song on the cd. 

The cds just arrived this week. As you might imagine, I've listened to little else since the day they came. The cd is really good. The addition of a keyboard on some of the tracks lends a different flavor to the music you usually hear from Pap and Paul. 

Paul uploaded one of the songs to Youtube so folks could hear it. He's planning on uploading a few of the others as well. Take a listen to Pap's original song New Birth.

 I hope you enjoyed the first song off the new cd! Be on the lookout for more. If you're interested in purchasing a cd you can buy one directly from me (go here for the details) or jump over to my the Blind Pig and The Acorn Etsy shop and pick one up there. 

Tipper

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Twenty Years Ago

Twenty years cover of the civil wars by the pressley girls

Since I shared a video of Paul and Chitter in last week's Pickin' and Grinnin' in the Kitchen Spot, I thought I'd share one with Paul and Chatter today.

Paul helped Chatter learn and record The Civil Wars song Twenty Years for Pap's special Christmas DVD. Chatter was fighting a cold the day they filmed it. My camera caught her sipping her hot tea to try to loosen up her voice before Paul arrived.

The song is one that makes you think and wonder about the back story. It was written by Joy Williams who was half of The Civil Wars before they moved on to other things. Paul said he heard her say she wrote the song about a secret in her family. 

Twenty Years written by Joy Williams

There's a note underneath your front door
That I wrote twenty years ago
Yellow paper and a faded picture
And a secret in an envelope

There's no reason, no excuses
There's no secondhand alibi
Just some black ink on some blue lines
And a shadow you won't recognize

In the meantime I'll be waiting
For twenty years, for twenty more
I'll be praying for redemption
And your note underneath my door

And your note underneath my door

 

I think it sounds great even if Chatter did need hot tea to get through it! Hope you enjoyed it too.

Tipper

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