Cabin in the Hills

by Mardell McCombs

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    Tales of love and loss, feuds and moonshiners, all the beauty, magic and mystery of the Appalachian Mountains

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about

For those who love the mountains and country living, I hope this musical journey through Appalachia is one you'll enjoy again and again.

I live in the North Georgia foothills now and in the past I've spent many years in Western North Carolina so this project was dear to my heart.

If my love for the mountains and it's people shines through this music and you're well entertained then I've done my job!

credits

released September 13, 2019

Coal Tattoo by Billy Ed Wheeler arranged by Mardell McCombs
God Bless the Moonshiners Traditional arranged by Mardell McCombs

All other music written performed, produced and arranged by Mardell McCombs

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all rights reserved

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Mardell McCombs Talking Rock, Georgia

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Track Name: Blue Ridge Blue
BLUE RIDGE BLUE words & music Mardell McCombs © Talking Rock Publishing


I'm feeling Blue Ridge blue
I've got to get back home again
Miss my family, left behind some real good friends
You know that city life, ain't all that it's cracked up to be
I've got to go back home
I hear those mountains calling me

My heart is in the Smoky Mountains
That is the place I long to be
No matter how far I may wander
The Blue Ridge is always home to me


Friends here say why go back
There must be nothing there to do
And it's so quiet there doesn't that silence get to you
How can they understand a different world they'll never know
That peace and quiet are exactly why I need to go

My heart is in the Smoky Mountains
That is the place I long to be
No matter how far I may wander
The Blue Ridge is always home to me

Finally left the highway driving on that county road
Now it's woods and pasture, barns and cattle herds
That joy within my soul when I first see these hills again
I'll never put that feeling into words

I want a long cold drink
Of pure sweet water from the spring
I want to walk that ridge, breathe in the peace the mountains bring
Oh you can have your towns, I’ve found my place in the world
And I just thank the Lord
That I was born a mountain girl

My heart is in the Smoky Mountains
That is the place I long to be
No matter how far I may wander
The Blue Ridge is always home to me
The Blue Ridge is always home to me
Track Name: Return to the Hills
RETURN TO THE HILLS words & music Mardell McCombs © Talking Rock Publishing

You are taking the long road
You are going away
I cannot go with you
For here I must stay
I have given my promise
To wait faithfully
Return to the hills
Come back to me

There is nothing for the young men
To tempt them to stay
And they soon pack their bags
And head far away
Towards the glittering cities
Where wealth seems to be
Return to the hills
Come back to me

You say in your letter you'll send me the fare
Life would be better if you had me there
Surely I'd join you if my love was true
But you're asking the one thing that I cannot do

Through the woods, by the waters
I wander alone
I will not leave these mountains
This is my home
Amid concrete and crowds
Thoughts cannot be heard
Nor the sigh of the wind
Or the song of the birds

You want to bring something back
We can both share
But my only lack is
I'm here and you're there
Your face is the treasure
I'm longing to see

Return to these hills
Come back to me
Return to the hills
Come back to me
Come back to me
Track Name: Brown Mountain Lights
BROWN MOUNTAIN LIGHTS words & music Mardell McCombs © Talking Rock Publishing

There are things in the dark we can't know
There are places we'd rather not go
We believe in what we touch, feel and see
Mother Earth still guards her mysteries

On the hill there's a light
And it flickers and it glows
And try as they might
Where it comes from
No man knows
The Brown Mountain Lights
Brown Mountain Lights

There's an old legend from the Cherokee
That tells how these lights came to be
Indian maidens search for their lost loves
Since 1200 they've been wandering above

On the hill there's a light
And it flickers and it glows
And try as they might
Where it comes from
No man knows
The Brown Mountain Lights
Brown Mountain Lights

Now if you ask the folks around here
They'll tell of an old railroad engineer
Died in a wreck that broke his back
Now his ghost lantern shines from the tracks

Scientists have come here through the years
To expose superstition and fears
They test and they measure and then
Shake their heads, and go home again

On the hill there's a light
And it flickers and it glows
And try as they might
Where it comes from
No man knows
The Brown Mountain Lights
Brown Mountain Lights
Brown Mountain Lights
Track Name: God Bless the Moonshiners
GOD BLESS THE MOONSHINERS Traditional

God Bless those moonshiners
I wish they was mine
Their breath is as sweet as the dew on the vine
I'll find me a holler, I'll build me a still
And I'll still you a gallon fer a two dollar bill

I've been a moonshiner
For seventeen long years
I've drunk up my share of fine whiskey and beer
God Bless those moonshiners
I wish they was mine
Their breath is as sweet as the dew on the vine

Go down to the alehouse
And drink with my friends
No woman to follow to see what I spend
God Bless those moonshiners
I wish they was mine
Their breath is as sweet as the dew on the vine

I'll eat when I'm hungry
I'll drink when I'm dry
Pretty women when I'm lonesome
Sweet heaven when I die
God Bless those moonshiners
I wish they was mine
Their breath is as sweet as the dew on the vine

God Bless those moonshiners
I wish they was mine
Their breath is as sweet as the dew on the vine
I'll find me a holler, I'll build me a still
And I'll still you a gallon fer a two dollar bill
Track Name: A Simple Life
A SIMPLE LIFE words & music Mardell McCombs © Talking Rock Publishing


We put in a good long day in the pasture bailing hay
Working till the suns fading light
Get ourselves washed up and then
Have some supper and turn in
That old beds sure gonna feel real good tonight

I like living in the country
It don't take much to keep me satisfied
A little house, a little land
And with the Good Lord's helping hand
We'll lead a simple life with country pride

As the seasons come and go there's a rhythm to their flow
And you have a time to work and play and rest
In the woods go take a walk
On the front porch sit and talk
We find the simple pleasures are the best

I like living in the country
It don't take much to keep me satisfied
A little house, a little land
And with the Good Lord's helping hand
We'll lead a simple life with country pride

A mockingbird's sweet song
The dance of fireflies
It's here that we belong
It is here happiness lies

In the cities I am told folks are striving for that gold
And their clothes and cars and houses are so fine
Well they have my sympathy
Far as I can see
They've bought everything but peace of mind

I like living in the country
It don't take much to keep me satisfied
A little house, a little land
And with the Good Lord's helping hand
We'll lead a simple life with country pride
A little house, a little land
And with the Good Lord's helping hand
We'll lead a simple life with country pride
We'll lead a simple life with country pride
Track Name: Coal Tattoo
COAL TATTOO
words & music by Billy Ed Wheeler © BMG Music Publishing

Travelin' down that coal town road
Listen to those rubber tires whine;
Goodbye to Buckeye and White Sycamore
I'm leavin' you behind
I've been a coal man all my days
Layin' down track in the hole
Got a back like an ironwood bent by the wind
Blood veins blue as the coal

Somebody said "That's a strange tattoo
You have on the side of your head."
I said "That's the mark, of the #9 coal
Just a little more and I'd be dead"
Oh, but I love the rumble and I love the dark
I love the cool of the slate
It's that traveling down a new road lookin' for a job
It's the travelin' and lookin' I hate

I've stood for the union, walked in the line
Fought against the company;
Stood for the U. M. W. of A
Now who's gonna stand for me?
Now I got no job and I got no pay
Just got a worried soul;
And this blue tattoo on the side of my head
Left by the number nine coal

Someday when I die and go
To heaven, land of my dreams
I won't have to worry about losing my job
To bad times and big machines
Oh I got no job and I got no pay
I've just got a worried soul
And this blue tattoo on the side of my head
Left by the #9 coal
Track Name: Grandma's Quilt
GRANDMA'S QUILT words & music Mardell McCombs © Talking Rock Publishing

When I remember Grandma
It seems a light shone from her face
Her hands made the lightest biscuits
She called it "touch o' grace"
I loved to visit Grandma
Up the front steps I would race
Her arms were always welcoming
Her lap my safest place

I liked to watch her make her quilts
How her needle flew
Through rows of tiny stitches
And each one straight and true
I'd help her sort the pieces
From scraps she'd saved for years
Each fabric had it's story
Of memories she held dear

Now this one here was your Mama's dress
When she was just your age
Made this shirt for your Uncle
Back then he was teen-age
You don't remember this one?
Well you were only three
I sewed your Easter outfit
You were cute as you could be

I grew older, life got busy
But I'd visit when I could
Grandma didn't quilt much then
Her health was none too good
She seemed to tire easily
Her sight was growing dim
She was lonely without Grandpa
Now she's gone to be with him

Won't she make the sweetest angel
Looking down from above
I wrap her quilt around me
And I'm warmed by her love
Though the colors now are faded
And the borders somewhat frayed
My heart will always cherish
The quilt that Grandma made
Track Name: Sweet Haven of Love
SWEET HAVEN OF LOVE words & music Mardell McCombs

In today's cold world
You're on your own
But when you walk with Jesus
You don't walk alone
In a troubled world
Of grief and sin
Let your heart take refuge in

Sweet haven of Love
A light from above
To guide us and show us the way
A refuge from the storms of life
Oh shelter me, I pray
Sweet haven of love

When you feel
There's no place left to turn
And no place left to hide
There's a comfort in
That holy book
God's arms are open wide
Sweet haven of love

Sweet haven of love
A light from above
To guide us and show us the way
A refuge from the storms of life
Oh shelter me, I pray
Sweet haven of love
Sweet haven of love
Track Name: Ballad of Tate & Lee
BALLAD OF TATE AND LEE words & music Mardell McCombs © Talking Rock Publishing

Away back yonder past Carter's dam
Where folks get by as best they can
A clan named Lee and a clan named Tate
Knew how to love, knew how to hate

Their deadly feud started long ago
When William Tate murdered Lee's young Joe
Or was it Joe who killed Will Tate
Each side their version will relate

For generations come and gone
This bitter feud lived on and on
Sparked by word of the hated name
A lust for vengeance fanned the flame

Where a cardinal sits in a dogwood tree
Where the redbuds bloom so prettily
Came a boy and girl to their secret bower
To make the most of a stolen hour

She was a Tate, he was a Lee
Therein lay all their tragedy
By the Good Book be ye led
Bury your hate or bury your dead

Their family's rage they did defy
And swore their love they would not deny
Her uncle said he'd settle the score
She'd best not meet that Lee boy no more

Early one dawn she slipped away
Her uncle's shadow follerin’ all the way
He aimed his gun, glanced around
Without a word, shot that poor boy down

And as he turned and walked away
Muttered "One less Lee in the world today"
He left her there to weep and pray
On the bloody ground where her dead lover lay

She took his hand, she took his knife
Knowed it was a sin, taking her own life
So tenderly, she kissed his brow
Saying "None can part us, where we go now"

She was a Tate, he was a Lee
Therein lay all their tragedy
By the Good Book be ye led
Bury your hate or bury your dead

Where a hoot owl sleeps in a white oak tree
Two lovers rest for eternity
Track Name: Our Little Cabin in the Hills
OUR LITTLE CABIN IN THE HILLS words & music Mardell McCombs © Talking Rock Publishing


The sun comes up, the green hills glow
Fog drifts through the hollow
Did the same here yesterday and will again tomorrow
I don't think I could ever take God's beauty here for granted
Each day is like the first for me
And it's all I've ever wanted

Our little cabin in the hills
We have such good times there
The simple joys in life
Are the ones we love to share

Summertime is lots of fun, wild strawberries in June
July we climb the cherry tree, blackberries coming soon
The garden looks real good this year
It keeps us on the run
There's weeding, picking, watering and canning to be done

Our little cabin in the hills
We have such good times there
The simple joys in life
Are the ones we love to share

Autumn leaves display their glory, fresh cider tastes so good
Better fill the woodshed, we'll need lots of stove wood
Hams are in the smokehouse, canned sausages and lard
The wooly bugs are all black so this winter might be hard

Our little cabin in the hills
We have such good times there
The simple joys in life
Are the ones we love to share

I love the very first snow, it's always such a thrill
Can't wait to get the sleds out and go racing down the hill
Evenings by the fireside, with a new quilt on the frame
Play music and tell stories
And wait for spring again

Our little cabin in the hills
We have such good times there
The simple joys in life
Are the ones we love to share

Our little cabin in the hills
Our little cabin in the hills

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