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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1.
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
2.
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
3.
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
4.
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
5.
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
6.
Coal Tattoo 04:10
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
7.
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
8.
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
9.
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
10.
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

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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Mardell McCombs Talking Rock, Georgia

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