Please, Blue Ridge Descendants, Come Home

To the tune of Poor Little Benny, as sung by Bela and Rosa Lam, Jollett Hollow, Virginia, c.1927. (Lyrics to Please, Blue Ridge Descendants, Come Home below)


The following song was written for the Blue Ridge Genealogy Homecoming, October 11, 2014, Elkton, Virginia.

Please Blue Ridge Descendants Come Home

To be sung to the tune of Poor Little Benny, as sung by Bela Lam.

When ol’ John Lederer climbed up that hill
What he saw down the far other side
Was a valley so purty of all green and blue
That the old man just sat down and cried.
Then came Adam Mueller who staked out his claim
Up yonder on ‘ol Hawksbill Creek.
But then by and by all them settlers poured in –
Pennsylvania was starting to leak.

Chorus: Come home, come home, come home;
Please Blue Ridge descendants come home.

With Shenandoah Dutch and Scots-Irish mutts
The valley was fillin’ right fast
So up in them mountains the next ones to come
Had to settle for bein’ the last.
They set up their farms on the sides of the hills
Poor dirt farmers they were fer sure
But our hearty ancestors made do with it all
Wasn’t nothin’ they couldn’t endure.

Mary Meadows kilt a bear with a broom, I am told,
Another wrung ‘shine through her bloomers.
One used dead Grampy’s ol’ knuckles for dice
People, these are much more than just rumors.
Floyd Comer put his still on the back of his truck
To hide from the dang revenuer
Got caught anyway and they put him away
Swear this story just couldn’t be truer.

Down yonder in all those ol’ hollers, they say
A mess o’ hillbillies was born.
When gov’ment came calling to grab up the land
All we got in return was their scorn.
Not to mention the money that gave a good start
On a life in the valley below.
We missed our ole’ lives but were out of the dives,
A good deal after all, but we’re slow.

Chorus: Come home, come home, come home;
Please Blue Ridge descendants come home.

Then down come the Comers and Cardins and Colliers,
The Breedens and Baughers and Deans,
The Shorts and the Stanleys and Snowses and Lamses,
The Wyants, the Woods, and the Greens.
Come from Beldor and Stanley and good ol’ Dean Mountain
And mussn’t forget Massanutten
All standing alone in the midst of the Valley,
Like a massive ole’ stewed side of mutton.

We’ve got Eppards and Painters and Taylors and Stroles
And Herrings, Dofflemyers, Billhimers
Things ain’t so strange if they never do change,
We’re just-a-bunch of Blue Ridge old timers.
Like Grimsleys and Gordons and Kygers and Crawfords
And Turners, don’t leave out McDaniels
And Lord please forgive us if we ever forget
The Shifflets or Hensleys or Samuels.

Chorus: Come home, come home, come home;
Please Blue Ridge descendants come home.

‘Twas Jollett the Holler and Lick Ridge the mountain
And Simmons and Powells both a gap
And Harris the cove and Cedar the falls
And Naked Creek, what a name, check the map.
There’s Number Two Furnace and Dolly’s the Knob
Where lots of folk soured their mash
Makin’ that ‘shine that city folks loved,
Raise your hand if you still have a stash.

There’s Roaches and Doolies and Dearings and Smiths,
And Seals and Caves and Powells
And Conleys and Knightens, oh won’t you enlighten us
Why you people cannot pronounce vowels.
Now add in your Workmans and Gordens, and Woods
Your Merkey and Morris and Maiden
If you ever wondered if we’re all related
There’s no doubt of that, we’re just sayin’.

We’re the Naylors and Mongers and Conrads and Kites,
And Berries and Beasleys and Secrists.
We’ve tried to fit everyone in, don’t ‘cha know,
If we forgot you then please don’t you be pissed.
We’re from Marksville and Rainbow and Stanley and Alma,
Grove Hill and Comertown too
And Roadside and High Top and ole’ Sandy Bottom,
Crow Hollow and that hole they call Blue.

As for nicknames we’ve plenty like Blue Headed Jimmy,
Whistle-britches, Booze, Bum, and Dirt.
But the real names are queerer, though none the less dearer,
Like Bezeel, Barzilla, and Gird.
We’ve got Skibo and Slaughter and ol’ Vasolina,
Oakley and Obey and Que.
Plaudy-Mack, Trilby, Return and Velveeta,
We think these are fine names, don’t you?

We’ve mixed and we’ve matched and we’ve rolled in the hay
And now my dear brother’s my cousin.
Ain’t nothin’ wrong with these families, un-uh
There’s just more of us for the lovin’.
You can take up our land and ban our moonshine
And send our li’l chillen to school
But we’ll never be bought and we’ll never be forgot
Blue Ridgians unite, ‘cause we rule!

Chorus: Come home, come home, come home;
Please Blue Ridge descendants come home.

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