Appalachia Music

Are There Monkeys In Appalachia?


When one thinks of Appalachia-Monkeys don’t usually come to mind.

Although I must admit-I do live with 2 Monkey Girls.

Back in the day when I had big hair and Paul was like way cool, we had a funny Monkey experience. One of Paul’s buds from school was always telling far out stories that were mostly lies. But he was a fun friend to be around and Paul liked him a lot.

Paul regularly shared the crazy tales with me so I could get a good laugh too. One day Paul came home telling his latest story.

It seems he had been seeing a Monkey around his house. He had seen it several times-just swinging through the trees and chattering. Paul said he described it in great detail and seemed to truly believe he had seen a real life Monkey. Paul and I both got a kick out of the story and wondered if he really thought folks believed him or he just liked goofing around.

A few months later, I was hanging around some older guys from down around where Paul’s friend lived. I had totally forgotten the Monkey story until I heard them laughing about some guy who was offering a reward for his lost Monkey. I couldn’t wait to tell Paul there really was a Monkey after all.

Of course this made us wonder if all the boy’s outrageous tales were true. But we decided probably not-cause by then he was telling how he had killed a turkey out of season, had it for supper and inadvertently ate the wildlife beeper that was attached to it-which brought a Game Warden to his front door.

In Paul’s grown-up life, as a Language Arts teacher, he frequently gives the students an assignment of making a parody or spoof of a song, movie, play or story. About 2 years ago he realized he had never done a spoof with the students and thought he would give it a try. He took Elvis’s Heartbreak Hotel-and turned it into a Monkey Song.

For this week’s Pickin’ & Grinnin’ Spot Paul’s “I’ve Been Such A Monkey.”

Hope you enjoyed the Monkey song!


This post was originally published here on the Blind Pig in July of 2008.


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  • Reply
    July 13, 2011 at 8:32 am

    lol… we have had a running joke… we think… about a monkey in the woods here for years… had one feller so convinced he hung bananas out for it… now with the Yerkes monkey gone its gotten to be a popular theory again when we hear sounds that we cannot identify..

  • Reply
    Kent Lockman
    July 9, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Good morning Tipper,
    You might check out an old time novelty song called “You’re Bound to Look Like a Monkey”. It was once sung by old string bands and western singers I believe. You can find it on a cd called Bob Carlin and the Boys from North Carolina.
    Kent Lockman

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    July 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Absolutely hiliarious!

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    July 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Have you heard of skunk apes? I hadn’t till a few years ago.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Clever — and a nice voice!

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    July 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    tipper i had just taken a sip of my coffee before watching the video and almost choked to death.. lol
    thank you for brightening my day as always. love to you and your two monkeys.
    big ladybug hugs

  • Reply
    July 8, 2011 at 11:07 am

    You and Paul look pretty dog-gone
    cool back in the late eighties.
    And its hard to believe those twins use to be so innocent and
    cute, sittin’ on a birch tree limb. Paul does a good job with
    that Monkey song and sounds kinda
    like the King…Ken

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 8, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Tipper–When I was a teenager in Bryson City,there was a monkey disguised as a human living in our house. That monkey went by the name of Don, and evidence of some simian qualities included an uncanny ability to climb up a rope as easily as most folks would climb a ladder, a pronounced penchant for swinging through the forest on grape vines, and involvement in a wide variety of monkeyshines. Come to think of it though, I fit the bill on the latter two items as well, and I suspect most male and many female readers who grew up in the mountains have done their fair share of swinging on grapevines.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    July 8, 2011 at 9:35 am

    I had the most fun watching that little video Tipper. It was worthy of posting again. Thanks for making me laugh this morning!

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    July 8, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Look at these monkey shines–You done good.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I enjoyed the story Tipper and especially like the the spoof, that’s talent.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    July 8, 2011 at 9:02 am

    A new stanza:
    Well I’ve seen those two monkeys
    A-swinging by a vine.
    Now if you think that I’m a-fibbing,
    Baby, I ain’t lyin’.
    They like to Chatter, baby
    And Chitter, too.
    Golden silence just won’t do.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Paul is so funny! Love the monkey song. And the tale about the monkey. That would be a strange thing to find outside an Appalachian back door. LOL

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    July 8, 2011 at 7:09 am

    This sounds like one of those “mountain yarns” my aunts and uncles would tell…They would string it out so long that by the end of it you were beliven’ it…
    And yes there are apes or monkeys in NC…’cause when my sunts, uncles neighbors cousin was a plowin’ the back ‘baccer field in Madison county with the come down outta the treeline and run right across the field to the next treeline like a big black ball of fur and skeered the mule half to death as well as hisself….
    Love the singing!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Allen Boynton
    July 8, 2011 at 6:46 am

    I am pretty sure that Appalachian Monkey is the primary prey species for all the black panthers and mountain lions around here!

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