Ethan Allen

My Home

I’m sharing another favorite Pickin and Grinnin in the Kitchen Spot with you today.

There are a few Front Range songs that are at the top of my favorite Pickin and Grinnin Spots. I shared the first one, “Fergus County Jail” with you a few weeks back.

I’m sharing the second one today.

The first time I heard Pap and Paul sing “The Hills I Call Home” I wanted to cry and laugh with joy all at the same time. Bob Amos wrote the song and I’m telling you he did a fine job.

The song isn’t remotely about Appalachia. If you listen to the chorus it’ll tell you the song is centered “in the land of Ethan Allen where the sugar maples grow.” In other words, well north of here.

I love the words of the song, the way Pap and Paul share the verses, Paul’s wonderful guitar picking, the two part harmony, and the way Pap sings the word Daddy gives me chills every last time I hear it.

The Hills that I call Home—written by Bob Amos

I was born upon a hillside
Where the pines sing in the wind
Where my Daddy lived before me
And my Grandpa before him

We believe in simple living
Its the only life we’ve known
All we need here is our freedom
And a place to call our own

In the land of Ethan Allen
Where the sugar maple grow
Where the wild grass fills the meadow
And the rocky river flow
By the hills that I call home

I have traveled ore the country
And there is much that I have learned
Yet I’ve found no peace within me
Till the day that I returned

For there’s two things you can count on
As a troubled world we face
Every season has an ending
And every person has a place

In the land of Ethan Allen
Where the sugar maple grow
Where the wild grass fills the meadow
And the rocky river flow
By the hills that I call home

These lines:

Yet I’ve found no peace within me
Till the day that I returned

For there’s two things you can count on
As a troubled world we face
Every season has an ending
And every person has a place

Pretty much sum up my feelings about my home in Appalachia. It’s for sure my place in this old world.


Appalachian Cooking Class details

Come cook with me!

Location: John C. Campbell Folk School – Brasstown, NC
Date: Sunday, June 23 – Saturday, June 29, 2019
Instructors: Carolyn Anderson, Tipper Pressley

Experience the traditional Appalachian method of cooking, putting up, and preserving the bounty from nature’s garden. Receive hands-on training to make and process a variety of jellies, jams, and pickles for winter eating. You’ll also learn the importance of dessert in Appalachian culture and discover how to easily make the fanciest of traditional cakes. Completing this week of cultural foods, a day of bread making will produce biscuits and cornbread. All levels welcome.

Along with all that goodness Carolyn and I have planned a couple of field trips to allow students to see how local folks produce food for their families. The Folk School offers scholarships you can go here to find out more about them. For the rest of the class details go here.

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  • Reply
    Grandma Cate
    June 8, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    I love this song also.
    Could you substitute “Daniel Morgan” for Ethan Allen, & “rhododendrons” for sugar maples?

    • Reply
      June 9, 2019 at 6:43 am

      Grandma Cate-that’s a good idea!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    May 1, 2019 at 8:46 am

    I loved hearing the song “Ethan Allen.” I agree with you, Tipper, we could change the “Maple Trees” to “Pine Trees” or “Oak Trees” or “Elm Trees” and the message would definitely be Appalachian! But I think it is neat, indeed, that in the land of Maple Sugar Trees, people have the same love for “a place called home” as we Appalachian people do.

  • Reply
    Tamela Baker
    April 30, 2019 at 12:11 am

    Lovely! – and I love the verses your readers were inspired to write.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Love the words to the song, and their singing and playing just makes it so so special.

  • Reply
    Phyllis Schmitz
    April 28, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    Perfectly beautiful music today that I appreciate.
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    betty stephenson
    April 28, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    awesome song loved it thanks for sharing

    • Reply
      April 29, 2019 at 9:05 am

      Ethan Allen? Tipper, you are in my neck of the woods now! 😉

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    April 28, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    I love the way Pap and Paul sing, almost as good as Chitter and Chatter. But what do I know, perhaps it’s because I had two girls also, much older than your two. A few years back, I had a garden party with lots of company, and I looked across the way and saw my girls had you cornered. I guess they liked the way you talked.

    Dee said it best, when talking about the places lived in around the world. I had a friend named Jesse Allen from the other side of Mount Mitchell at Burnsville. He ate supper with me 3 or 4 times a week and I’d get Milk and a cold glass to wash things down. Poor little fellow would start to chill, and loved to talk about the places where he had ‘Mucked” out. ( He was a Miner. ) At 94, he died and I went to his funeral, and was shocked to see my little friend in a Cigar Box.

    His wife died a couple years later and was Cremated also. They don’t make them like Jesse and Myrtle anymore. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 28, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    I am not so widely traveled but I have seen some several places, each with a feature or two I loved, that I have put all together in my mind as THE place. All of which likely means there is no such place anywhere. Doesn’t usually do in this world to put too many conditions on anything.

    I’m guessing Pap and Paul liked doing that song because they could so relate to the sentiment, even though it did not describe their place. And you are a witness to that also.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    April 28, 2019 at 11:08 am

    Tipper–A meaningful, moving song, and as often happens, it’s running through my mind like a spring branch through a hidden hollow. Since Don dipped his toe in the water of alternate versifying, I’ll do the same with the chorus:

    In the land of old Mark Cathey,
    Where in spring wild trout rise,
    Where a soul’s free to roam
    And soft, serene peace ever lies
    In the Smokies I call home.

    Note: For most of your readers, the name Mark Cathey will mean nothing. He was a famous fisherman and outdoorsman for all seasons who grew up on Indian Creek (a feeder of Deep Creek) in what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He’s also distant cousin, about the same number of removes as Tipper, and I’m mighty proud to claim both as remote kin.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2019 at 8:58 am

    The last sentence is so true!

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    April 28, 2019 at 8:37 am

    One of my favorites, as well. As I think I’ve told you, while I really like the Front Range version, Pap’s and Paul’s rendition is sung from the heart; their singing – like these old mountains that we call home – just takes a-holt of you and won’t let go.

    Alternate chorus:

    In the land of old Swain County*
    Where the sarvis blooms in spring
    Where the fog lies in the holler
    And the crystal waters sing.

    *Or name the place that you call home

  • Reply
    April 28, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Oh how sweet! You just can’t beat Pap and Paul’s beautiful harmony singing. Miss Cindy is right as their singing flows seamlessly back and forth. Tipper I can see your fierce love for your “place,” as stated in the song “For there’s two things you can count on, As a troubled world we face, Every season has an ending, And every person has a place. I absolutely love the little town I was born and raised in but it is not now like it was when I was growing up. I have traveled all over this country and have been in awe of God’s creation of beautiful hills, high mountains, valleys, desserts, rivers, streams, and tropical beauty. Thanks for the beautiful singing this morning!

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    April 28, 2019 at 7:50 am

    I so enjoy the Sunday music. Thanks

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 28, 2019 at 6:45 am

    That’s beautiful! I love the way the singing flows seamlessly back and for between Pap and Paul. It’s as if their one voice.

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