Appalachia Music

Gonna Catch A North Wind

North Wind song by Charlie Louvin Jim and Jesse

Grass won’t grow on concrete You can’t catch fish on main street The stream of traffic ain’t no place to swim Some folk love the city Those neon lights are pretty But this ole boys done had enough of them

So I’m going to catch a North wind do a little drifting Going to see the best friend I’ve ever known Going to catch a North wind do a little living Going where my hearts been I’m a going home

There’s clear pure water flowing in the valleys where I’m going and only snow capped mountains scrape the sky There’s still wide open spaces The eagles don’t live in cages And the air you breath is enough to get you high

So I’m going to catch a North wind do a little drifting Going to see the best friend I’ve ever known Going to catch a North wind do a little living Going where my hearts been I’m a going home

Momma’s frying chicken on the old wood stove I can smell the gravy in the pan Going to tell my Susie that I love her so and I’ll never ever leave again

Going to catch a North wind do a little drifting Going to see the best friend I’ve ever known Going to catch a North wind do a little living Going where my hearts been I’m a going home Going where my hearts been I’m going home


Last Saturday morning-I woke up with the song above on my mind. Just a wisp of the words-Momma’s frying chicken on the old wood stove something something something going to catch a something.

Do you ever do that? Its like the song whispers around the edges of your brain-under your hair right around your ears-but never coming out enough to be fully heard.

All day I went around asking “Do you remember that song about Momma in the kitchen and gonna catch a ride or something?” Chatter kept trying to tell me I was thinking about Just Above The Place You Can Bury Me, but I knew that wasn’t it.

No one else could help me either-but I knew who could Paul. As soon as I ask him about the song-he started singing it-I said “yep thats it.”

North Wind was a minor hit for Charlie Louvin along with Jim & Jesse McReynolds back in the day-they sang it as a trio. Pap said its such a good song he never could understand why it didn’t go number 1 and stay there! I agree it’s a dandy. I also agree with Pap-the best lines are in the first verse-Grass won’t grow on concrete You can’t catch fish on main street The stream of traffic ain’t no place to swim. Coming in a close 2nd is the line: Going where my hearts been I’m a going home.

I don’t know who actually wrote the song and couldn’t find out online-but I know who can sing it-Paul and Pap. I’m a huge huge fan of Charlie Louvin-and Jim & Jesse but I like Paul and Pap’s version of North Wind better than theirs. Check it out and see what you think.

Sigh. Wasn’t that nice? Now the song will be whispering around in your head too.



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  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    November 10, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Still love this song. It touched me during a rough time in my life and I’m are it sustains you and your family, Tipper. Just realized I never acknowledged Suzi Phillips earlier encouragement – much appreciated then and now

  • Reply
    October 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    On my way to work this morning, this song was going through my mind, for the first time in years. I searched and found your site because I couldn’t remember the “do a little living” in the chorus or the 2nd verse either. I don’t remember where I heard this song, but it really caught my heart and I also couldn’t understand why it did not do better. I always wondered if it was because of the word “North”.

  • Reply
    November 25, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Very nice! That is one of my new favorites.
    Wish I could catch a north wind and get up there to meet the Blind Pig gang in person.

  • Reply
    Carol Isler
    November 20, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Wow, I love that song! You know I subscribe.

  • Reply
    Mary Rutherford
    November 20, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Wow Tipper, I am just catching up on your posts from the last few days…I really connected with this one! I would love to be in the drawing for North Wind. “Momma’s frying chicken on the old wood stove I can smell the gravy in the pan” is straight out of the story about my dad I have promised you. When I visit him at Thanksgiving I am going to get all the details straight then will put the tale down and send it to you.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Really enjoy the music, and just recently got into the stories. Thanks. I would love to win one of the cd’s.

  • Reply
    Ferne Kellow
    November 18, 2011 at 1:24 am

    I loved the “North Wind” song by Pap and Paul. It brought tears to my eyes, and even though I am home myself and close to my mountains, the song made me feel for those who aren’t. Thanks for sharing it and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  • Reply
    Pamela Moore
    November 17, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I would like to be part of the drawing. I wouldn’t mind catching a north wind outta here right now. Need to smell those pines.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    November 17, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Loved the song & would love a CD. Hang in there, Roy & Sue-

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Love it Tipper! Makes me want to cry. I just subscribed.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    November 17, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Tipper, I had never heard that one before. It’s a great song and I would love to have a copy of it.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    November 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    You are right. It’s a dandy! I just became a subscriber.

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    November 17, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing this old song. Your Pap and Paul do a wonderful job on it.. I loved Charlie Louvin too.. I’m enjoying my CD tremendusly… Susie

  • Reply
    Barbara Daca
    November 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    So Thats IT! the song will be playing all day in my head and I will be singing and dancing the day away! Thank YOU for such a wonderous gift!

  • Reply
    Barbara Johnson
    November 17, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I am a subscriber..and that was awesome!

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    As usual Paul and Pap are amazing! I have not heard this in ages and agree that I like their version the best. Please enter me in the drawing for a CD with this song included!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    November 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    “Some folks love the city. The neon lights are pretty. This old boys done had enough of them. ”
    Speaking for myself, after spending over 33 years in an area populated by more than 1 million people, I say a big AMEN to this sentiment. I am ready to come home if I can get the house sold!
    Tipper, please put my name in the hat for a CD.

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Definitely I want to be entered
    for the CD. Everyone sings and
    plays so good, but now that I’ve
    heard Chatter singing “Cry, Cry
    Darlin” I’ll have to change my
    list. Love Paul and Pap’s version
    of “Gonna Catch a North Wind.”

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Grandpa Ken-Thank you for the comment! You know-Ive always had a passion for history-heritage-and especially mine : ) How I got the idea for the Blind Pig? I discovered a parent at Clogging had a blog-where she talked about her kids-quilting-and her homemade soap. Once I discovered there were blogs about all kinds of homey things-I decided to blog about Appalachia-as a way to preserve our culture-but also to show how modern day (me) Appalachians live. So thats how the idea was born : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and
    Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    November 17, 2011 at 11:32 am

    This one is just the best! You can see these men really ‘feel’ their music. O love it !

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I’m a subscriber.

  • Reply
    Rose C
    November 17, 2011 at 10:27 am

    This song will be in my head all day long. Love it. Please add my name to your wonderful give away.

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 10:26 am

    That’s the first time I’ve heard that song, just loved it. Pap and Paul did a wonderful job singing it. Please enter me in the CD giveaway!

  • Reply
    Lonnie Dockery
    November 17, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Oh! That is good! I remember the song–but probably would never have thought of it again if you hadn’t reminded us. Almost as good as the guitar picking and the high tenor is your writing: “…whispers around the edges of your brain-under your hair right around your ears-but never coming out enough…”! It doesn’t get any better than that!

  • Reply
    Sherry Whitaker
    November 17, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Enjoyed that song, Tipper. Makes me long for those mountains so very much. Would love to win a cd! Reminds me of my growing up years. My Dad and his brothers and cousins would bring out their instruments…fiddles, guitars, steel guitars and play music in the evenings…one lone light bulb hanging down a long cord from a high old ceiling in the front room. One uncle they would joke about…said he couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but they loved for him to be with them because he always knew all the words to the songs! One of my favorites was “The Orange Blossom Special.” Dad played his fiddle to that one. He would also play “Pop Goes the Weasel” for us kids and he would play the fiddle under his leg,hop on one foot and then on top of his head and dance around each time the weasel popped! Happy times and happy memories. Wish I had a recording of those times. Keep playing! God Bless.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Jones
    November 17, 2011 at 10:07 am

    “Gonna Catch a North Wind” is one of those heart/mind-rending songs that says, always, “Home is the place I want to be!” Pap and Paul did a wonderful job with the lyrics and pickin’! Thank them for sharing it with us. I have a veteran friend who loves country music. I’m going to type the words and include them in his thanksgiving card. I wish I had the CD to include, too, so he could hear it! Thanks, Tipper & Company, for all the “Blind Pig” information/inspiration. You and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I know just what you’re talk’n about….sometimes it’s only two notes, sometimes it’s two words, it’s a daily occurrence for me….sometimes it never comes to me and I have to move on, that’s always sad. I like this song, I’m glad someone could figure it out for you!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    November 17, 2011 at 9:51 am

    great song — good rendition. Makes me homesick – we are still in TX as Roy has his radiation. The other night I asked if he needed anything — he answered, “I want to go home” I’m kinda sweet on Pap, love his singing and his outlook on life. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I’d love to wake up with that song in my head!

  • Reply
    Rick Kratzke
    November 17, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Yes, I am a subscriber. I do like the words to that song a lot. Sounds like a place where I want to be.

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I loved the North Wind. Beautiful job of harmonizing and the guitar playing is very nice. Charlie Louvin and the Louvin brothers have always been favorites of mine. I love Don’t Believe You’ve Met My Baby by them. It gets stuck in my head sometimes. Thanks for sharing the music with us!

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    November 17, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Nice song. We’ve definitely got a north wind a blowin today over on this side of the mountain.

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I like that song; both my grandmothers were gone before I was born so I didn’t have the time with them as many kids did. However, I have fond memories of one grandfather who visited every Christmas Eve. I can’t say I every experienced real country fried chicken. Humm! Maybe I need to seach for a place where they serve it country style.

  • Reply
    Wanda in NoAla
    November 17, 2011 at 8:32 am

    What a beautiful song! I’m already a subscriber, thanks.

  • Reply
    Brenda S 'Okie in Colorado'
    November 17, 2011 at 8:28 am

    What a beautiful song. I miss my Granny frying up chicken almost every Sunday after church. I’m about to get an East Wind and head to my beloved Oklahoma to have a huge family gathering for Thanksgiving in the OKC and Norman area. I estimate about 60+ people and lots of good country cookin’. This is like the gatherings we used to have back when my Granny was still on Earth. Something tells me she, my Grandpa, Mom & Dad, aunt, and uncles will all be smiling big smiles in Heaven that we will all be together. I hope I win the CD, I’ve been wanting music from your family for a very long time.

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Wow, I thought you were gonna say YOU wrote it while it was nagging your brain! I would’ve believed it. Truly, it is poetic and so many surely identify with it- no wonder Pap thought it would be a hit. On reflection, it’s the ‘north wind’ which would blow someone south from the northern urban areas where so many were transplanted.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    November 17, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I loved North Wind….I wonder if when you mentioned the other day that you were looking for the wind if that is what you were hunting…??
    Pap and Paul did a great longing to go home sound on that song..
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph.D.
    November 17, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Hey Tipper: That was a gooden – as my Daddy would say! BUT like A.C.H. my first response was that I had the notion that changing the title to SOUTH WIND would make the song a lot more meaningful. But you know these ‘southern’ folks are allers thinking that way!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I love that song and tou areright…I am humming it already.

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Tipper Sure do like that song about the north wind and I can not tell you how much I’d love one of those cd”s and I take it directly over to my dad’s house –he would just love to hear folks doing the old-time songs—and whenever I watch video of Paul and Pap it reminds me of my son Jeremy and Dad playing here in front of our fireplace in our olde log cabin—-Oh and by the way if I am ever missing Jeremy I just have to watch Paul for both of those boys movements are pretty much the same—LInda

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    November 17, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Now that is mighty fine work by Pap and Paul.
    I never knew that Charlie, Jim & Jesse had worked together, though Jim & Jesse sang a mess of the Louvin Brother songs. But I’ll agree with you without the benefit of listening to the trio version – that Paul and Pap were great.
    A couple that both the Louvins and Jim and Jesse did that have been running through my mind are “Childish Love” and the playful, lovely “I Don’t Believe You’ve Met My Baby.”
    One that I know the Louvins sang (but didn’t write) which I bet the Blind Pig Crew would do beautifully is “In the Pines.”
    Not that I’d ever throw around a subtle hint.

  • Reply
    grandpa ken
    November 17, 2011 at 7:45 am

    What started the Blind pig? Not the saying but the idea in your mind it seems such a good idea,as good as the Foxfire books. Happy Thanksgiving love to all of the family. Put me in for a cd.

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    November 17, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Love this song– sign me up for the drawing, please!
    This time of year seems to make folks think of home and the security and love that they had – and have -there. Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to have experienced that. Then it’s time to start one’s own traditions that will be carried forward. After all, history begins now. Happy Thanksgiving season to one and all!

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 7:41 am

    That was awesome Tipper. Thanks

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 17, 2011 at 7:40 am

    That’s a good song and you are correct. Pap and Paul did a very fine job with it.
    Yep, I guess it will be rolling around in my head now.
    Tipper, when you get to my age half of something rolling around in your head is an every day occurrence. LOL
    I like the picture of you house shrouded in the mist!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    November 17, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Love it! I’d love to win the cd, oh well if I don’t win I guess I’ll just have to buy it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Mary Jo
    November 17, 2011 at 7:15 am

    We’re catching a north wind here in East Tennessee this morning and it has brought sleet to us!!!

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 7:02 am

    There’s no sick like being homesick. In my younger years when my husband was working construction, i’d been willing to catch any wind that’d blow me home.To think of mama frying chicken and making gravy brings a tear to my eyes even now.

  • Reply
    Annette Casada Hensley
    November 17, 2011 at 5:34 am

    Tipper, loved North Wind! Think I’ll rename it South Wind, however, as I’m anxiously awaitin’ the end of this month here in Michigan when I can head back home to those beautiful Smoky Mountains for a bit.

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