Appalachia Music

Now Is A Needy Time

Over the weekend I cleaned out my office. I have a bad habit of sticking stuff here and there instead of taking time to put it where it actually goes. As I was sorting through the mess, I found an old video tape of Pap and Paul singing back in the day. Paul was still in college and Pap was still working-throwing whole sheets of plywood up to The Deer Hunter when they were roofing houses.

I watched the video with bittersweet eyes: remembering Paul as the first one of us to graduate from college, seeing Pap look so much younger, and thinking of the days when as The Deer Hunter put it “Your Daddy can work circles around me all day long.” In the video I noticed Granny’s old furniture that I grew up with. She made the curtains and the slip covers. I remember when we went and got the furniture from a man who looked like Orson Wells and was drinking wine-which as a 7 year old southern Baptist girl I found totally shocking.

Who knows how our minds connect things, but as I watched the old video and thought about how time has slipped away from us since those days my mind turned to the victims of the recent tornadoes and floods. We’re not too far removed from the places in the south that were slammed by the killer tornadoes. Seems every day I hear someone telling a story of loss they heard from a cousin, a friend, or a family member who went to work in the area.

If my refrigerator quits tonight I’m going to miss it and I’m going to be aggravated that we’ll have to buy a new one. But those things I see in the video-Granny’s curtains-the old rocking chair-the music itself: how on Earth would I replace them if they were blown away- or washed away? Of course I wouldn’t. I couldn’t.

Of course most of all I mourn for the human lives lost in the storms, but I also mourn for the folks who lost their possessions-their Granny’s curtains, the video of their Grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary, their children’s baby pictures, the letters their husband sent back from Vietnam, and the list goes on and on.

One of the songs on the old video tape was Jesus Won’t You Come By Here. It’s an old spiritual full of lonesomeness and pleading for help.

I hope you enjoyed the old video.



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  • Reply
    May 31, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    This is a hard time for a lot of folks around our nation. Just this weekend out in our Market Garden I began to whimper about my soggy soil and the leached out fertility, Dirt pulled me up short with a, “at least you have soil or a house to sit and have a cup of tea in while you contemplate things.” I like this piece quite a lot, though the subject matter is what it is, very sad.

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    May 27, 2011 at 2:27 am

    Sorry I am just now catching up on mail. I wish there was something I could do to help them all. Not only the money. I would feel good to help with all the loss and prayers. no sense in this. People do not deserve it. Or most of them. Makes you wonder.

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    May 26, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Tipper, I don’t think I’ve ever heard that song…and I thought I had heard all the “ole-timey” ones. Love it. And so timely. Our neighboring county had 7 deaths on April 27 and I think I told you that husband’s mother and sister survived the EF5 tornado in Phil Campbell, AL due to the hand of God only. And , here I am, at 4:49 am watching the radar tonight. Thankful that Jesus is faithful. Great song and great singing — so genuine. So many lives have been changed in the blink of an eye. Heartshattering.

  • Reply
    Joe Mode
    May 24, 2011 at 10:48 am

    All of this trouble reminds me of this song. We had about 33 people killed just a little north of us here in East Tennessee. God’s still in control.
    Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder
    Why it should be thus all the day long;
    While there are others living about us,
    Never molested, though in the wrong.
    Farther along we’ll know more about it,
    Farther along we’ll understand why;
    Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
    We’ll understand it all by and by.
    Sometimes I wonder why I must suffer,
    Go in the rain, the cold, and the snow,
    When there are many living in comfort,
    Giving no heed to all I can do.
    Tempted and tried, how often we question
    Why we must suffer year after year,
    Being accused by those of our loved ones,
    E’en though we’ve walked in God’s holy fear.
    Often when death has taken our loved ones,
    Leaving our home so lone and so drear,
    Then do we wonder why others prosper,
    Living so wicked year after year.
    “Faithful till death,” saith our loving Master;
    Short is our time to labor and wait;
    Then will our toiling seem to be nothing,
    When we shall pass the heavenly gate.
    Soon we will see our dear, loving Savior,
    Hear the last trumpet sound through the sky;
    Then we will meet those gone on before us,
    Then we shall know and understand why.

  • Reply
    Glenda B
    May 23, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    A Needy Time, indeed, Tipper. So much pain and loss. Your post is touching and beautiful. Like you, I treasure the special things I have like photos and videos, things that were my mother’s no matter how simple. To loose all you have is devastating. To loose a loved one is beyond words.

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    May 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    tipper you are so right.. we are blessed even in our troubles… and i also hold those in need in my prayers.. and i loved the sound of pap and deer hunter singing that song.. so moving..
    i love how they sing together… and i thank you so much for sharing with us.. sending big big ladybug hugs to you

  • Reply
    May 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    This makes me very grateful for the intangible things my grandparents left me. I may one day lose Grandma’s ring or Grandpa’s shotgun, but the things they taught me and the love they gave can never be taken away. God bless those who have lost so much this past weekend.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Tipper, you have a gift for tearing a page from a normal day – past or present, seeing eternity in it, and reaching out to others; while reminding us to be aware of their trials, not just our own.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I had to go back and listen to that heartfelt song again. It sure
    fits the times we’re having right
    now, and my heart goes out to all
    the folks for their loss in Mo.
    and Minnesota…Ken

  • Reply
    May 23, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Beautiful song! My heart really aches for all those affected by these storms. There have been so many and I was hoping it was over–until last night. Joplin is a mess and so many dead. People all across the south have lost so much. Some their family, more their possessions. I know that life goes on, but it is a hard time. Great post, Tipper.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    May 23, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I was still sleepy when I clicked on your website this morning…I was startled to see what appeared to be a “giant gargoyle” on the corner of the roof..heads, legs and arms everywhere..I said to myself, self has it rained so much in NC to require a gargoyle spout to deflect the water?…ha
    I rubbed my eyes and read your post.
    Wonderful post by the way. I have been reflecting on the last few years, weeks, days and hours of our countrys trials and tribulations.
    Then this “prophet thingy” which was supposed to happen on this past Saturday, got me to thinking about it all…
    We are in a heap of hurt in this country…and in definite spiritual need…
    Thanks Tipper
    PS…I loved the song as in perfectly!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Beautifully sung.You are so blessed to have them on video to watch for years to come. My heart breaks for so many that have lost family in the tornados plus their homes. We never know when a cloud comes up, what will happen.

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    May 23, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Tipper, I admire your compassion for these hurting people. I think the Lord sees this and hears your prayers as you call out to Him to help these people. God bless you all.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 23, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Tipper, you have a beautiful heart and it is wide open. The world hurts and you hurt, the world feels loss and you feel loss. You are a true child of the mountains. We help and care for each other!!
    Have I told you lately that I love you and am happy you are married to my son and the mother of my grandchildren!!

  • Reply
    May 23, 2011 at 8:34 am

    reading your words, i can see the curtains and rocker. i dropped back in memories and can see my aunt, who was my second mother, with her apron around her waist, she wore the aprons from dawn to dusk and did not take them off unless she left to go somewhere. for some reason this triggered that memory. I like that Jesus won’t you come by here a lot. you are so right, needy times and there was another tornado last night that took out a whole town.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Tipper – You and I share a trait. We hold close our memories of dear things past, old family videos, pictures of yester year, etc. The memories of the time that was all make up such an important part of our lives.
    The tornado in in Joplin is so sad like so much this spring. We all think what would we do if we lost our keepsakes – not to mention human lives.
    That song by Paul and Pap sure tells what those people need now.
    My Granny had a cousin and that cousin had a little boy toddler named J.W. that took sick and died from some sudden illness. They never knew what the illness was but needless to say she was devastated. A few years later their house burned and here’s the part that hits home; they lost all, but the part that just destroyed Granny’s cousin was that she lost the only photos of little J.W. She never quit grieving about that. She would say, “If only I had at least one picture of him”!
    I keep all my photos ( my treasures) where I can get to them quickly in case something terrible comes upon us.

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph.D.
    May 23, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Tipper: No words are more appropriate now than the words to this song. I will share it with my brother, David, who does lots of picking and singing sessions down in Georgia. Those folks South of Tennessee and EVEN IN TENNESSEE could use lots of encouragement!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    May 23, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Me, too, Tipper. Meeee, too.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    May 23, 2011 at 7:50 am

    John is exactly right – beautiful and pared down to the essentials.
    That song (especially Pap’s high tenor moaning part, which is just perfect) is one that goes right to your heart.
    Now is, indeed, a needy time.
    Of course we’re needful all the time, whether we’re a-thinking on it or not…..
    Thanks for reminding us of what’s important – great post.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 23, 2011 at 7:49 am

    My heart goes out to all the victims of the recent natural disasters. It seems everyday the papers are full of this type of news. Bless them all.

  • Reply
    Canned Quilter
    May 23, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Tipper you read my mind this morning as I sit and watch the news. Joplin Mo, about 30 minutes away was destroyed yesterday evening. This morning they are calling for volunteers to help find bodies and my heart just cries. So close to home. These are my neighbors. They are calling for more storms today and I pray : )

  • Reply
    May 23, 2011 at 6:59 am

    A very moving post, Tipper. I have been thinking some of the same things.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2011 at 4:51 am

    That song is just beautiful; simple, pared-down to the essentials and sung without any hurry or fuss. Beautiful.

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