Keep on the Sunny Side

sun shine through trees

“Keep on the Sunny Side” was made popular by The Carter Family back in the 20s. The song was written by Ada Blenkhorn in 1899. Music for the song was composed by J. Howard Entwisle.

From Wikipedia:

“Blenkhorn’s nephew was disabled and always wanted his wheelchair pushed down “the sunny side” of the street. The Carter Family learned of the song from A. P. Carter’s uncle who was a music teacher, and they recorded the song in Camden, New Jersey in 1928. “Keep on the Sunny Side” became their theme song on the radio in later years. A.P. Carter’s tombstone has a gold record of the song embedded in it.”

Pap, Paul, and I used to play the song. Its as much fun to play as it is to sing. During our stay at home the girls decided to give it a try.

Today’s the anniversary of Pap’s death. He’s been on my mind a lot lately, mostly because of the troubles our world is facing. He taught me so many things about living. It would be hard to put my finger on which teaching lesson was the most important, but keeping on the sunny side of life would be right at the top of the list.

Pap raised my brothers and me to always be grateful. I can’t count the times I was fussing about something or down in the dumps when he’d tell me “Tipper all you have to do is look around you and you’ll see people a whole lot worse off than you. You ought to always be grateful for what you have and if are you won’t worry near as much about what you don’t have.”

Now that I’m a middle age woman I clearly see Pap was right. If you focus on the good things in life you don’t have near enough time to worry about the bad.


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  • Reply
    ruth cook
    April 20, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    Love all your music and singing. Keep up the wonderful songs and nusic.
    Your dad is a dead ringer for my father look a like,
    Main Roots are Grant county, Kentucky and southern Indiana along the Ohio river. Beautiful country .
    My husband from Cullman , Alabama. Keep up the wonderful music and songs. they are so up lifting. we all need more music in our Lives./ I do. {lay and sing, when the roses bloom again.
    beautiful song. I remember the hog killing time and all the hams and home made sausage rolls etc. Hot biscuits and gravey. good foods. thirty pieces of silver is very pretty song also.
    God Bless you all!
    Keep well. God Bless you all!

  • Reply
    April 20, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Love that …..thanks for sharing that encouraging sunshine ,,, 🙂

  • Reply
    Glenna Smith
    April 20, 2020 at 5:43 am

    That was beautiful and so very needed with the mess the world is in. Thank you and God Bless you.

  • Reply
    April 20, 2020 at 2:09 am

    Pap was such a wise man. That is very good advice for all of us to follow. The girls did an amazing job on this song, as always! I know the Carter family would be proud!! Sending love and hugs to all of you!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 19, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    I spent most of the day in bed so I guess I missed the sunny side today but I saw the Girls do it on Youtube the other day and added it to my playlist. My comment is there also.

  • Reply
    Susan Jones
    April 19, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    A beautiful tune to keep time with the raindrops on this Sunday afternoon over by the western side of the Tennessee River!! Paris, TN is staying on the sunny side….and hearing that great harmony from Chitter and Chatter makes it easy! They need to come play over our way sometime.

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    April 19, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    What beautiful singing girl . Thanks for reminding us of this song

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    April 19, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    When me and Harold was growing up, we had lots of hogs and in the late Fall, Daddy would take a couple of Mama’s washtubs, fill ’em with water and build a fire underneath. A few minutes later, Purell Miller showed up with his helper. They were Black men and after they Butchered two hogs, they carried the meat to the house. (Me and Harold were told to stay on the porch, we were always in the way.) After Purell got thru, he said to us boys, “here, take this thing down to the footlog and wash it real good, put your lips on this thing and blow it up and tie it. It’ll make a hard, fine ball to play with.” We played with that Bladder for weeks. We learned something.

    I went to Purell’s Funeral. Two of his Daughters came over to me and ask if I knew their Daddy. One was a Psychiatrist and the other one was a Doctor of some sort. I felt out of place, but Purell’s daughters made me feel good, just like their Daddy made me and Harold feel when we were kids on the porch.

    Purell asked me who I was when we were at Ingles looking at the meat department. I said “I remember when Chicken was cheapest of all meats, $.29 cents a pound.” “Now it’s outrageous.” He agreed. I said “I was the little boy and my brother who was on the Porch at Topton when you and your friend came and buchered our hogs, years ago. He remembered and said, “Your mama had a bad leg or something.” (She had a Stroke when I was about a month old and stayed in the Hospital for months.) …Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    April 19, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    My Grandma used to sing this to us when we were being sour about something. Her second favorite admonition was “count your blessings.” She wasn’t wrong.

    I was having a phone conversation with a Navajo friend last week. They are being hit bad with this virus. She said there is a Navajo prayer where you counteract the bad by saying “I’m doing my best to accept all that is positive and good.”

    I think that’s how we (Appalachians and Navajo) survive as a people. We are able to find the best and the useful in the most dire and worthless.

    And that is a blessing.

    Great song. Going to listen again and channel my inner Grandma Annabelle!

  • Reply
    Rebecca Layfield
    April 19, 2020 at 11:37 am

    I just want yall to know what a blessing and a joy to read your post every morning!! I live and was raised in Northeast Alabama and you bring back so many memories of my childhood!! Thanks for keeping this way of life alive and kicking!! 🙂 Just wanted to say thank you!! God Bless yall!!

    • Reply
      Mary Lou McKillip
      April 19, 2020 at 5:39 pm

      So nice to read all comments on the song Keep on the Sunny Side . The twin always does a great job singing and playing . Thanks for sharing your post.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    April 19, 2020 at 11:33 am

    Bravo Zulu!

  • Reply
    April 19, 2020 at 11:16 am

    I have not heard this song in a long time, but they sure did a good job. I think the song is appropriate for these times. Your dad was wise, because I’ve heard the same thing from my Mama. She quoted the hymn, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one.” I count my blessings every day, because some folks are struggling right now.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 19, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Someone posted on BP&A a bit ago something, I can’t remember just the words, but the idea was our best memorial will be in the hearts if those who remember us with fondness even if it be but a single memory. Far better than a stone, though a stone has its uses as the thing that memorializes the place where those who sleep wait.

    I’m working on keeping on the sunny side girls. I don’t always succeed but I still say that truth and justice will triumph in the end. Amen.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Great job, girls!!! That song is one of my many favorites and I do believe your singing and playing was at your best. Tipper, both my Daddy and my Mother were great examples always trying to instill in us to be mindful of what we had not what others had and it has always come to my mind in difficult situations. If I thought I was going through a hard time, it was as if the Lord tapped me on the shoulder and I could look and see others in more terrible situations. Now when I get up I am thanking the Lord for a good night’s sleep and also that I know who I am and who He is. I have a warm house, I have food to eat, and more important I can walk, talk, see and sing, I am truly blessed! Thanks again, girls for that beautiful singing this morning. God bless and may He keep you all safe and well!

  • Reply
    April 19, 2020 at 8:58 am

    Great song, and this is great timing for just such a song. Pap was indeed part of the greatest generation. I can tell by your dedication to him that he is somebody who could be described as having integrity. That is the word one minister used to describe my own Dad at his funeral. Through the years I did not realize what sound advice I was often given. The favorite was when I became tearful about anything, Dad would admonish me to “pull up those bootstraps.” Not only did some of these great men have integrity, but they also had something called wisdom. What would throw most people into a tailspin never phased my Dad, as he would just quietly figure out the best course of action. What would they tell us about all strange upheaval going on in the present day? Maybe we just need to reach back into that sackful of sound advice given to us by our parents so that we can have the judgment to carry on the best way through this. It is for certain many (not all) in some areas of leadership have proven they have neither the integrity nor wisdom to guide us.

    • Reply
      Mary Lou McKillip
      April 19, 2020 at 5:14 pm

      Great job gals . That’s a great song to sing we went to ice parlor now that being on the Sunny Side If Life.the Carry out isn’t all that bad curb service seems like old days when I was young. Dee Whit Sharp had a curb service

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    April 19, 2020 at 8:39 am

    Just watching and listening to those two sweet, singing sprites is enough to put your mind on the sunny side and get the day off to a sparkling start. I’ve always liked the song, and it takes a special mindset on your part, given that today is the anniversary of Jerry’s death, to share it with us.
    I started to add that you aren’t middle-aged, but then I watch those twins, realize they are grown women, and reckon that in a chronological sense it is true. However, you’ve got the spirit and spunk of a youngster, and their outlook on life is to a considerable degree what defines a person’s “true” age.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    April 19, 2020 at 8:27 am

    Pap was a wise father! Thank you for this reminder!

  • Reply
    Sue McIntyre
    April 19, 2020 at 8:24 am

    Great job, girls!! One of my favorites. The “Son” is always there, even if the skys are cloudy, and the way is unclear. If we would look up, He is already looking down.
    I know exactly what you mean about your Pap. I find myself in that same situation, daily. Always thinking, what would Daddy do in these times. He never got in a hurry, but managed to get things done faster than I ever could. Thank God for the time we had together. God knew what it would take to go us through to the Sunny Side. May everyone stay safe and well.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2020 at 8:23 am

    Very well done. Yep counting one’s blessings is something I forget to do from time to time. Focusing on one’s self is what this world wants us to do, (selfish) but the Bible teaches us to be a humble servant rather than the Master. And it comes down to who you listen to the most, the things of the Lord or the things the Devil has to say. Wow, that hit close to home.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    April 19, 2020 at 8:16 am

    Man oh man! I am highly impressed with Chitter and Chatter’s singing and also their fiddle and guitar playing! It was truly wonderful and happy to watch! Thank you lovely young ladies! Thanks for sharing, mom, Tipper! It is much enjoyed and needed this Sunday morning—- the Lord’s blessed day!!! I know the girls make you and their daddy proud!!! PURTY and talented they are!!!

  • Reply
    gayle larson
    April 19, 2020 at 8:02 am

    Pap gave really good advice. In this trying time we should all follow it. The weather is going to get nasty again today for the poor people who got hit last week. Maybe we will be lucky again and it will miss us. Lots of prayers going out for everyone in the way of the storms. It would be really hard to keep on the sunny side when your house is gone and you are facing more bad storms. So far we have been blessed. I am sure Pap would have some uplifting advice for all of us today.
    That song was a great pick for this time. Hope you all stay safe.

  • Reply
    john t
    April 19, 2020 at 7:51 am

    Well done! Thats one of my favorite old time songs.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 19, 2020 at 7:36 am

    Good job, girls! Thanks for the reminder, I needed it. I needed to be reminder of all the good and great things in my life that can overshadow the current situation in our country right now.
    Spring is here, time to get busy out in the yard!

  • Reply
    Steve Diamond
    April 19, 2020 at 6:43 am

    Just beautiful. Thank you girls.

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