Appalachia Music

Lonesome for Songs We Used to Play


As you might imagine, there’s all sorts of times I get lonesome for Pap. Sometimes I get something on my mind and wish I could talk to him about it. He always had a remedy for what ever was troubling me and knowing I can’t talk to him makes me feel lonesome.

When I visit with Granny I get lonesome for Pap when she talks about him. She’s never gotten rid of his clothes so when I go to the bathroom (that’s where his clothes are hanging) I sometimes get lonesome for him in there too. After he first died I’d bury my face in his shirts every time I visited the bathroom to smell his unique scent of coffee, Vitalis, and Listerine.

Getting the garden ready for this year’s crop of veggies makes me lonesome for Pap. I helped him in the garden pretty much ever since I can remember. He taught me everything I know about growing a garden. As I typed that last sentence I could hear Pap in my head saying “Well Tip that wadn’t all that much I never was no expert gardener.” But he was an expert gardener and thinking of the way he never ever thought of himself as being better than others makes me lonesome too.

Sometimes I get lonesome for the songs Pap and Paul used to do together. The girls and Paul do a couple of songs they did, but there are tons that we no longer play because they were Pap’s songs. Of course he wouldn’t care if we sung them, in fact he’d be glad we did, yet we don’t.

A lot of the reason we don’t is we’re too lazy to come up with a different arrangement. The girls voices are different than Pap’s so the key of the song has to be changed. Even if Paul sings a part of the song the key still has to be changed and the harmonies have to be worked out as do new breaks. And I guess in the back of our minds we’ve relegated the songs Pap did to a sacred place in our memory so that’s part of why we don’t do the songs.

I’ve had one of Paul’s original songs we used to do on my mind for the last two weeks. “Can’t Say I’ve Ever Been More Lonesome” is a real toe-tapper and it was so fun to play.

I hope you enjoyed the song. When we practice later today I’m going to convince the gang to do this song or at least one of the songs Pap and and Paul used to do. Wish me luck 🙂



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  • Reply
    lynn legge
    February 18, 2019 at 4:19 am

    tipper I know our words of comfort are wonderful but they don’t quite heal our aching hearts…your post sounds like I feel..missing my dad. you are such a wonderful gift to us all..and I agree with the have a lot of pap in you..and have shown your family these things along with so much knowledge of your heritage…just put your cd on and imagine paps toes tappin along while he sings perfect harmony….it will be spring soon..and when you feel the suns warmth think of the warmth of our love for you and your family
    sending big ladybug hugs and love

  • Reply
    February 17, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Tipper, im sorry your feeling down. You have alot of him within you that you will always carry. That is something to be thankful for. What he taught you. All the memories you made with him. God Bless your haeart.

  • Reply
    Janis Sullivan
    February 17, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    I know it hurts when remembering a parent sometimes. But, I only knew you all a short time while Pap was alive, and I would love all the sharing you can do about this great Christian man. What a legacy you have,and you are carrying it on. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Tom Deep
    February 17, 2019 at 11:36 am

    What a great remembrance of Pap. He will always be in your heart.

  • Reply
    Dana Wall
    February 17, 2019 at 10:59 am

    My wife and I neither sing nor play. But there are recorded songs from our courting days and early marriage (now 65 years and counting) that make us nostalgic and even lonesome for the old times.

    “Our song” was, “Sentimental Me,” played by Eddie Howard. Glenn Miller’s, “In The Mood” still makes us want to dance, though my wife can no longer move easily.

    So we are sometimes lonesome for songs we used to HEAR and dance to.

    • Reply
      February 17, 2019 at 11:51 am

      I checked with Google. It was Russ Morgan, not Eddie Howard, who played our favorite version of “Sentimental Me.” We have a recording of the Ames Brothers’ version. Nearly as good, chuckle.

      I also get a bit lonesome when I hear Elvis, or anyone, sing, “In the Garden.” It was Mom’s favorite hymn.

  • Reply
    February 17, 2019 at 9:04 am

    Aw, I surely understand, Tipper. My dear Mom and Daddy are often on my mind, and I miss them so much, it hurts. Even after nearly 18 years of Daddy being gone, and Mom has been gone almost 7, the pain is still there. I don’t suppose we ever stop missing them. Knowing they were Christians and they’re in Heaven, and by God’s grace we will join them there one day is the only consolation we have. But what a consolation! May God bless you and comfort you in every moment of grief!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 17, 2019 at 8:42 am

    Very familiar to me. I catch myself thinking about asking Dad something he would know about. But he has been gone awhile. I think that is a state for the rest of our lives and is a commonality of the human condition. We don’t really ever want to get past being “lonesome for” our departed folks.

    Good luck with the song.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    February 17, 2019 at 8:14 am

    You had my toes tappin this morning. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 17, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Yep, that’s a great song! I miss Pap too. When I took Granny to the doctor last week I needed to go to the bathroom before we left and I felt so sad and lonesome seeing his shirts hanging there. I think Pap is the finest man I ever knew. I didn’t know him as well or as long as you all did but it was enough to know what a fine man he was and if I want to know more of Pap I can just look at you and Paul and Steve. He shines brightly in every one of you!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Well Tipper, that was a real toe tapper and I got a smile on my face just listening to it. I understand your missing your Father. You never get over that wishing you could talk to them – my dear Mother and Daddy have been in heaven now for 15 years and I sure would love to talk to them. You are very blessed because you still have your Mother and your Brothers and one day you will be able to talk to Pap again. Hope you can do this song at your practice today. God bless!

  • Reply
    Ginger Hubbard
    February 17, 2019 at 7:51 am

    Beautiful post Tipper. Just enjoy your memories until you get to see him again. Love you my friend!

  • Reply
    Steve Cox
    February 17, 2019 at 7:35 am

    Why are you never in the picture? As David Kaynor pointed out, you see clips the family playing and there is this real nice bass being played but nevertheless person. You need to include yourself from now on.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    February 17, 2019 at 7:35 am

    Tipper–Powerful and poignant, but I’d humbly suggest that Jerry is with you all the time. He molded and shaped you, and you acknowledge his powerful presence when you say he taught you everything you know about gardening. My views of Mom and Dad run a parallel course to your way of thinking, and I find myself thinking of one or the other of them at the strangest of times and with great frequency. I think that’s true for anyone who had fine parents, and obviously such is the case with you.

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