Appalachian Dialect

Mommy Fell

Mommy Goose Rhymes from the Mountains by Mike Norris B

Back in September I told you about Mike Norris and his book Mommy Goose Rhymes from the Mountains. It is filled with 50 original rhymes written by Mike himself. The book uses the rich colorful Appalachian Language that I so love.

It is wonderfully illustrated with photos of over a hundred hand carved and painted works by Minnie Adkins who has permanent collections in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Kentucky Folk Art Center.

Two months later I’m still enjoying the rhymes in the book. Granny and I had a great time reading it together the other day. Here’s one of my favorites from the book-Granny liked it too.

Mommy Fell

When Mommy fell out of the apple tree,
She got right up and went on a spree.
She danced a jig on the featherbed,
Then baked two bushels of gingerbread.
She used our tablecloth for a cape,
And made a necklace with measuring tape.
She tried to crochet with her feet,
Way up in the night before she fell asleep.

She stomped in the kitchen next morning and said,

“Who tracked mud all over my bed?
Why, look at the floor, covered with crumbs.
And where did all this gingerbread come from?
I don’t know who I have to thank
For being so pyert as to pull such a prank,
But I’ll find out before the day’s through,
And they’ll be in big trouble when I do!”

Granny said the rhyme reminded her of her mother Gazzie. She said “Momma worked so hard from daylight to dark every day that she couldn’t even remember all the things she did in a day. Now if I could crotchet with my hands and my feet there’s no telling what I’d make!”

There’s a cd of the book which contains a song Mike wrote about Mommy Goose. The song, along with the music, is in the back of the book so anyone interested can learn it themselves. The cd also contains a very nice narration of the book by Mike and a conversation between Mike and Minnie that will leave you smiling for the rest of the day. Me missing Pap is no secret to any of you. Hearing Minnie’s sweet voice use so many of the words, sayings, and phrases Pap used has been a true balm for my soul.

I asked Mike where the best place to purchase the book and the cd was and this is what he said:

The Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains CD is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Music, and a bunch more places online. Check it out on iTunes and listen to samples of the tracks here:
http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1160037010?ls=1&app=itunes

If you have the book without the CD, it’s really not complete, as the song, narration, and 40-plus minute conversation with Minnie are a key part of the project. (And physical CDs can be ordered from Amazon.)

Bookstore versions of the book may be ordered many places online, but Amazon and The University Press of Ky [it’s the university press of the whole state, not just UK] are two good sources.

If there is a child in your life or a rhyme loving adult like me, I suggest you buy Mike’s outstanding book and cd for them. Both items would make dandy Christmas presents.

Preserving our language is a cause that is near and dear to my heart and I commend Mike for trying to keep our rich colorful Appalachian Language alive.

Tipper

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46 Comments

  • Reply
    Maxine Appleby
    November 24, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Delightful poetry – and homegrown, too! I would love to read this to my”Appalachian Women” classes at Wofford and to listen to the cd myself!

  • Reply
    Perri Morrison
    November 26, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Some days I’m extremely pyert: The next two days I’m really hurt! I love rhymes! Love from Marshall on the riverbank on a cold windy night.

  • Reply
    SuzyJ
    November 25, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I spend a fair amount of time in my truck and would really enjoy this cd t make my journey’s bright with laughter!
    Thank you Tipper for being so diligent in keeping the spirit of the mountains alive 🙂

  • Reply
    Janet Ernst
    November 24, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Love the poem and what a funny fantastic book!!!!!! Thanks for the chance to win!!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    Colleen
    November 24, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Waiting for the Turkey to brown. Have a spit of time to check yesterday’s post. Funny poem. Enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    November 24, 2016 at 5:29 am

    I’m reading this early Thanksgiving Morning instead of Wednesday when it was posted. But I enjoyed the Nursery Rhyme by Mike Norris, and all you “Blind Piggers” comments! And reading his poem gives me an idea. I just might borrow his idea and do so Mother Goose rhymes myself–later–after Thanksgiving and Christmas!
    And to all of you who, as I, back-track to the previous day and read the Blind Pig blog you missed on its regular day: Happy Thanksgiving. It’s the season to be thankful. Make your list. As mine, it should be loooooong!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 23, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    to Tamela – To my understanding pyert means wide awake and raring to go. Full of nervous energy. Like hyped up on Goody Powders. Can’t help it, these feet want to run! Pyert is like pert²

  • Reply
    Amanda Burts
    November 23, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    This sounds like a delightful book of fun poems; I especially like that they are from our mountains!

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    November 23, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    What a wonderful set! I have a 16 month old granddaughter in Florida, Her Mom (my daughter who is a Teacher) has a collection of books for Ruby and reads to her every evening, What a nice Christmas gift this would be for her.
    I hope all of you have a lovely Thanksgiving!
    Pam
    scrap-n-segranny.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Sherry
    November 23, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving to all you & your family, Tipper and all the Blind Pig folks! I would love to win that book and cd for me and for my grands also!

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    November 23, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Surely, of all the wonderful regions in America, no other comes close to the warm, homey appeal of Appalachia. Mike Norris only adds to that richness; another treasure.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Tipper.
    Looks like Ed Ammons ought to write more.

  • Reply
    Charline
    November 23, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    What a delightful book and cd! I would love to share it with my grands. Happy Thanksgiving to all the Blind Pig family!

  • Reply
    Mike Norris
    November 23, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Dear Blind Piggers,
    Thanks so much for the kind comments.
    If you’d like to know more about the making of Mommy Goose, click on the link below:
    http://www.kentucky.com/entertainment/books/article61342577.html
    And if you’d like a Mommy Goose under the tree this year, here’s another link ;-]
    https://www.amazon.com/Mommy-Goose-Mountains-Mike-Norris/dp/0813166144/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479933736&sr=1-1&keywords=mommy+goose
    Happy Thanksgiving,
    Mike Norris
    PS Tamela, “pyert” is East Kentucky for “pert,” but the connotation here is “mischievous” or “rambunctious” or “mean” in an enterprising way.

  • Reply
    Sheila stone
    November 23, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    wish list for my linguistics loving daughter

  • Reply
    Ken
    November 23, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Tipper,
    Happy Thanksgiving to the Blind Pig Family and it’s many Readers. We have so much to be Thankful for, living in Appalachia. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 23, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Granny fell out of the apple tree,
    what makes it worse she fell on me.
    I stretched my arms, said “Jump right in.”
    We won’t try that trick again.
    I helped her up and she helped me,
    then I climbed up the apple tree.
    I climbed as high as I could climb
    “Maybe it’s gonna work this time.”
    “Hold out your dresstail, and spread it wide.
    I’m gonna try to land inside.”
    I closed my eyes and I let go.
    The landing was soft, I want you to know.
    The orderlies had come with a butterfly net.
    That made for the softest landing yet.
    “That was fun!” I said and then,
    I said, “Lets do that again!”
    But we didn’t.
    .
    .
    *

  • Reply
    Janis Sullivan (Jan)
    November 23, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    I adore the Mommy Goose rhymes. I tried to teach my son so many of the Appalachian things I knew about growing up in Tennessee. Now this language, rhyme, and song has been made easier by Mommy Goose. I have 2 small grandchildren who already play with my crochet yarn, and the two year old and nine month old think it is better than all the bought toys. Yet, I do not crochet with my feet yet. I want to teach them also. I want so much to preserve and protect our wonderful heritage in its speech, mannerisms, beliefs, and ideals in teaching my grandchildren. The Blind Pig family reinforces those upstanding ideals and shows this kind of living every day in the blog, and brings me such happiness and good memories. Thank you very much. Jan

  • Reply
    Melinda Holloway Hadden
    November 23, 2016 at 11:35 am

    I am ordering right now for my Grandchildren! I too am trying to preserve and teach them about our Appalachian Heritage! I love you site and enjoy reading it everyday! Keep it up.
    Melinda Holloway Hadden

  • Reply
    Bob & Inez Jones
    November 23, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Tipper- What a charming rhyme!! Even though I am waaaay past the nursery rhyme age, I still love them! I worked at a Day Care the last 8 years of my ‘working’ career. I had 2 year olds and often sang the nursery rhymes to them. I wished I had this particular book at that time. I know they would have enjoyed it and so would I. I have started to listen to my Christmas CD that we bought from you a few years ago with Paul and Mr. Wilson and love it so much. Thanks for the opportunity to put my name in for this lovely book.

  • Reply
    Bob & Inez Jones
    November 23, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Tipper- What a charming rhyme!! Even though I am waaaay past the nursery rhyme age, I still love them! I worked at a Day Care the last 8 years of my ‘working’ career. I had 2 year olds and often sang the nursery rhymes to them. I wished I had this particular book at that time. I know they would have enjoyed it and so would I. I have started to listen to my Christmas CD that we bought from you a few years ago with Paul and Mr. Wilson and love it so much. Thanks for the opportunity to put my name in for this lovely book.

  • Reply
    Bob & Inez Jones
    November 23, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Tipper- What a charming rhyme!! Even though I am waaaay past the nursery rhyme age, I still love them! I worked at a Day Care the last 8 years of my ‘working’ career. I had 2 year olds and often sang the nursery rhymes to them. I wished I had this particular book at that time. I know they would have enjoyed it and so would I. I have started to listen to my Christmas CD that we bought from you a few years ago with Paul and Mr. Wilson and love it so much. Thanks for the opportunity to put my name in for this lovely book.

  • Reply
    Bob & Inez Jones
    November 23, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Tipper- What a charming rhyme!! Even though I am waaaay past the nursery rhyme age, I still love them! I worked at a Day Care the last 8 years of my ‘working’ career. I had 2 year olds and often sang the nursery rhymes to them. I wished I had this particular book at that time. I know they would have enjoyed it and so would I. I have started to listen to my Christmas CD that we bought from you a few years ago with Paul and Mr. Wilson and love it so much. Thanks for the opportunity to put my name in for this lovely book.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    November 23, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I was always amazed by the amount of work my Grandmother did when she and Granddad lived on their farm in Sylva, NC in the early 1950’s. She started early in the morning getting breakfast ready for the farm, gathering eggs, getting chickens from the chicken yard for dinner (noon meal – evening meal was supper). Making dough for the most delicious yeast rolls ever, cooking a big noon meal for the farm, and in her “spare” time, churning butter, washing clothes, making quilts, and countless other activities. Granddad died in 1954, but Grandmother lived on until 1978, dying at age 94.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    November 23, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Love Mommy Fell. Sounds like my kind of book. What fun it would be to read it with the “greats” – I think even the teens would get the giggles.

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    November 23, 2016 at 9:35 am

    I really enjoy your blog. It’s interesting to me that I have heard the appalacian sayings all my life from my mother and dad. She was born and raised in southern Indiana, and he was born and raised in Florida. Mom will be 95 next month and dad would be 101.

  • Reply
    SherriandBill Bennett
    November 23, 2016 at 9:30 am

    My grand daughter would love the book!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    November 23, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Dear Tipper, that books sounds like something I would love to read to my grandchildren. Please put my name in the hat for the drawing. Happy Thanksgiving

  • Reply
    Dolores
    November 23, 2016 at 9:18 am

    I would love nothing more then to win this book. I enjoyed nursery rhymes as a child and repeat them when the time reminds me a childhood time. I think that rhymes are missing from many of early childhood programs. I guess if you grew up with them and cherished them you have a tendency to pass the treasures on to the next generation. Thanks for sharing Mommy Fell. Happy Thanksgiving to all readers! (How about Little Jack Horner…)

  • Reply
    Tom
    November 23, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Tipper,
    So glad you found another outlet to help you heal. I love that this book is a healing balm for you! Really enjoyed the poem, so neat to see the Appalachian language being preserved in such a fun and creative way.

  • Reply
    Marylou Sweat
    November 23, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Mommy Goose sounds so familiar to me! Like something way back in my childhood. I’m from Cary NC originally(born in Raleigh), but I’ve spent the last 53 years in Florida. Just brings back some good memories from somewhere, sometime. Hope y’all have a wonderful Thanksgiving…will be hard I know…Marylou

  • Reply
    Shirl
    November 23, 2016 at 9:06 am

    In this day and time, I never hear grownups refer to their mother as mommy, but I still do. Mike’s rhyme reminds me of a story about my mommy falling out of an apple tree when she was a teenager. A limb grabbed her underwear on the way down. Granny said she didn’t come out of the house for two days. I’m sure the other 10 children never let the most “shame-faced” sister live it down.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    November 23, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Tipper, based on your blog about this book a while back, I ordered it for Alex’s birthday. It was hard to tell who liked it more, Alex or my Mom. Either way, this is a wonderful book that does highlight the artistry and beauty of Appalachian English. Alex either reads it to herself or we read it to her once or twice a week.
    On another note, she got her first Carhartt, too. A pretty raspberry color. Tough and pretty, sounds about right to me.

  • Reply
    Tamela
    November 23, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Delightful!!
    I’ve got to get me a copy.
    By the way, if this were part of a “Vocabulary Test”, I’d need help with “pyert” [third line from the end]. (“pert”? “perverted”? “perky”?)

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    November 23, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Oh TIPPER! What a wonderful PLUG for a MOUNTAIN BOOK!
    I wish you ALL a joyful THANKSGIVING! Now I got to get busy and start my baking and making my ‘famous’ banana pudding – which I have ‘provided’ for decades – and those long legged boys always make it disappear like snow on a sunny day!
    Best of the SEASON!
    Eva Nell
    p.s. Folks can find a copy my book “Fiddler of the Mountains” on AMAZON and it comes with a CD of my Uncle Johnny’s music from the 1950’s! OR it is available down in Murphy at the WHERE HOUSE!

  • Reply
    Jackie
    November 23, 2016 at 8:46 am

    I have several books I read to children when they visit. This would be a good one to add to my collection and the children and I would certainly enjoy it.

  • Reply
    larry Griffith E.KY.
    November 23, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Count me in.If I don’t win,I’m going to order it.

  • Reply
    larry Griffith E.KY.
    November 23, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Count me in.If I don’t win,I’m going to order it.

  • Reply
    larry Griffith E.KY.
    November 23, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Count me in.If I don’t win,I’m going to order it.

  • Reply
    larry Griffith E.KY.
    November 23, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Count me in.If I don’t win,I’m going to order it.

  • Reply
    Barbara Gantt
    November 23, 2016 at 8:33 am

    This looks like a wonderful book. I have 12 grandkids with one on the way. They would love this. Hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for. Barbara

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    November 23, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Love all the nursery rhymes. Guess it’s the kid in me. Hope I don’t outgrow him.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    November 23, 2016 at 8:06 am

    I know what Mommy felt after she fell. Sometimes I get going so fast I meet myself coming around the corner and wonder who that old lady is I just ran into.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    November 23, 2016 at 7:37 am

    This sounds great for an adult who is a child at heart. We need our own Rhymes From the Mountains.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 23, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Tipper,
    I think when “Mommy Fell” out of the apple tree, she jumbled her brains just a bit and didn’t get over it until the next morning. I’ve seen my family, won’t say who, do some crazy things similar to what “Mommy Fell” did. Won’t say who. However, what I did recognize was the part of going on a baking spree, excess produce caused a sudden “waste not, want not” syndrome! Wearing a measuring tape around your neck (looked like a necklace) is quite common too, and I’ve seen my Grandmother, Aunt and Mother do that very thing when sewing. When I was a girl and had wonderful homemade clothes, I dreaded the measurement call. “Come in here and let me measure the sleeves again”, Mom would yell, right in the middle of my game of “jacks” or “pickup sticks” with a friend! I’ve danced a “jig” on a bed myself at times, back when I was trying to reach a cobweb in the corner of the room! Ha My Granny used to let her big white ball of fine crochet thread escape her aproned lap, and if she could still reach it before someone got there to pick it up, she would use her feet to pick it up to hand it back to herself…We kids thought that was amazing. Loved the poem!
    Memories!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS Crazy things I saved from the estates, Grandpa’s 1900 metal (enclosed winding) cloth measuring tape, with the nail still attached on the end. He used to mark off rows, in the barn etc. Grandmothers sewing cloth measuring tape and my Mothers, plastic covered cloth measuring tapes, one with a dark pencil mark, where she wouldn’t forget the length! Ha

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 23, 2016 at 6:59 am

    I love this poem! I understand it, most nursery rhymes make no sense but I get this one!
    If granny could crochet with her feet as well as her hands she’s have to have a bigger house, or maybe a warehouse to hold it all.

  • Reply
    Candy Davis
    November 23, 2016 at 5:49 am

    I received my CD of songs this weekend. I listened to it yesterday on my way to and from work. I really enjoyed all the songs and found myself singing along with Chitter and Chatter several times! They sound a lot better than I do, but I couldn’t help myself! Thank you so much for the CD, and thanks to the entire Blind Pig Family for sharing your musical talents with all of us.

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