Appalachia Music

Oh Little Momma your Daddys got the Deep Elem Blues

Deep Elem Blues Deep Ellum Blues

After Pap passed away I couldn’t bear to watch any of the videos we’ve filmed over the years. I guess I was afraid it would be like pouring salt into an open wound. Right from the start Granny and Paul both drew great strength from watching the videos and listening to the cds.

Once I got passed that initial feeling of not wanting to see or hear Pap, I became slightly obsessed with watching all the videos we’ve made. Hard to believe but we’ve uploaded 255 videos to my Blind Pig and The Acorn Youtube channel.

Although I’m a huge fan of our music, my favorite thing about the videos has nothing to do with the music.

I love the…well I love the love caught by the camera. Whether it’s Paul and Pap, the girls, or a mixture of all you can see them nod at each other, smile at each other, and sometimes even frown at each other if they don’t think the song is going so well. Sometimes you can hear the phone ring or someone knocking at the door. Often there is a piece of conversation at the beginning or end of the song.

For today’s Pickin’ and Grinnin’ in the Kitchen Spot I’m going to share a video we did way back in 2012 Deep Elem Blues (also Deep Elm/Deep Ellum). The song has been around since the 1930s and has been recorded by various artists over the years including The Grateful Dead. Deep Elm was a red light district in Dallas Texas you can go here to read more about the history of the song.

As is the case with many old songs, the lyrics vary depending on the person performing it. Here’s the ones Paul sings:

Well I went down to the bottoms to see my Mary Lou She was dancing with a stranger she had taken off her shoes Oh sweet Momma your Daddys got the Deep Elem Blues Oh sweet Momma Daddys got the Deep Elem Blues

Well I told that trifling woman Told her what I was going to do If she don’t quit her rambling I’m going ramble too Oh Little Momma your Daddys got the Deep Elem Blues Oh Little Momma Big Daddys got the Deep Elem Blues

Well I once knew a Preacher preached the Bible through and through till he went down to Deep Elem Now his preaching days are through Oh Little Momma your Daddys got the Deep Elem Blues I said oh now Momma Poppas got the Deep Elem Blues

Well I wish I was an apple hanging on the tree Every time Mary Lou came by she could take a bite of me Oh now Momma your Daddys got the Deep Elem Blues I said oh now Mommason Daddyson got the Deep Elem Blues

Paul’s flat-top picking is outstanding in this video and his vocals are top notch too. But the reason I love it is because of the little smile Paul throws towards Pap as he says Mommason Daddyson got the Deep Elem Blues.


Mommason was one of Pap’s terms of endearment for Granny and that’s the reason behind Paul’s smile. Hope you enjoyed the video!


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  • Reply
    jerry newell
    January 8, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    Now that is some super pickin on Pauls part. who is your mandolin player. I read your post about missing pap. I lost may parents a few years apart. first my dad then my mother. when dad passed we all were there for mom. when mom died we were totally without. then God let me realize that in all my loss I still had some of my dad and my mom in the lives of my sisters and brothers and my children and I see some of them in my grand children. when my dad died i had not yet learned to play the fiddle that he left me. I purposed to play and i did learn it and taught it to my middle son. My cousins would tell me sometimes when my son and i would lay music together that they could see some of my dads bow movements in our playing, You will always have pap with you in the lives of your family. it really is amazing that almost everyday something will be said or done by your family and pap will be seen in that. that’s how its bee with us. Love what your family is doing with the music and stories, they keep those who have gone on alive. God bless your family

  • Reply
    January 8, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    I’ll bet you wore out your snow today, didn’t you? I didn’t get out at all. Dusty got his leaf blower out and cleaned off my 4WD truck and the driveway. I didn’t figure it could do much with eight inches of snow but he got it cleared down to bare ground in about thirty minutes. There hadn’t been anything over it to pack it down. That helps.
    This snow has been different! I usually see squirrels and rabbits running around or at least their tracks. Same with birds, all kinds of birds. Usually crows lite in the pine tree tops and dislodge the snow. Not this snow. No birds, no bunnies, no nothing. My back yard is a blank slate. Not a track anywhere. Not even dogs tracks. It’s weird! Where are all my outdoor friends? Hopefully burrowed up inunder the snow somewhere.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    I noticed Mark is still chewing the hound outta that gum, I hope it’s a fresh piece. Paul and Pap did great.
    A long time ago you all did “Just a Touch of the Past” and Paul forgot to start a verse on time and that “look” on Pap’s face was classic. It was if he was going to say “son, don’t make us have to do this thing over.” (That’s one of my favorite videos.) …Ken

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 8, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    I loved the music! Paul does put his talent into the song!
    When my husband came back from Korea, he adapted many sayings and quotes from his 13 month deployment. One of my favorite things that he brought back with him was an oil painting of a little 5 or 6 year old Korean boy. The child was from an orphanage that he and some of the guys visited and took them candy and small toys from the BX. My husband eventually became close with the child. Most children were shy and standoffish, some though would follow and beg from the GI’s when they went into town. Before he left Korea, he had one of those Korean street artists next door to the orphanage paint his picture. He also, talked of “Kimchi” buried cabbage and aged to stinking and “birds nest” soup! Eweee! Of course you can buy pint jars of “Kimchi” in regular grocery stores today! Yes, he does! ha “Shooeee!
    So, when we got married later and we had our son, my husband would call me “Mammson”! After a few years, the children grew up and he quit calling me Mammason! I miss that term of endearment from him! We still have the oil painting of that young boy. My husband said he wished he could see him again. He said, visiting the children helped him as he missed his family 4 brothers and 3 sisters and he felt as though he was helping them some!
    Thanks Tipper,
    I love this post today. I love seeing the videos of all and the sweet smiles of Pap. One especially where he props his elbow up on the guitar and grins!

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    January 8, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    This was nice to listen to. We look forward to the Sunday song.
    I agree with you Tipper. There is so much joy in the music ya’ll play. I can feel it when we listen and that brings us joy.
    I’ve told you this before, but I’ll share it here. A while back, you posted the girls playing Spotted Pony. My daughter Alex wanted to listen to it all the time. So, I bought a version off Amazon on mp3 to play in the car. We listened to it and she said “No Dad, not that one. I want the one where the girls laugh at the end.” Even now, she loves watching Pressley Girls videos because of the fun they have playing.
    What a great gift you give us every Sunday.

  • Reply
    January 8, 2017 at 9:53 am

    It doesn’t get any better than this! Paul and Pap are incredible.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    January 8, 2017 at 8:23 am

    So glad the videos bring you comfort. Just think how they will be enjoyed by generations to come. A great legacy .
    It just dawned on me that if families filmed their life whatever it is, how the history would be passed on.
    With the technology we have today it would be interesting just to tape conversations and get the views of the times.
    My, how they have changed since my grandparents time. I would love to hear what they thought about things years ago.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 8, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Been such a long time since I heard ‘elm’ called ‘ellum’ I had forgotten it. Anyway, that’s the blues alright. Stories of life’s hard knocks.
    I understand your reluctance to be reminded of Pap at first. But as I know you appreciate, you all are blessed to have so many videos and still pictures of him.
    Stay warm everybody. It was 16 here a bit ago. Snow kinda looks like a mangy dog, hanging on in patches, all gone in patches and sorta gone in other parches. If it doesn’t get any colder I’ll still be ready to say we have had winter when the daffodils come up again.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 8, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Love this song too. I had noticed the little looks and smiles. A loving family indeed.

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