Appalachia Overheard



When a song moved Daddy he’d say “Now that’ll make you go down the road talking to yourself.”

(Liz Smathers Shaw – April 2016)


Overheard: snippets of conversation I overhear in Southern Appalachia


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  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    April 29, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    I was waiting for my requested song to be played at WKRK when my shop phone rang. It was my friend, Monte Kit, whom I’ve known for around 60 years. I ask him if he had his radio on and that “Until Then” was starting to play. He listened and then he said “sounds like a tape, where were they?” I told him it was from the CD, Shepherd of My Soul, taped at the Blairsville Courthouse. That was the time it was so packed, him and his wife couldn’t get in. I told him there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Paul and Pap really poured their heart’s out doing it and I’m glad I was there…Ken

  • Reply
    April 29, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    I’m with Ron’s post!!!! I talk to most of the plants in my garden too. Some of the time I call the strangling vines and burr weeds bad words! So far, they haven’t paid any attention to me.

  • Reply
    April 29, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    You know it’s gonna be a bad day when you argue with yourself, and lose…
    (A Howland Original)

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    April 29, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Our daddies, mamas, grandpas, and grandmas really had those sayings of old, and I wish I could remember them all. When they spoke, it had meaning. With me, it’s like a good joke, it’ll come to me someday…Ken

  • Reply
    Carol Rosenbalm
    April 29, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Good memory!
    Will use it!
    Carol R.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 29, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Is the aforementioned Daddy here Quay Devere Smathers?
    Is the aforementioned Liz Smathers here Mary Elizabeth Smathers Shaw?
    It Liz’s mother Mary Lee Mease?
    Is Liz not Miss Cindy’s 2nd cousin?

  • Reply
    April 29, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Now if that don’t put a hitch in your get-along, I don’t know what will. 🙂

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    April 29, 2016 at 9:33 am

    “If that tune doesn’t make you move your feet, you’re crippled!”
    “If that doesn’t warm you up, your kindling’s wet!”
    “If that doesn’t make you want to dance, you’ve got ingrown toenails!”
    If you can’t taste that your taster’s dead!”
    “I’m happy as a dead pig in the sunshine!”
    And on and on we go; where our sayings end, nobody knows! Listen and overhear in Appalachia!
    You might learn we’re a happy, get-along-with lot of people!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    April 29, 2016 at 9:32 am

    I’m not sure but have found some of it to be true, but could have been just a notation that my brain checked. So I store this bit of information so it can and does go back to it one day. So then, to get some type of confirmation, especially since it wasn’t practically important at the time to research for myownself and also my being at the time so young, I suppose I more or less took notes in my mind on the world around me and revert back to those pictures sometimes when a word, sentence, sound or song shakes it out of the corner cobwebs.
    Does that make any sense? Oh well, here goes anyhow… When traveling down the sidewalk as a young child… in a particular small mountain town, I observed, these folks that were putting their boxes of staples in their wagons and old beat up farm trucks, that was carried out from the mercantile. I knew it had been a while since they had been to town! I began to notice these different types of folks talking to themselves. Do you reckon that talking and answering oneself, was a way of self assurance and because living back in the hollers and hills there tweren’t that many folks to converse and confine in so they just trusted their own selves more than anyone else! Ah-ha!
    Just dusting off some stuff I had stored! ha
    Thanks Tipper,
    I loved this post, as time goes on be sure to write down all of Pap’s saying’s that you can remember!
    He was a quite observer at times and I am sure he stored many thoughts that he let out on occasion to family! ha

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    April 29, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I’ve have never heard that one but I love it! I think it’s ok to talk to yourself but when you carry on a conversation with yourself that might be a wee bit concerning!!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 29, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Yep. Just listened last night to “O Tell Me No More”. It is a YouTube video of Sacred Harp singers at the Primitive Baptist Church in Cades Cove. Then I looked up the lyrics. Really tells a complete story of the Christian life in a thought provoking way.
    By the way, it has been found that one influences their own thinking just by hearing themselves talk. That’s why people sometimes just need someone to listen to them. They don’t need, or really want, advice. They just want to be sure they are thinking well about whatever.
    One of the things I like about living in the country is I can talk to myself. I don’t interrupt me and it isn’t rude not to finish a thought or change the subject without warning. I don’t talk back to myself either which is useful. I also talk to my garden, saying things like, “There, puppy, if that don’t make you grow I don’t know what.”
    A fella at church told the story of his grandmother who – when something was said about her talking to herself – said, “I like to talk to a sensible person every now and then.” Ever more true these days, common sense is no longer common.

  • Reply
    April 29, 2016 at 7:34 am

    If that don’t ring your bell, your clappers broken.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    April 29, 2016 at 7:16 am

    When a song makes an impression on me I can’t get it out of my head. Lately two that run through my addled mind with considerable regularity are “Rank Stranger” and “Farther Along.”
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 29, 2016 at 7:14 am

    I love it! I’ve never heard that one before. How about “so good it’ll make you smack your grannie” I have heard that one.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 29, 2016 at 7:12 am

    I love this one!

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