Pickin & Grinnin In the Kitchen – Life’s Background Music

Isn’t it funny how music seems to play in the background of our lives? I can hear a song from the 80s and feel like an eager excited teenager with the world in front of me again.

I’ve often wished my memory would wrap itself around important things in life, the way it seems to wrap around songs. I’ve always been a huge fan of many different styles of music, but it still amazes me when I hear a song I haven’t even thought about in years and remember every word.

There was a sweet little old lady in my community who began losing her memory as she got older. Eventually it was no longer safe for her to stay home alone and her family moved her into a nursing home. After that her mind continued to slip until she no longer recognized her own children.

The home has a piano in the community room for entertaining the patients or for visiting choirs to use. Every time the little lady heard an old gospel song being played on the piano-she would sing every word. What those words of faith and hope must have meant to her-for them to sustain her in the last days of her life when she no longer knew her family.

Today’s Pickin & Grinnin In The Kitchen Spot is Oh I Want To See Him a song written by R.H. Cornelius. It’s one of those songs-I know every word of, but have no memory of learning-just the background music of my childhood.

I hope you enjoyed Pap’s singing and Paul’s flat top picking.

What song plays in the background of your life? Maybe a lullaby from childhood, a song learned in school or a song from those intense teenage years.



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  • Reply
    Miss Cindy, Black Mountain, North Carolina
    June 6, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Hey Tipper, I’m a little bit behind but I’ll catch up!
    Pap is a treasure! I really enjoy Pap and Paul. They make me think of another time when families and values are important. I look at our current political candidates and wonder if there are any values and ethics left!!
    From child hood to adulthood Brahm’s Lullaby played in my head a lot but that was a long time ago and I can’t really identify a particular song that has stayed with me since then. However when I hear an old song that I used to like I’m transported back to that time kind of like an old smell takes you back to the time you first smelled it. Good memories. thanks.

  • Reply
    June 3, 2008 at 10:20 am

    I love it when you have posts like this one. I can’t think of any particular song that serenades me through life, but your post reminds me of my grandfather. My mother introduced me to a tape of my grandfather, his father and his grandfather singing old church songs. As distorted as it is and how off the harmonies are, I love that tape. It is amazing to me that I can listen to it and be transported back in time when my “Pop” was alive. It is sweet to listen to the voices of the past and remember them in the present.

  • Reply
    June 1, 2008 at 7:12 am

    So beautiful! And I love what you said about music in the background of our lives. Seems like I have a jukebox in my mind, something always playing in the back of it. I try to go to sleep at night with a song I like there, because I will hear it all night and wake up to it in the morning.

  • Reply
    Razor Family Farms
    June 1, 2008 at 1:26 am

    I wanted to thank you for your comment on my blog
    (which is acting up right now — please send help).
    How did your husband do on the test? Josh and I took it and survived!!!
    Pretty fun, huh?

  • Reply
    May 31, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Hey Tipper. I love music and yes my songs are from the 60 and 70’s that get me to dancing. Another little known fact about me is- I play the piano by ear, mostly gospel that I learned as a child. That is something I need to make more time for, piano playing.
    Love your photos. It just reminds me of home.
    Have a good weekend.

  • Reply
    Stacy A
    May 31, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Oh Tipper, tell Pap and Paul thanks for sharing that with us. It was wonderful.
    It really is funny how music affects us. A song can bring me right back to the place where I experienced it. It can bring emotions, good and bad. When I can’t sleep (too often) singing the hymns of my youth to myself at least brings me peace until I drift off.
    Several years ago, a close friends Nami was in her early 90’s and had dementia pretty bad. There had to be someone with her all the time so they hired me to hang out in the day and take her to her errands. I had this old cassette tape of 1930’s big band hits that I put on one day while going somewhere and it was amazing. She began to tell me about all the dances she went to in her youth. She knew which guys danced which dances and how full her dance card was. She knew every song and where she was in life when it was popular. But she couldn’t tell you the names of her children. How important the music must have been, that those memories were the last to go. It makes me want to choose my music more carefully, but even more, allow myself to really enjoy it.
    Once again my friend, thanks for this trip down memory lane. It means more than you know! Love Stacy

  • Reply
    Bobbi in KY
    May 30, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Music isn’t really in my appalacian heritage-no one in my immediate family played-just an Uncle-but it really was a big part of the small churches I often went to.

  • Reply
    noble pig
    May 30, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Yes, songs evoke so many memories. But isn’t amazing how we could remember all those lyrics and not recite the PREAMBLE if it killed us!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2008 at 7:55 am

    I enjoy your site so much, it’s like a trip back home!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2008 at 1:23 am

    That was great, Tipper, You have SUCH a talented and entertaining family!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    For me, it’s a newer song that I heard the group Mercy Me sing. It’s now committed to my heart.
    You can hear it on YouTube:
    Or go to and put in the seach bar: Mercy Me I Can Only Imagine
    A part of the lyrics are:
    Surrounded by your glory
    What will my heart feel?
    Will I dance for you Jesus?
    Or in awe of you be still?
    Will I stand in your presence?
    Or to my knees will I fall?
    Will I sing hallelujah?
    Will I be able to speak at all?
    I can only imagine
    I can’t get through it without having tears in my eyes. It’s just beautiful. xxoo

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    May 29, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Lovely song! Hmmm, I can sing along with almost any hymn and Amazing Grace brings back memories of my sister and me singing it for the neighbors.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Loved it!
    Amazing Grace, I’ll Give You A Daisy A Day, Green Green Grass of Home, You Are My Sunshine.
    Those I have no idea when I learned. But I remember singing them with my Dad. He also played guitar.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Like you, music evokes many memories for me. A song coming on the radio can even bring a smell to my nose! One song that really brings my childhood back is John Denver’s Country Roads. I turn into a wet noodle when I hear it. Don’t talk to me until this song is over…and then I may play it again…

  • Reply
    May 29, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    This post is great! I love these pickin and grinnin videos….maybe yournext project will be a compilation.. proposed titled….songs to quilt by..but you can do better than that!

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