Appalachia Music


hands clasped in prayer

I’ve still been listening to the cd of Pap and Granny I found a few weeks back.

I’ve especially enjoyed their version of the song “Praying.” I’m sure they learned the song from The Louvin Brothers. It was written by Hazel Houser, as several of the Louvin Brother’s hits were.

The song has always stirred my heart.

When I was first old enough to understand the words we attended the old Martins Creek Church. The building sat just down the hill from where Pap is buried. The graveyard sorta hugged up close to the church on all sides.

In the early 80s Pap helped build a new church across the highway and the old one was torn down.

The church gathered together to pray in the altar.

Hearing the hum and thrum of many voices calling out their requests to God is a powerful thing to experience.

I was so young its hard to say if there were truly young men who were troubled in the church family or if the occurrence was only in my mind. Which ever the case, I would sit on a bench while the altar reverberated with pleading and with my feet swinging I would imagine one of those young men standing alone outside near the road hearing the people of the church pray.

A few years later, after the old church was gone, Mull’s Singing Convention had a music video they’d play of the song. The Spencers made the video, you can see it here. I loved the video and hoped the Mulls would play it every Sunday.

“Praying” written by Hazel Houser

Not long ago, I was thinking of home
And I wondered if Mama was there all alone
I thought I’d stop by, as I’d oft done before
But the sound from within made me stop at the door

She was praying, a sound that this world seldom hears
Praying, her words were pleading and clear
The sound of her voice, as she spoke my name
Brought tears to my eyes, my heart filled with shame
Praying, praying for someone like me

I was walking one night and I felt so alone
My heart was weary from the trouble I’d known
I hadn’t noticed, a church that was near
‘Til the sound from within seemed to fill the air

They were praying, a sound that this world seldom hears
Praying, the children that God loves so dear
Outside in the darkness, I could not see
But I could picture them down on their knees
Praying, praying for someone like me

Jesus knelt down in the garden to pray
His sweat became as blood so they say
While the disciples slumbered and slept
He prayed to God that they would be kept

He was praying, a sound that this world seldom hears
Praying, for those that he loved so dear
His soul was heavy in deep agony
Thoughts of the suffering at dark Calvary
Praying, praying for someone like me


I hope you enjoyed Pap and Granny’s version of the song. Not many people sing the last verse, so that makes this version slightly unique.



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  • Reply
    Jeanette Queen
    May 21, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Beautiful song, beautiful singing….reminds me of my Mother and Daddy singing together, all
    the years of my life. I love old songs, I love family harmony, it’s the best just sitting on the kitchen
    porch, singing with your family. A true treasure and gift from Heaven.

    • Reply
      July 12, 2021 at 2:21 pm

      Tipper this is something special to have in your archives. Your Mom has a beautiful voice she should have joined in with y’all singing for blind pig and the acorn. That would have been awesome.
      I am sure as the song says praying for someone like me, there has been many a mother and father’s who have prayed for their children as well as others they have known for the Lord to open their hearts that they might seek salvation and a relationship with our SAVIOR.
      I know too that praying now a days is truly something seldom heard. It is something we or at least i need to do more of it seems we cant find the time to stop and talk to our Father but we can find time to do so much other stuff that really doesnt matter in the long run. Well sorry kinda of got carried away with my short comings.
      I truly enjoyed this song of PAP and GRANNY.


  • Reply
    May 20, 2019 at 12:18 am

    My original comment disappeared, but I do so appreciate your sharing this treasure. I especially liked how you could ‘see’ the troubled lonely souls being prayed for. Truth never grows old, refreshing us daily.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing yet another treasure! Truth from the heart never grows old and always gives life.

  • Reply
    betty stephenson
    May 19, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    totally awesome tipper thanks for sharing it with us

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    May 19, 2019 at 11:18 am

    This is so beautiful and goes through my very soul.I would love to hear more of their singing.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2019 at 9:57 am

    This song just brings to mind the days back when in a small church it was all about prayer. It also reminds of the baptizing and even the funerals of my youth. Nowadays the old hymnals stay put, and singers perform on the stage. Granny was a pleasant surprise singing with great harmony. This makes me wonder why she was not more involved. Your entire family is gifted.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Their version is beautiful! I have read the word in each verse more than once and agree that praying is a sound this world seldom hears. That sound has become much quieter since the song was written so many years ago.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 19, 2019 at 9:01 am

    I think this is the first time I’ve heard Granny sing through your blog. I hope it won’t be the last. I was blessed to have been given a CD with several songs by Pap and Granny which stays in my truck so I can listen everywhere I go. I can’t go so much anymore tho’ so I might ought to bring it in but then I would forget it and be all alone when I do get to go.
    I think Granny is an excellent singer!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    May 19, 2019 at 8:51 am

    I loved the singing, I had never heard that song before, but the singing is nice. Harold and I sung songs similar to that in churches all around the area when we were younger. One of the songs we sang was “I have but One Goal.”
    Harold wound start the song by talking, and I would put the flavor in it.
    “Oh Lord as I wonder, (Oh Lord as I wonder),
    On Earth here below, (on earth here below),
    My Heart is so heavy, where ever I go, (My heart is so heavy, where ever I go),
    It leads to disaster, that troubles My Soul, (It leads to disaster that troubles my Soul),
    And then I remember, (and then I remember), I have but One Goal.”

    There’s more verses, but I’ll not bore you. That’s one of my favorite songs still today. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 19, 2019 at 8:26 am

    You remind me of what David wrote. “My lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places. I have a goodly heritage.” True for all of us who had godly parents.

    The song also reminds me of the one that says “Mother’s prayers have followed me”. Who knows the prayers that have followed us and were part, if not the whole, of decisions we made we thought were all our own. Jesus in his last prayer asked for several things still in operation among his people. One of them was that we would be kept “from the evil”. That is a good heritage.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2019 at 8:07 am

    They did so good with the song, Prayer is a powerful thing, I had the privilege of being in such services, I remember one night the church stayed in the Alter for close to 2hrs praying with this one young man, who had a very troubled life, wife had just committed suicide and the Lord had really dealt with him, but the young man got saved, Lord cleaned him up and he started going to Church, he passed away a few years ago with cancer, when the Church is laboring for lost souls with the Lords help she can pull them for the hands of Satan I’ve seen it done.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    May 19, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Beautiful song about wonderful subject. During four heart attacks in 2003 and 2004 and two surgeries for cancer within the last year I was very fortunate to have many wonderful Christians praying for me and through the power of prayer I am still with my family and friends. Anyone reading this who sent a prayer heavenward for me please accept my sincere thanks.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 19, 2019 at 7:05 am

    That’s a sweet song. I like Granny in there with Pap.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    May 19, 2019 at 7:01 am

    Really enjoyed that song and hadn’t heard it in years. Good way to start a Sunday morning.
    Pap and Granny done a wonderful job. Made me feel like I was in my home church of years ago. That generation is gone home and now I’m the old generation.

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