Appalachia Music Pap

Singing Songs You Don’t Know – Way Back in the Hills

the pressley girls on stage

Photo by Ron Priest

I’m sharing another peek into our recent show at the Historic Union County Courthouse for today’s “Pickin and Grinnin in the Kitchen Spot.”

Over the years we’ve done the song “Way Back in the Hills” written by Bob Amos a lot. Pap and Paul started doing it first. They learned it from a Front Range cd that Paul had.

It’s a great song and somewhere along the way the girls started doing it.

The song is quite long and is pretty demanding to sing so its not a song we do all the time. And as you can hear in the little back and forth in the video, we haven’t done it in a good long while.

Overall the song turned out fine even though we weren’t really practiced up on it.

“Way Back in the Hills” has beautiful moving lyrics. The words and the melody always make me think of summer even though I’m not sure why.

As Chatter and Chitter sing I think of dusty gravel roads at close of day; of deep blue mountains towering in the distance; of shady coolness under the laurels by the creek; of tired feet encased in worn boots propped on the railing of the porch while kids play in the yard as dusky dark falls. I think of my people: those who went before me and showed me the way and those who walk beside me in the glory of summer in Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    Dale Fonville
    August 6, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Could you share with me the lyrics to “Way Back In The Hills” please?

  • Reply
    Garry Ballard
    June 1, 2020 at 5:46 am

    Beautiful! Was in America in 2007 and stayed at Asheville NC at a convention at a place owned a fellow by the name of Dave McCrum. If I ever go back I’ll definitely find out where the girls are playing so I can hear them live!
    Is Asheville somewhere near you?

    • Reply
      June 2, 2020 at 9:36 am

      Garry-we live about 2 hours west of Asheville 🙂

  • Reply
    July 31, 2019 at 5:46 am

    I really like this song, you must keep it on your list of songs you do, it’s kinda one of those songs that catches the audience attention in a soothing way if that makes any sense.

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    July 29, 2019 at 4:19 am

    ohh im glad they wanted this song tipper its my favorite…I think ive worn it off my cd….lol
    the girls are sounding just like angels
    thank you for sharing…much love to the gang

  • Reply
    July 28, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    Yes, that song did “turn out fine.” Really fine. And your thoughts about the song are beautiful. Makes me long for home.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    So enjoyed listening to that song ,what a lovely song, so fun to sing right along with ya , googled for the lyrics to sing the words right but couldn’t find them, although there was another video of some singing that same song posted on U-tube way back in April 16,2008 🙂 listened to it too , & they were great too 🙂 , gonna get my guitar out and watch again so fun to play along even if I don’t know all the words ,I can listen and learn. All the best for you all in Asheville, that’s sure to be a memorable and wonderful to see and be a part of time…looked at their web page to see all about it, I would enjoy every bit of that….

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 28, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    I saw the Pressley Girls on Youtube back in 2013 singing and playing that song. It was good enough then that it should have been part of your repertoire all along. It should be your theme song.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    July 28, 2019 at 10:50 am

    I like “Way Back in the Hills” and the way you all do it, but most of all I like the way you express your thoughts, dating back in time.

    I’ve waited for years for someone to come along and talk about Appalachia the way I feel. …Ken

  • Reply
    July 28, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Your description of how the song makes you feel is even more moving than the lyrics, I think.
    The magic of music.
    I hope everyone is having a lovely Sunday.

    • Reply
      Garry Ballard
      June 1, 2020 at 5:40 am

      I agree! Beautifully put Tipper!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 28, 2019 at 8:23 am

    I love your “dusky dark”, sounds like home to me.

    The Pressley Girls are amazing, such harmony and those surprising voice variations. Seems to be a trait among the best. They can introduce sound that seems like it could not work and yet it does. Me, I just plow through the nuances like a dozer or something. There might be one bone in my little finger with some music in it.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    July 28, 2019 at 8:10 am

    Sounded great not to have been practiced up on.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 28, 2019 at 7:26 am

    That’s a good job and nobody would know you hadn’t played it in a while if you didn’t tell them!

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