Appalachia Appalachian Dialect children

Tater Pie!


♪ ♫ Tater Pie! Tater Pie!
Choked to death on a cold tater pie.
Yes I thought to the Lord I would die!
Choked to death on a cold tater pie! ♫♫♪

My mother sang that old song to me as a child. She is the same mother who held me to her breast and sang me to sleep with “Knoxville Girl.”

~Ed Ammons


Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    E. T.. Owens
    November 28, 2019 at 11:54 am

    I just ran across this post as I was looking for lyrics to “Tater Pie” song.
    My Dad sang this to our family just kidding around.
    Have you been to that cheap boarding house,
    Where they feed you on cold tater pie.
    Well I thought to myself I would die,
    Choked to death on that cold tater pie.
    Tater pie, tater pie
    Chocked to death on that cold tater pie.
    Well I thought to myself I would die,
    Cough to death on that cold tater pie.

    This is the version we heard in Bulloch, County. Ga.

    • Reply
      Linda Sanders
      March 27, 2020 at 7:53 pm

      My husband’s grandmother use to sing this song and she said she learned it as a child. Oh, what I’d give to hear her sing it one more time!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 22, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    I forgot to mention, the song is sung to the tune of “In The Sweet Bye and Bye” which by the way was sung by a man and a woman with a single guitar over my grandmother’s casket as they lowered her into the ground. It was the most beautiful song I had ever heard sung. It still is.

    • Reply
      Wanda Devers
      March 16, 2019 at 11:34 am

      Ed, my mama also sang Knoxville Girl to us as well as one about a girl called Cathy who fell in an old well.

  • Reply
    harry stout
    September 22, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    love bp&a read it every day

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 22, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    I have made a Bubble n’ Squeak…other dishes with tater like pie contents…would love to have a good recipe “tried n’ true’ for tater pie….Wonder if this song is talking about sweet potato pie or arsh tater pie…I love sweet potatoes about anyway you can fix them even raw…well, to be fair, when I was a kid I used to peel a arsh tater, grab the salt and eat them too…lol
    Do you have any good recipes for arsh (white Irish Potato) pie…I would say it would probably have layered onions in it, S/P a little cream or milk and for show a sprinkle of cheese on top before baking….Then for Sunday…maybe scramble up some burger, onion n’ spices, layer with potato, onion, mater and top with a three cheese blend…or maybe for a Mexicali type dish…add some peppers, chili powder etc…Italian style, Roma beans okra and other ingredients…Oh Shucks….I see I’m going to have to make me a special tater pie….I don’t think I’d like pineapple in it like the Hawaii’s natives…LOL
    Thanks Tipper, as always loved your post today…

  • Reply
    September 22, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    I have never heard that but i did choke on a hot potato. I was selling tickets to try and win queen in 8th grade. I did win. The lady that fixed my hair , made supper and i swallowed a piece of hot potato and i thought i was going to die. Scared me to death. Thanks Tipper and God Bless!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 22, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    And speaking of my mother’s breast, I was born at home with a midwife present, I was never bottle fed and never ate baby food. My mother nursed me until I was about two then I starting eating table food.
    It’s strange how live seems to go in circles. I started out eating without enough teeth to do it right. Now I’m getting old and don’t have enough teeth to eat right again. The difference is now I don’t have my mother to mash my food up for me.

    • Reply
      b. Ruth
      September 22, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      They make blenders……LOL….I have one of those new fangled blenders, when the seller said to us…”This is the mother of all blenders!”…It does everything but wash the dishes…we even added the grain grinder container/blade, too….Well, wouldn’t you know it, we had great plans for that thang…Here we sit with a bag of coffee beans…had to buy one of those glass percolators from years gone by…since my research showed me that the flavor was best in those glass ones with home ground coffee…In the meantime, we were gifted a new Kerig and love it to pieces…soooo, there you go…spent all that money…used it a couple of times for juicing…LOL
      PS….put the coffee beans in the freezer…lol

      • Reply
        Ed Ammons
        September 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm

        I have one of them “As Seen on TV” Ninja things but I’d rather just gum my food. That thang is awful hard to clean and downright dangerous too if you forget one of the blades in the dishwater. I don’t have a dishwasher, I have two. One at the end of each arm. So, “Dishwasher Safe” don’t apply to me.
        The only thing I use that Ninja for is to make Graham Cracker crumbs. Some would say “They make Graham Cracker crumbs!” To them I say “Well so do I!”

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    September 22, 2018 at 9:15 am

    That is a scarey one

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 22, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Hmmm Never heard of tater pie except sweet tater pie. Did not know there was a song of that name either. The things I learn from the BP&A!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 22, 2018 at 7:28 am

    It doesn’t matter what the song is as long as you sing it with love! Also, fortunately for me, it doesn’t matter if you sing well when you song to your baby, it just matters that you sing it with love!
    I used to sing Bill Grogan’s Goat to the Deer Hunter, just like my mother sang it to me.

  • Leave a Reply