Heritage Music

The Hills That I Call Home


I was born upon a hillside

My Home

Where the pines sing in the wind


Where my Daddy lived before me

papaw wade

and my Grandpa before him

grannys house

We believe in simple living

It’s the only life we’ve known

 All we need here is our freedom

and a place to call our own.

The words are from a song, The Hills That I Call Home written by Bob Amos. Paul and Pap have been singing the song for years-and from the first time I heard it-I loved it. The song gives me a sense of belonging-one of those songs you feel so strongly about-you feel as though you could have written it yourself.

Funny I should feel such a connection with the song-because it isn’t about my beloved Appalachia. The chorus tells you the song is about “the land of Ethan Allen where the sugar maples grow” in other words well north of here.

I believe Bob Amos knew people who were not from the land of Ethan Allen would relate to his song too. Part of the 2nd verse:

Yet I found no peace within me till the day that I returned For there’s two things you can count on as the troubled world we face Every season has an ending and every person has a place.

The Southern Highlands of Appalachia are by no means perfect-there are problems the folks who live here face-but it’s my home-it’s my place.

Listen to this week’s Pickin’ & Grinnin’ In The Kitchen Spot-The Hills That I Call Home-afterwards-please leave me a comment about your place. Maybe it’s the land of Ethan Allen maybe it’s the plains of the midwest or like me-maybe it’s a holler in Appalachia.

Hope you enjoyed Bob Amos’ great song. Don’t forget-leave me a comment about your place.


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  • Reply
    February 7, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    After listening to Paul and Pap singing What a friend we have in Jesus today Feb 7 ,2021 …thinking how delighted they both must have been at Corie’s playing with them …and how true it really is -What a friend we have in Jesus ….. then I noticed this blog posts day and came over here to hear again this delightful song and be amazed at their talented playing and singing …and just joy in the love of a dad and a son … as for us two it’s the bluegrass of Kentucky …all our lives … we love visiting other places but are always glad to the city sign on the interstate …ramping us right on home ☺️

  • Reply
    Cynthia Bertelsen
    October 16, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Love the song and the blog! I live in SW Virginia.

  • Reply
    Tim Mclemoe
    August 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    I love your web site, so peaceful, kinda helps to forget about the fast pace of life today, and remember life when it was simple.

  • Reply
    Sherry Whitaker
    March 26, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I love this. The hills and mountains surely do call me. My Dad wrote songs and was from beautiful northwest Arkansas originally, but moved to Oak Ridge, Tn. during WWII. He wrote a song about his new home where I was born. “When it’s springtime in the Tennessee Valley, that is where I long to be. Springtime when the dogwood is blooming…a beautiful sight to see. They say that the good Lord made springtime for love. And a lover of nature is He. For when He gave to the world all its beauty. He was liberal to East Tennessee.” by Ed Blalock

  • Reply
    Nels Boehme
    January 7, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Just a beautiful Ballad – typical of the “Hill Folks” – love it!
    I’m from the Hills of the Madawaska Valley in Renfrew County, Ontario Canada and really relate to the piece.
    Nels Boehme
    Combermere Ontario Canada.

  • Reply
    Janet Starks
    April 8, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Hey Tipper,
    Your roots have grown strong and deep here in this rich Appalachian soil. How blessed you are! Although I’m not a native, it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. I’m very grateful to be living here. Love the song! Take care, Janet S

  • Reply
    April 8, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Tipper, that’s a beautiful song and so true for me. I’ve lived a lot of places, a couple of them big cities. But the place that I’ll always call home is the hills of southern Ohio, across the Ohio River from Kentucky and West Virginia. That’s where my heart is.

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    April 7, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    I thought I left a comment, but it didn’t show up.
    Anyway, I live in a tiny apartment in the ‘big harsh’ city, but I call Ocean City my home away from home. I adore being at the ocean and would like to retire there. I also love being in the hills, as most of my family hails from Harrisonburg, VA. Guess I’m kinda fickle that way. 🙂 xxoo

  • Reply
    April 7, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Love it. The pictures with the words. It was written for you.

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    April 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    I enjoyed this posting very much. As a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this really resounds with me and my love for this region. I don’t have a credit card to subscribe for your newsletter. Will you please e-mail me and let me know how I could subscribe by the US Postal Service?

  • Reply
    April 6, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Wonderful song and pics Tipper! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    April 6, 2009 at 5:56 am

    It seems like a song about loving the place you’re from. Feeling like you belong. Great song!

  • Reply
    April 6, 2009 at 12:52 am

    Tipper , That was a great post and also loved all the comments from folks all over the country , we can all relate to a place called home, I love the song by the late great John Denver ” Take me home country road to a place where I belong “. I think in the back of our minds we all feel this way. And some sweet day we’ll go to that Home way over there in the other Holler. Malcolm

  • Reply
    April 5, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    This song brought tears to my eyes tonight. I think the older we get, the more we just want to go home. (Those of us who have wandered that is.)
    My home is the Blue Mountians of Northeastern Oregon. Those mountains and valleys are part of my soul and no matter where I’ve lived – California, Wyoming, Alaska and the Oregon Coast – those Blue Mountains always are calling me back home. As the song says, I’m never more at peace than when I’m back.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    I’m a hillbilly from the Ozarks of Missouri. Our way of life is like yours. Plain, simple, livin’ off the land, growin’ up knowin’ how to take care of ourselves and be self sufficient and just plain survive. I grew up livin’ back in a holler and there’s no place on earth I would have rather been. I still feel that way about these Ozark mountains.
    Both sides of my family and my husbands too, lived here in southern Missouri as far back as any of us knows. Back durin’ WWll some members of the family moved to California to find work, after the war, most of them came back. It’s hard to take us out of these hills once we’ve known their magic.
    I don’t think it’s like this in north Missouri but here in the south Ozarks, the ones that were born and raised here are proud to be hillbillies!

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    April 5, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    I love David’s comment above! I guess wherever I’m at I call home. I’m not a native Oregonian, but right now, it’s definitely home, and I’ve grown to love the Central Oregon desert, with the junipers and sage and volcanic rocks. But I adapt, and I’m drawn to my family’s roots, so my mom’s family in Michigan and my dad’s in West Virginia are both very dear places to me.
    Unlike some commenters here, I haven’t lived in the same place for a huge portion of my life, but sometimes I wish I had–there is definitely more of a sense of place that way.

  • Reply
    Kim Campbell
    April 5, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Indiana. I lived there until I was 27 and got married. Then I moved to Illinos and lived there until my current husband (and high school sweetheart) go married in 2007 and moved to Texas.
    I miss the Midwest sooooo much.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    I enjoy your site a lot. The truth is …there is no place like home!! I live in Eastern Canada and we do not have mountains or a Holler which you mention but it intrigues me to hear you talk about your home! We do have sugar maple trees from which we gather sap to make maple sugar, maple syrup and so on…yumm!! The music is a delight as is your every post..tks so much…the best!!

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    April 4, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    I like to imagine if God came back to Earth, not to claim His own, but to reflect on His creation; if He took earthly form and walked His many lands; I think He would lay himself down and find peaceful rest when He came to these mountains. And, when He got up and continued, He would say, “I am satisfied that my work has been good.”

  • Reply
    April 4, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    As usual, you just have the best photos ever. It’s really pretty neat that the area you love and really take to heart is the area you call home. I think a sense of place is wonderful, and important too.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    I think almost anyone can relate to this song, especially if they have country background.
    I was raised on a farm about a 20 minute drive from where I live today. I haven’t ever lived anywhere else, though I have traveled to British Columbia, Canada’s Maritime Provinces and many places in the USA. I have actually been in 20 of the 50 States and am hoping that one day I will visit others.
    Enjoyed the Pickin’ and Grinnin’ in the Kitchen, as always. Have a great weekend.

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    April 4, 2009 at 11:11 am

    There’s no place like home; that’s because home is where the heart is.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 4, 2009 at 10:47 am

    These mountains of Western North Carolina are my home though I was not born here. My family roots are here and my heart is here and I have been here most of my life.
    I think these mountains call their own. I’ve talked too many folks who grew up here then moved away only to have the mountains call them back.
    I’ve also known folks to move here because of the beauty of the mountains only to be rejected by them. They could not stand the desolation of bare mountains in the winter and felt that the mountains were moving in on them.
    I guess one mans cradle is another s cage!
    Love Ya!

  • Reply
    April 4, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Hi Tipper,
    I was born in a holler in Appalachia, too. I will never forget it. I still call it home. I love the song your dad and your brother sing. I could listen to them all day.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    April 4, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Tipper: Really enjoyed the song and the meaning. I still call Pennsylvania home in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. I love where I live now but at times miss the streams of my youth as they carve through the foothills.

  • Reply
    Greta Koehl
    April 4, 2009 at 8:19 am

    It’s funny that you should write on the subject of the places that we call home – I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately; though my early years were spent in Southern California, I spent my high school years in Texas and that’s where my family is from, so now I think of myself as a Texan – must be the roots showing through.
    I really enjoy the music on this blog and the clips you post.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    I like your world as is–real, human, beautiful,

  • Reply
    April 3, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    love the words to the song. I’m an Oregon girl through and through! Wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. It’s my home.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Home to me has always been in NE Okla. I was born and raised in the same town my daddy, granddad,grandmother, and great grandmother all were raised. It is a small town, but a close knit one. Neighbors are always helping each other. We also have a great school and the best kids around.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    I’ve always lived in WV and so have my ancestors. I love that song, it speaks to you. I wrote a poem once about our families, one of the stanzas says:
    Some are drawn to the oceans
    and the taste of the salty sea.
    My people were drawn to the hills
    and here we will always be.

  • Reply
    Rick M
    April 3, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    I’ve never heard that song but it speaks to your heart. Great post Thanks.

  • Reply
    Amy @ parkcitygirl
    April 3, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Great post/song Tipper 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Funny, isn’t it? No matter what, home is home. I have been a ton of places, from Florida to Vermont, from Ontario to Sault Ste. Marie Michigan, to Mississippi, from California to Texas and back to Michigan through Illinois, but northwestern Lower Michigan, with it’s hills, sugar maples, red pine and Aspens still looks like home every time I get there. Great song..

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    April 3, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Tipper! When I saw the title of your post, I immediately thought of Iris Dement’s “These Hills” which I adore. Wasn’t aware of Bob Amos’ song “The Hills That I Call Home.” Enjoyed it, and this heartfelt post! I can’t believe how blonde you were when you were a child, Tipper?! :))
    p.s. I can’t wait to receive your Newletter. I just subscribed!

  • Reply
    noble pig
    April 3, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Beautiful pcs along with beautiful words.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I’ve been a flatlander most of my life, but we did live four years between the Ouachitas and the Ozarks in western Arkansas. We loved the mountains. Tell Paul and Pap they did a great job on the song too. Pappy

  • Reply
    April 3, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    I’ve always lived in Arkansas and I love it here. Like you, we have our problems, but we also have real people who live and love and take care of their own. I was born in the Ozark Mountains in north central Arkansas but now I live in west central Arkansas, still with some small mountains, and lots of lakes and the natural beauty can’t be beat. Right now the Dogwood Trees are at their peak and they take your breath. blessings, marlene

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