Appalachia Cataloochee Music

Undone In Sorrow

The pressley girls undone in sorrow

Over yonder in the graveyard Where the wild wild flowers grow Oh there laid my own true lover He’s gone from me forever more

Fairer than the sweetest flowers Restless as a wildest wind Born with a love deep as the ocean This was the boy that I did win

I left him there back in the mountains To see the world riches to gain Oh when I returned no earthly treasure Could ease this heart so full of pain

There so high upon that mountain Beneath that little mound of clay Oh the boy that I returned to marry So still among the flowers lay

I’ll go away and I will wander Lay aside my earthly gains And I’ll not end as a man with riches Undone in sorrow I’ll remain

Undone in sorrow I’ll remain

(written by Ola Belle Reed)



Well I hope it was worth the wait-please let me know what you thought about the video.


p.s. If you missed the story behind the video-click here: My Name Is Cora Lee Mease.



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  • Reply
    September 4, 2011 at 12:13 am

    In all the info I’ve ever read or observed in the Park, I never knew anyone’s place was burned – moved, perhaps, but I have wondered why there wasn’t more to preserve? Just one more true tragedy in our nation. Joy and sorrow.

  • Reply
    September 4, 2011 at 12:06 am

    I don’t know how I missed this after waiting so patiently. I think some of my e-mail must get diverted…but it was well worth the wait. Truly a work of art all the way through, linking past and present in such a heartfelt endeavor by everyone involved. Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    August 16, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I got cold chills and tears welled up in my eyes.
    I hope that the decendants of those from Chataloochee see this.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 9, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I just got the sound fixed on my computer, Just amazing! I too want to do this hike. We’ll be headed your way again in October I will be contacting you to get directions. thank you and the girls for a beautiful video and song.

  • Reply
    Barbara Johnson
    August 9, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Just left your mountains..we were tubing and fishing on the Ocanluftee. I love going there and miss the mountains already 🙂 The video is wonderful!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Tipper, that is the best thing I have seen/heard in a coons age. It brought tears. Loved it. Thank you so much for all your beautiful work. Please thank the girls for me. T

  • Reply
    August 8, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Your girls are awesome! I am waiting for their CD. They have the voices of angels.

  • Reply
    teresa atkinson
    August 8, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Wow – cold chills. Once the weather cools off, I want to come and make that hike myself.
    When the deer hunter heads this way, let me know. significant other hunts down his way.
    Love love —

  • Reply
    August 8, 2011 at 8:01 am


  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    August 7, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Wow!!!! Beautiful, amazing, I’m nearly speechless & so very impressed. What a fabulous job ya’ll did-from the angel harmony right down to the bare feet. It was well worth the wait & I know you are so proud of those talented girls-they take after their mother!

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    August 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    A beautiful, beautiful video, Tipper. You and the girls did Ola Belle proud!

  • Reply
    August 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Martina-the church isn’t used for regular services anymore. I do know they have a least one decoration service a year though.

  • Reply
    Susan C
    August 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    This series of posts have been outstanding. Even though I was one of the lucky ones to be at the church that day, the completed video is even better than I could have imagined. It brought tears to my eyes and is a testimony to Tipper’s talent as well as the girls. It has such a spirituality about it and touches my heart deeply. Thank you for a job more than well done.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth K
    August 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Oh, this is wonderful! A very fine performance indeed.

  • Reply
    kay dallas
    August 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    luv luv luv this video, luv the singing, luv the girls . thanks so much for sharing.

  • Reply
    John Dilbeck
    August 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    This was well worth the wait! Very well done.
    I shared it with my friends on Facebook this morning.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Beautifully done. What a fine series of posts. I have loved them all.

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    August 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Yes maam, it was well worth the wait. Such a talented family , all of you. The photography and singing was beautiful

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    August 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Definitely moving and so deeply emotional. Well worth the wait. You outdone yourself on this. You have two very beautiful and talented girls…Susie

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph.D.
    August 7, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Tipper: The girls performed in great style! The only thing I wished was for the reverbs to be lessened a little bit. But the sound quality certainly fits with the overall setting! I hear NASHVILLE – THE BLUEBIRD – CALLING!!!!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Ed Myers
    August 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    What a refreshing and uniquely personal way to begin the day.
    “It was a sad time made sadder and brighter by the people and the place.”
    Thank you Tipper and your girls.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I was hoping this video wouldn’t make me cry…The cemetary looks like the one where so many of my loved ones are buried. The girls are fabulous!

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    August 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    A truly moving experience; to watch and listen to the sounds of a song sung with such pure passion and enhanced by the old church. The girls did a fantastic job as did the videographer! I’ve learned so much about the area. I’m ashamed to say I’ve not been there, but this song and the words of Ken and Don make it a must visit as soon as I can arrange it. There is always so much more “history” to a place than one sees on the surface.

  • Reply
    Lonnie L. Dockery
    August 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Fantastic! Great work everybody!!

  • Reply
    August 7, 2011 at 11:46 am

    THIS was worth waiting for. And so
    beautifully done, from beginning to the end with the girls walking
    away, holding hands. Very touching
    and I’ve played it several times
    already. Something I don’t usually
    do: I muted the Fox News Channel
    for a long time just to see and
    hear my Favorite Girls perform.
    Thanks to everyone for your labor
    to make this happen. And thank you
    Tipper for sharing your enduring love of Appalachia…Ken

  • Reply
    Carol Isler
    August 7, 2011 at 11:36 am


  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    August 7, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Beautiful Voices! I don’t beleive Alison Krauss or Grace Potter could have done it better.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Excellent work Pressley Girls and Tipper! The video was beautiful, the girls’ voices perfection. I can see what you mean about the church’s acoustics. Is it still used for regular services?

  • Reply
    August 7, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Loved it! The girls did great justice to the song; I could feel the words. I also enjoyed shoelessness. Beautifully performed!

  • Reply
    Sandy Kalvaitis
    August 7, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Not often am I brought to tears by beauty. Thank you so much for this.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Beautiful! Beautiful song, beautiful singing, beautiful girls!

  • Reply
    August 7, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Absolutely wonderful and well worth the wait. The girls did a fantastic job. I bet you’re one proud mama!

  • Reply
    Sandy Satterfield
    August 7, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Fantastic job Mom & daughters

  • Reply
    August 7, 2011 at 9:24 am


  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 7, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Tipper–Evocative, emotive, and deeply moving for anyone who treasures the mountain past. My brother, Don, has already pointed out the approriateness of your timeline, but I’d like to add a bit more.
    Had it not been for a preacher who told his congregation they must abide by the government’s dictates, the wailing and gnashing of teeth (and it was literal–read Hattie Caldwell Davis’s books on Cataloochee to get a feel for the times)might well have been bloodshed.
    The Park, for all that I treasure its presence and realize it was a great boon to those of us who cherish the natural world, handled almost everything badly (or more accurately, Park bureaucrats did). They not only burned houses; they destroyed priceless historical artifacts; intentionally circumscribed the few folks who managed to get some type of temporary reprieve to live on their land a bit longer with impossible regulations; and continue until this day to indulge in acts of sheer stupidity.
    For example, right now they have advanced a proposal to start charging folks for backcountry camping, never mind that a covenant with the folks of N. C. and Tennessee said they would always have free access to and use of the Park. That’s but one of numerous examples of broken promises, bone-headed decisions,and seemingly almost willful intent to antagonize locals (especially those on the N. C. side, which has always been the ugly stepchild in Park “doings”).
    I’ll not vent more here, although my next column in the “Smoky Mountain Times” will deal with this campsite “rental” proposal.
    Tipper, on a much more positive note,I do have one suggestion. Every year folks with roots in Cataloochee gather for a celebration of those roots, a sort of homecoming, dinner on the grounds, and the like. I’m thinking a performance of this song and maybe a few others by the Blind Pig crew would be a moving and most welcome experience. I don’t know the proper contact but I’m sure Don or me could find it.
    Kudos to you and the girls.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    August 7, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Love has only one source. When ever it appears in writing, song, or any endeavor, it is immediately detectable. Your presentation with the music, story, the girls singing, and photography is clearly your best to date. I feel (and I’ll bet) your readers will sense that this could have only been completed with someone possessing a warm and tender heart.
    My Momma and Daddy used to say when speaking of some tender and warm hearted person that “Their heart was pure gold” I am now reminded this morning of so many golden hearted people I have know. This time you hit it out of the park. I thank you.

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    August 7, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Beautiful work and pictures on everyones part, loved it Bill

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    August 7, 2011 at 8:27 am

    One more comment (sorry for taking up so much space)….I wanted to cite a specific example of individuals who were cast out from Cataloochee.
    On January 8, 1930, W.G. Messer, who donated the land for the Little Cataloochee Church and contributed significantly to its construction – including fashioning the steeple, signed with the Park Commission. I’m inclined to believe there were tears dripping on the page, thus completing a forcible taking of his family’s land from its own true lover.
    Their beautiful home in the community of Ola (which was named for his daughter), stood just under the lee of the hill upon which Little C. church sits. Just out from the home was the Little C. School.
    Today, with a bit of wandering past skeletal remains of a once-thriving apple orchard, you can find the cemented cornerstones of the school, and between the school and the Little C. Creek, a concrete pedestal that was once a water fountain stands dry in silent protest. And in between the school and the Messer home, watchful eyes may spot the rusting frame of a child’s wagon.
    The school and the Messer home, like the vast majority of heart-places in the once thriving community, were burned by order of government bureaucrats.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2011 at 8:13 am

    love the walking in and the walking out, the singing and the beautiful girls. a great video and very special. they were right, the acoustics are super in that old church, i can almost hear 50 plus voices raised in old hymns. the cemetery is very touching with them walking away. i noticed there were no cowboy boots. LOL

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    August 7, 2011 at 7:59 am

    In light of Tipper’s post of yesterday regarding symbolism, I wanted to point out the dates that Tipper selected for the video (1928-1930).
    Those years are especially poignant for the Cataloochee Valley. Starting in 1929, the Park Commission bought out the residents of Cataloochee as a part of the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
    The folks who lived there had no choice. There was – literally – wailing and gnashing of teeth when it was announced that they would have to leave.
    Within the years of 1929 and 1930, the majority of the Cataloochee homeplaces that had been in families for generations were stripped from their own true lovers. And shamefully, most were burned. Literally.
    Now I dearly love these mountains, and am thankful that there is a park where a mountain boy can fetch himself to a high and lonesome place. But on the other hand, my heart is absolutely broken when I think of those whose “own true lover” – the land upon which they lived (and loved, in return) – was taken away.

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    August 7, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Beautifully done, Tipper. Yes, it was certainly worth waiting for.
    The story in the song and the girls in the video – all haunting and sweet.
    You are such a talented lady.
    Thanks for sharing the girls with us.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Yes, it was certainly worth waiting to see. The girls sang great and loved seeing the mountains. You did a wonderful job of videoing. Such a sad but beautiful song. Makes one think what we’ve missed that was right before our own eyes! Am looking forward to more of this type thing from u.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    August 7, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Fantastic, Splendid, Wonderful, Heartbreaking.
    Tipper, in my judgment, this is the finest work you’ve done – and that’s saying something.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 7, 2011 at 6:21 am

    Tipper, I’m speechless. Everything about this video is perfect!
    The girls did a beautiful job singing , the church did a beautiful job, like a halo around the music they made.
    The church, the dresses, the girls, the song all wonderful there in the arms of the mountains we love so much.
    Olla Belle would have been proud to hear what the girls did with her song.
    Thank you, Don, for making it happen!

  • Reply
    Chapman Jones
    August 7, 2011 at 5:47 am

    Beautiful melody ans well sung. I loved the natural reverb the church house afforded.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    August 7, 2011 at 4:27 am

    pure and authentic….doesn’t get it any better n I love that tight harmony.

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