Appalachia Holidays in Appalachia Music

Waving O’er The Land Of Heroes Brave And true


According to Wikipedia, There’s A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere was written in 1942 by Paul Roberts and Shelby Darnell.

Darnelle was actually Bob Miller writing under a different name.

The song became one of the most popular war songs of the day. The Folk Archive Website shares this magazine article detailing the success of the song, as well as Miller’s angst about the spreading popularity of the song he helped pen:

With Bob Miller, it’s either hillbilly or it isn’t, and no compromises. He tries to confine his offerings to authentic outlets, and this has caused him some embarrassment. When ‘There’s A Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere’ hit its third million in record and sheet music sales, Miller inserted an ad in Variety asking big-name band leaders ‘not’ to play it, please. And when the song made the Hit Parade he threatened to sue if it was played. He explains that his reputation as a writer and publisher was at stake. This music, he insists, must have the common touch. It is violated unless done by a true son of the soil, one to the manner born…. To streamline such a number is, says Miller, to break faith with his clientele.

~DORON K. ANTRIM, Colliers magazine, reprinted in Dorothy Horstman, Sing Your Heart Out, Country Boy, New York, NY, 1976, p. 285

Very interesting that the success of the song caused Miller such intense feelings about who actually performed the song.

Over the years many performers have recorded the song. Among them-Elton Britt, Hank Snow, Ray Price, Jimmy Wakely, and the Blind Pig Gang.


There’s a Star-Spangled Banner waving somewhere
In a distant land so many miles away.
Only Uncle Sam’s great heroes get to go there
Where I wish that I could also live some day.
I’d see Lincoln, Custer, Washington and Perry,
And Nathan Hale and Colin Kelly, too.
There’s a Star-Spangled Banner waving somewhere,
Waving o’er the land of heroes brave and true.

In this war with its mad schemes of destruction
Of our country fair and our sweet liberty,
By the mad dictators, leaders of corruption,
Can’t the U. S. use a mountain boy like me?
God gave me the right to be a free American,
And for that precious right I’d gladly die.
There’s a Star-Spangled Banner waving somewhere,
That is where I want to live when I die.

Though I realize I’m crippled, that is true, sir,
Please don’t judge my courage by my twisted leg.
Let me show my Uncle Sam what I can do, sir,
Let me help to bring the Axis down a peg.
If I do some great deed I will be a hero,
And a hero brave is what I want to be.
There’s a Star-Spangled Banner waving somewhere,
In that heaven there should be a place for me.

written by Paul Robers and Shelby Darnell (aka Bob Miller)


Paul and Pap changed the words slightly when they sung the song. They learned it from Pap’s memory which was probably a little off. Their changing of the list of sur-names might have been intentional. Either way their version is recorded forever on the cd they produced several years ago,  Lamp Lighting Time. You can hear the song below and you can pick up your own copy of the cd here.

On this Veterans Day of 2018 I sincerely thank all Veterans for standing in the gap for the good of me.


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  • Reply
    November 11, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    Good one Tipper. Our preacher this morning had the veterans stand so we could honor them and we are so proud of them. There use to be 2 but now 4 since new ones has came to our church. Thank all of them around the world. God Bless and God Bless America!

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    November 11, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Tipper. Every time I see old Glory waving into this America I thank God and for all veterans who fought to keep this flag blowing in the wind. God Bless America and much honor to all veterans

  • Reply
    November 11, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    I really enjoyed the song. I had not heard of it before, and so appropriate for today.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    I first read the song and then listened to it. I wondered what Custer’s name was doing in that song and evidently Pap and Paul must have felt the same way for they left his name out. Good Job!
    us army veteran.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    November 11, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Like Dee, Pap and Paul’s singing of this song brought tears.

    I’m headed to Swain Memorial Park this afternoon to pay tributes to a high school classmate, Billy Morris, a mountain boy and classmate who was raised on Deep Creek, and a cousin on Mama’s side of the family.

  • Reply
    betty stephenson
    November 11, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    great version loved it

  • Reply
    Colleen Holmes
    November 11, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Happy Veterans Day. Thank you for your service.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    November 11, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Great song for Veterans Day. Always enjoy your Sunday Music.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2018 at 8:29 am

    Paul and Pap, as usual, did a beautiful job singing this song. Brought tears to my eyes, as i remembered a country boy’s letters to his Momma and Papa. He was in the Air Force and in the battle of his life flying over Manila. His letters home said “Papa, it won’t be long til I get to come home, and I won’t mind cleaning those ditch banks at all.” He was reported missing in action. Later they said his plane was shot down & crashed into a mountain. The Marines came in and took that island and eight years later they told his Momma and Papa his dogtags had been found and a piece of his bones was sent home. He never got the chance to get married and have a family on this earth, but he was at the gate to meet his Momma and Papa when they entered heaven and I know I will get to see him some day. I will be praying for all our soldiers not just this morning but every morning.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 11, 2018 at 8:19 am

    I expect many, if not most, veterans have the attitude (which they don’t often share) that they didn’t need civilian approval or gratitude to serve nor need it afterwards to be proud of that service but they are always gratified to be appreciated. Something else I suspect they feel but rarely say is that those who hold their service in contempt or disdain only diminish themselves in discerning eyes. Even for those who were never wounded or even in combat they sacrificed time away from loved ones that could never be regained. And those loved one did the same from the other end.

    Thank you vets for that we understand to be grateful for and especially for that we do not.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 11, 2018 at 8:05 am

    That’s a beautiful story that sounds just like one of our boys!

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