Appalachia Music

When It’s Lamp Lighting Time In The Valley

This post was originally published here on the Blind Pig in 2008. At that time I was wondering how my little girls had turned into middle schoolers. The girls start their final year of high school this week. I’m proud of what they’ve accomplished-but my how fast 12 years of school has flown by.

chatter alex katie

We all go back, in our minds, to different moments of time. Happy times, sorrowful times, bittersweet times, doesn’t matter which, at some point they each call us back to them.

Lately my mind has fallen back to the days when Chatter and Chitter were smaller. Back to the days of wearing pantyhose on their head.


When I was an overwhelmed stay at home mom of 2 rambunctious girls who never for one moment stopped their busyness or their talking, I sometimes longed for the day they would grow up and give me some peace.

One time when I was having a bad day, Pap said “If all I had to do was stay home with 2 little jewels-I’d never complain.” Pap was right. Those days spent with my little jewels were without a doubt some of the best days of my life.

chitter and chatter Snaggle_tooth

I suppose my mind has chosen to wander back to those days due to the ever increasing speed with which the girls are hurtling themselves towards adulthood. I recall thinking middle school was eons away now I’m realizing high school will be here in the blink of an eye.


Gone are the days of wanting to be the mud pie making champion of the world. Those dreams have been replaced with wondering who might ask them to the winter formal this year. I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment the change took place, but I can’t because its so gradual you don’t even notice. That’s how our mind works. Not remembering changes that link together like water in a stream, but instead drawing us back to specific times and events that stand out like beacons calling to us from the past.

I have an absolute jewel (to borrow Pap’s word) for this week’s Pickin’ & Grinnin’ In The Kitchen Spot. It’s Lamp Lighting Time In The Valley a beautiful song that talks about going back to a place in time.

I hope you enjoyed the great old song and the outstanding 2-part harmony. Leave me a comment and tell me what your mind has been drawing you back to lately.


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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    August 15, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    I know what you mean – memories that make up the fabric of our lives, so sweet and bittersweet at the same time.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    August 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Awww, this brought tears Tipper. My mind often goes back to those days when my son sat on my lap. I know I’m telling my age now but he’s 41. You have brought up two beautiful young ladies with so much going for them. And the talent your family has is so awesome. Thanks for this post and this beautiful song.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Patti-YES! Papaw Tony has always said put a rock on their head LOL : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    August 12, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Aw, I’m gonna cry! Nice post. Seems like not so long ago to me when we were at the pool doing swim work and play. Love having them here. Thanks

  • Reply
    Lola Howard
    August 11, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    I loved the pictures and the singing.Enjoy your family as much as you can ,they do grow up and don’t have much time for mom and dad then,but that’s life.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 11, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I loved this post. The girls have grown into beautiful young ladies.
    One of these days, like me they will be thinking of Lamp Lighting time in the valley. The last sentence of the song, I miss you Mother dear most of all….and I do…
    Thanks Tipper, for all you do and the Blind Pig music is so wonderful as usual.

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    August 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Loved the song! Raising my daughter was the happiest time of my life. Adorable pictures!

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    August 11, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Your Pap is a smart man to remind you of the most important job in the world, raising those girls. You have done such a great job, too. Time passes much too fast, and soon they are grown, but you have provided them memories and a written legacy with this blog, Tipper. Good work!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 11, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Tipper–My, how time does fly. First thing you know, the fledglings are grown and almost ready to fly from the home nest. Savor their senior year, as I know the girls will, and think about all the excitement connected with their next steps in the adventure we call life.
    Soon enough it will be college, then the real world, but they will have had 18 years of home magic to serve as their flying carpet for what lies ahead.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    August 11, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Tipper: Your beautiful daughters, now SENIORS, make up a wonderful group of students who keep good teachers in the Classroom. In my 25 years of teaching Physics/Mathematics to ‘grown up’ students like your girls, I learned just how much they contribute to making our world better!
    Keep smiling!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    August 11, 2013 at 9:26 am

    We’ve had the pleasure of watching
    those cute little girls grow up into
    beautiful young ladies. I know you’re proud of ’em!
    Lamp Lighting Time in the Valley
    was on the first CD I bought, along
    with “Way Back in the Hills” and
    my favorite “Just a Touch of the
    Past.” I’ve found nothing on the
    Internet any better! …Ken

  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    August 11, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Yes, they grow so fast. Did you Pap tell you to put a rock on their head?
    LOL, Blessings

  • Reply
    August 11, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Your precious family have added much to this world. Kudos to you and your family successes. I will enjoy reading about Chitter and Chatter’s escapades of their senior year as well as their choices for the future.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    August 11, 2013 at 8:03 am

    This song takes me back to many thing about growing up especially since I was raised in a home without electricity and one of my jobs was filling the lamps, trimming the wicks and lighting the lamps we used for lighting. When thinking back I realize that the “Good Old Days” are really a product of the mind forgetting the hard times and holding on to the good memories. The older I get the more I realize and appreciate the sacrifices my parents made for their children.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    August 11, 2013 at 7:46 am

    As always, great job by the fellers.
    There are places on the southern flanks of Mt. Kephart and Mt. Ambler (Appalachian Trail, couple miles east of Newfound Gap) where you can watch the sun set in the winter and see the (electric) lamps lighting up in the valley that I call home – Bryson City. Here’s a photo from Icewater Springs on a balmy February evening:
    The two finest times of day to be out in God’s Sanctuary are just after dawn (“alone, while the dew is still on the roses”) and in the evening’s gloaming – Lamp lighting Time.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 11, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Thanks for sharing both the songs and the pictures of the girls growing up. What happy memories you have.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 11, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Tipper, thanks for the walk down memory lane. The song and the harmony are excellent, as they always are.
    The girls are beautiful, as they always are. I can’t believe this is their last year of high school. The last time you visited, just a few weeks ago, I noticed that the girls are no longer grown up kids they are now full young women. Beautiful young women inside as well as outside.
    The little girl pictures remind me of when the Deer Hunter was a little boy. Like the girls he was a beautiful child and had the same sweet spirit. That seems so long ago now!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2013 at 6:56 am

    It seems like it’s no time from when you get babies out of diapers that are graduating school. Enjoy every day of them while you have them close. Sure is an empty feeling when they leave the nest. Paul & Pap’s harmony was great as always. Such a talented family.

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