Appalachia Music

When The Cold Wind Blows

In the pines traditional murder ballad from appalachia

We’ve had lots of cold wind blowing around the Blind Pig house recently-literally and figuratively. I’ve found the absolute perfect cure for the cold wind-is one of Granny’s toboggans. Stick around to the end of this post for more about that.

Huddie Ledbetter is often credited with the song In The Pines because he was one of the first artists to record it. However, Cecil Sharp, folk song collector, published the song in 1917, and others contend the song has been around southern Appalachia since the 1870s.

As with most songs that old, In The Pines has been called by different names and has various lyrics depending on who is doing the singing. Cecil Sharp’s version was titled Black Girl and only had a few lines. Another common name for the song is Where Did You Sleep Last Night? One version of the song under the ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’ title was made famous by none other than the rock group Nirvana.

The subject of the song also varies depending on who’s performing the song-with railroads and coalmines both being thrown into the fray.

I grew up hearing The Louvin Brothers sing the song-and in my opinion their performance of the song is as good as it gets. The Pressley Girls have been singing In The Pines for a few weeks (thats the figurative cold wind I was talking about). Taking a nod from The Louvin Brothers they do the song in a similar fashion. Like other artists before them-the girls change the words slightly to form a better fit for them.

I hope you enjoyed the song-the history and the singing.

The other wind I was talking about is the real cold wind-old man winter is on his way for most of the US. I’m sure you could use one of Granny’s toboggans to keep warm-so leave a comment on this post for a chance to win one.

*Giveaway ends Friday November 22, 2013 @ midnight.


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  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    August 22, 2021 at 9:01 am

    That rendition of “in the Pines” or “When the Cold Wind Blows” was wonderful. Those voices, which must have been cultivated from the back seat of Mom’s car or by soaking up all the good sounds in their home, accurately mimic the cold wind, which can blow even colder and more lonely when a loved one is lost.
    And thanks also for the tutorial re toboggans. It’s a joy to hear other people refer to those hats as such. Up here in “yankee country,” especially further on and up into New York State. people call them “touques,” which, in my opinion just drains away all the color associated with a homemade toboggan.

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    November 22, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    A toboggan? I assume that’s a hat? One can never have too many hats!! I’d love to win one, if I’m not too late to enter!

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    November 22, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Love Corie’s boggan. Love your song girls!!!

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    November 21, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I love that song and your girls do an awesome job as usual. I would love one of granny’s boggins.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I grew up in AL and always heard head covering called a boggan. I had someone from ND tell me that a toboggan was a sled and he wondered why people in the south called a head covering a boggan. I just laughed at him.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    November 20, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    It was ‘boggin” around our house & it sure kept you hair warm. Love “In the Pines” — such a melancholy sound

  • Reply
    Joy Newer
    November 20, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Remember my Grandmother saying Joy don’t forget you boggan. enjoying the Christmas tape i won, thank you again. Those sure were the good ole days. Loving your music as always.
    Joy Newer

  • Reply
    November 20, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    When we served in Georgia we put out a request for toboggans for the inner city children we worked with. One lady called to inform us that it never snowed deep enough there for sledding. It took me awhile to get her to understand we needed warm hats.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    There was a note of harmony that the girls sang in this song that reminded me of high harmony in the “Chuck Wagon Gangs” singing!
    I guess I was thinking of “Theres A Little Pine Long Cabin” sung by the Chuck Wagon Gang…It is I suppose a more happy song with a “pine/pines” in it! LOL
    I also love “Whispering Pines” by one of my favorites from my era, Johnny Horton!..
    I used to love to walk out in our long tall pines…before the Pine Beetle invaded and we had to have the lumber company cut and save what we could!..It never seemed to dark and gloomy walking on the floor of the long pine needles. They were soft and deep and kept getting deeper each year…One spot had a large patch of “ground pine” it just jumped out off that brown floor it was growing in! I miss it so much…but Roy found another patch up on the ridge…but of course I can’t get to it like I could the one closer to the house. Sometimes the North wind would blow and came through those tall pines and would make you “shiver” but they mostly blocked a lot of the stronger winds…
    Loved the rendition of “In the Pines” by the girls…It is one of those songs that one can make up any verses and can be a lotta fun for youth and adults as well.
    For instance”
    In the melon, on the rinds..
    Where the seeds always shine
    and I shiver when I have to go!
    This is the way an old person feels at night after having eaten too much watermelon…
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    November 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    It’s a favorite of mine–seems like I have heard it used in an old movie. I want to say the movie was about the Tennessee River–maybe the dam system. Anybody remember? We called the cap a bogan & I would love to have one.

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    November 20, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Really enjoy the music. Expecially if I am familiar with it.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Their singing just gets gooder and gooder! I know the song well and it’s a great tune for a Dobro but I never knew that Leadbelly had been ‘accused’ of writing it. ‘Course, not many people know that he wrote “Good Night Irene”, either.
    Some day, our star fiddler is gonna discover what a ‘double-stop’ is…

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    November 20, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Nice job! An old song for sure. I don’t remember who recorded the first version I ever heard, but it was a long time ago.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Great job girls. We need a new movie such as “O Brother, Where Art Thou.” The movie was the best opportunity I have seen to portray the lonesome sound of mountain music.
    I sure could use a warm ‘boggin.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Great song…cute hat! Stay warm 🙂

  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    November 20, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Love the boggans and the song! It’s so interesting to follow the girls and hear their voices growing. Thanks for the morning smile!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    November 20, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Nice song! Chitter and Chatter are
    right there among the top of my
    Favorite singers…Ken

  • Reply
    Nina Chastain
    November 20, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Love to hear the girls sing , and they are beautiful ! I think the song is sort of sad ” In the Pines where the sun never shines “. I guess I just enjoy the sunshine too much , especially on cold mornings because where we live it takes awhile for the sun to get up over the mountain. haha. The girls do a wonderful job on it . Would love to have a “Boggan “.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Fantastic! Such great singing; I hope they keep up the great work. I also loved Granny’s hat. They are so lucky to have a Grammy. I love the harmony that was presented. Thanks for sharing with your readers.

  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    November 20, 2013 at 9:24 am

    We never tire of hearing Chitter and Chatter sing. they just get better and better.
    Keep warm!

  • Reply
    Kerry in GA
    November 20, 2013 at 9:21 am

    That’s top drawer singing.:)

  • Reply
    steve in Tn
    November 20, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Great melody no matter whose words you use. We called the hats “stocking caps” in Arkansas. Canadians call them “touques”, pronounced tukes. Now that I don’t have much hair, I can wear them.

  • Reply
    C. Ron Perry
    November 20, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Great job girls. Tipper, you had better watch out or they will be on a Greyhound headed for Nashville or Dollywood

  • Reply
    November 20, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Beautiful, as always. The song has never been done any better. I’d love to see that beautiful toboggan model on the cover of a fashion magazine.

  • Reply
    Jackie Jentzsch
    November 20, 2013 at 8:42 am

    So good to know that someone else calls knit hats “toboggans”. My dad never went without on all winter. (summertime he always wore a baseball cap)

  • Reply
    Carol Isler
    November 20, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Glad I don’t live in the pines. There is sun shining on my deck out here this morning. But I might have to put on Granny’s toboggan you sent me a couple years ago. I sure do like it. Enjoyed the song.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    November 20, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Well, Tipper I don’t want to admit it but this song was one of my favorite AND I TRIED TO SING IT! However, I had to go out on the back porch so no one could hear me. All my five brothers and five sisters could sing good. Don’t know why I got left out when it came to being able to carry a tune.
    Your girls are great plus they are so beautiful and delightful! They remind me of my pleasant ‘school teaching’ days when I always had the sharpest and most beautiful Physics students among all the girls in the school!
    Thanks, Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Annette Casada Hensley
    November 20, 2013 at 8:18 am

    The girls’ singing and playing continues to improve AND I adore the toboggan!
    The cold wind definitely blew last weekend here in the midwest. Tornadoes and high winds in addition to thunderstorms devastated the area. The county in which I live was one of the area’s hardest hit with power outages. Power is not expected to be fully restored until this Friday and nightly low temperatures have been in the teens. I feel very lucky to have a warm house and no trees down in the yard. Prayers are needed for all the folks who have lost their homes, their barns, their livestock, etc. The remarkable thing is seeing demonstrations of strong faith in God and helping hands of neighbors.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    November 20, 2013 at 8:17 am

    In the laurel, in the laurel,
    Where the way is rough and gnarled,
    And the briers – how they poke and they prod.
    Ouch-ouch, oh-oh, ouch-ouch, oh-oh.
    Why did I pick this way for to go?

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 20, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Them girls shore have got some good harmony goin on “in the pines” this morning. I saw this on YouTube several days ago. I get an email alert that tells me when they publish a new song.
    I would like to win a Granny baugen but I ain’t sure where I would wear it. Don’t nobody say “on your head, dummy!”

  • Reply
    Linda Johnson
    November 20, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Love to read your posts and be reminded of song long forgotten to me. Thanks for the wonderful post.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    November 20, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Charlie & Ira would be proud, the girls done good. I used to wonder why older folks wanted to “Fly South” in the winter but since I’ve achieved the mid-sixties I told my Beloved Bride that the “Ritis Boys” were making me yearn for the warmer breezes of the Southern Climes. If you see our fifth wheel southbound wave but forgive me if I don’t wave back as rebuilt shoulders with arthritis tend to lock up “when the Cold Winds Blow”.

  • Reply
    Judy Mincey
    November 20, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Love those sweet voices blending! Interesting song with such a varied past.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 20, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Yep, winter is here. It upper 20’s this morning, but I’m just fine, that song warms me from the inside out.
    Granny make fine toboggans, I’ll probably be wearing one today!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    November 20, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Love the song, the girls do it proud.

  • Reply
    William Dotson
    November 20, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Great job girls, as for the cold winds I do not like them at all anymore plus don;t like winter either, guess because I am getting old.

  • Reply
    Darlene Debty Kimsey
    November 20, 2013 at 6:41 am

    This is the song my Granny used to sing. I have thought of it every cold morning this season. My sister used to cry when Granny would sing it and beg her to stop because it made her so sad. I just liked hearing my Granny sing 🙂

  • Reply
    November 20, 2013 at 4:31 am

    The weather has been fluctuating wildly here…20F, then 45, then 30…I feel sorry for the hens, who can’t add an extra down coat on a suddenly freezing day, and for the goats, who are already wearing their cashmere longjohns, and can’t take them off til Spring!

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