Music

Who Will Sing for Me – The Pressley Girls

Corie tuning guitar

Back in April of 2016, just a few short days before Pap’s death I shared a video of him and Paul doing the old song “Who Will Sing for Me.” After he died I felt like many of the posts I’d written in the month’s leading up to his death had a sense of foreboding to them and that perhaps I subconsciously knew his time in this old world was short.

The song is a mournful one. Most sites turned up by a quick search credit Carter Stanley from the famed Stanley Brothers as the author. The only discrepancy I found was on the Hynmary.org site which gave credit to J.T. Ely.

Over the years the song has been covered by lots of folks—The Stanley Brothers, Grandpa Jones, Doc Watson, Ricky Skaggs, The Earls of Leicester, and The Pressley Girls to name a few.

Who Will Sing For Me?

Oft I sing for my friends
When death’s cold hand they see
But when I am gone
Who will sing one song for me?

I wonder who will sing for me
When I’m called to cross that silent sea
Who will sing for me?

When a crowd shall gather round
And look down on me
Will they turn and walk away
Or will they sing one song for me?

I wonder who will sing for me
When I’m called to cross that silent sea
Who will sing for me?

So I’ll sing for my friends
And death will brighter be
Assured some friend
Will sing one song for me.

I wonder who will sing for me
When I’m called to cross that silent sea
Who will sing for me?


Much like me, Chatter and Chitter grew up hearing the song but never tried to cover it themselves. A few months ago they were asked to sing it for a funeral of a sweet lady who left this world too soon. It was the song she requested before her death so I know it really meant something to her.

It’s certainly a song with a sad subject matter, however there’s a lovely beauty to it as well especially when the words are molded around family harmonies.


I’d like to send a big THANK YOU to each of you. Your prayers, notes, cards, and comments sure made me feel loved. I am feeling much better.

Tipper

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47 Comments

  • Reply
    Karen Brooks
    January 12, 2022 at 12:13 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s always a time of a heavy heart. Are these lovely young ladies your daughters? They sing like angels. No one sings better harmonies than siblings. My Mom and her siblings played by ear and sang harmony. These young ladies should record many songs. One of these days they will be the older generation and folks will love to have recordings of their singing during their youth.

    • Reply
      Tipper
      January 12, 2022 at 10:57 am

      Karen- thank you. They are my daughters 🙂

  • Reply
    William Dill
    January 10, 2022 at 12:12 pm

    On a separate but equal note, the hymn, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”, by A.P. Carter was originally, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”, had 5 verses, and was worded a bit differently. The melody is the same. I’ve copied and pasted the original version, by Ada Habershon, circa 1907.

    1 There are loved ones in the glory
    Whose dear forms you often miss,
    When you close your earthly story
    Will you join them in their bliss?

    Refrain:
    Will the circle be unbroken
    by and by, yes, by and by?
    In a better home awaiting
    in the sky, in the sky?

    2 In the joyous days of childhood,
    Oft they told of wondrous love,
    Pointed to the dying Savior,
    Now they dwell with Him above. [Refrain]

    3 You remember songs of heaven
    Which you sang with childish voice,
    Do you love the hymns they taught you,
    Or are songs of earth your choice? [Refrain]

    4 You can picture happy gatherings
    Round the fireside long ago,
    And you think of tearful partings,
    When they left you here below. [Refrain]

    5 One by one their seats were empty,
    One by one they went away,
    Now the family is parted,
    Will it be complete one day? [Refrain]

    • Reply
      Tipper
      January 10, 2022 at 5:37 pm

      William-thank you for sharing the lovely lyrics 🙂

  • Reply
    Richard
    January 9, 2022 at 10:24 pm

    We prayed for y’all and had y’all on church prayer list. When folks asked who you were, I said “ God knows”. Thankyou for sharing your writing, it brings happiness to many folks in an uncertain world

  • Reply
    Tim Jones
    January 9, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    So glad to hear that you are feeling better.
    Thank you for sharing this song with us. Those girls are a blessing to listen to.

  • Reply
    Gloria Hayes
    January 9, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    So glad you are feeling better! The girls did a wonderful job singing that song. Pap and Paul did a very fine job with it also. I know he is smiling knowing his granddaughters are caring on the tradition. What a wonderful and talented family you all are!

  • Reply
    Ray C. Presley
    January 9, 2022 at 8:04 pm

    Welcome Back. We missed you. Hoping that the rest of the year brings no unpleasant surprises

  • Reply
    Christine
    January 9, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    Thankful you are feeling better! I’d never heard that song, but your sweet girls sung it well. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Robert
    January 9, 2022 at 4:41 pm

    It is great to see that you are feeling better. I was going through withdrawal! 🙂

    The girls did a wonderful job on this old hymn. It was perfectly stage set in the cemetery. I can’t imagine how they got such great sound. It looked and sounded as if it were done by film industry professionals.

    Blessings to all the Wilsons and Pressleys and all in this community you have created.

  • Reply
    Robert Wasmer
    January 9, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks for this song this morning! The girls did a beautiful job on this one even though it asks such a dark question. May you all stay strong and healthy this year!

  • Reply
    Charline
    January 9, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    I’m so glad you’re back- do take care <3

  • Reply
    Bob Lingle
    January 9, 2022 at 3:26 pm

    What a way to make a comeback – the harmony of two beautiful voices! The girls did a fantastic job. So thankful God answered our prayers and put you on the mend. Been missing your posts. Take care of yourself and the others.

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    January 9, 2022 at 2:54 pm

    So glad you are better. I first heard this song when you played the recording of Paul & Pap. The girls did a beautiful job. Take care and God bless!

  • Reply
    Tommy
    January 9, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    The only rendition i remember hearing was from Flatt & Scruggs. Will hafta check out Stanley Bros. Thanks Tipper.

  • Reply
    Larry Proffitt
    January 9, 2022 at 1:31 pm

    Tipper, It was with joy and thankfulness that the Blind Pig and Acorn showed up this morning. Glad you and your family are getting over Covid. We sure enjoyed Who Will Sing for Me. The girls close harmony is beautiful

  • Reply
    dee
    January 9, 2022 at 11:53 am

    It was a joy to see your post sitting in my email this morning and another sweet memory to see the Katie and Corrie singing. That cemetery looked so much like a familiar cemetery in NE MS that sits on a hill top just like yours.
    Our church service was streamed this morning because of so many of the staff coming down with covid and also we have an ice storm in SC PA. Not recommended to be out on the roads.
    This last week, I did enjoy visiting Katie and Corrie on youtube. A day in the life and Marrying a Twin. They are precious! I will say my Great-grandmother had a set of twins and a set of triplets. My Grandmother had a set of twins. I was always told by my Mother that one was always the leader/teacher. I don’t know if that is true or not.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    January 9, 2022 at 11:46 am

    Tipper–It’s mighty fine to have you back and at least traveling right along on the recovery road.

    As someone who is prone to harken mightily to symbols and signs (I’ve never thought it hurt a bit to to whistle a cheery tune and walk a little faster than normal when walking by a graveyard in the gloaming), four things in this offering jumped out at me.
    *The crow cawing just prior to the girls commencing to sing. Crows and ravens are often considered symbols of or to be connected with death.
    *The graves marked by creek stones or flat slabs. They show love just as surely as a fine engraved piece of marble.
    *The yucca plant growing in the background. The plant, which is non-native, is commonplace in mountain cemeteries and at old home sites.
    *The clear blue skies on a “see forever” day, surely a symbol of brightness and song in the hereafter.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    January 9, 2022 at 11:21 am

    I am so glad you are feeling better. I have never heard this song, but it is beautiful and I love the girls’ harmony. The mountains in the background are beautiful, and remind me of the mountains in my state Virginia. I love old cemeteries.

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    January 9, 2022 at 11:02 am

    So thankful you are better. I missed you. The song was beautiful. The girls did a great job. The first time I heard this song was when you shared Paul & Pap singing it. Take care and God bless!

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    January 9, 2022 at 10:36 am

    Happy to hear you’re feeling better. Loved the song and the setting. Praying for complete recovery for y’all.

  • Reply
    Debbie Seaton
    January 9, 2022 at 10:28 am

    I’m grateful you and your family are doing better! Praise the Lord! We are still recovering as well! We have never been so sick for so long. My precious momma died in December and it has been a very different Christmas without her. We praise the Lord she is home in Heaven, but we miss her so. Christmas was her favorite!

    The girls sang it beautifully! Their voices are truly blessed by God! Thank you for the beautiful video of them singing ❤

  • Reply
    Dennis M Morgan
    January 9, 2022 at 10:12 am

    I am so glad you are better; everyone was worried about you. As a person gets older they start thinking about things like “Who will sing for me”. The girls did a good job singing it. It was interesting to see the grave yard on top of a hill. I remember in one of your previous posts you said grave yards were usually on top of a hill because flat land for farming was so valuable. Again, everyone is so glad to hear you are better. Dennis Morgan

  • Reply
    Shirl
    January 9, 2022 at 9:07 am

    It’s been years since I heard that song and the girls made it sound so much prettier than I remember. Their harmony was at its best as they poured out their hearts on that old cemetery.
    My morning prayer included you and others I know who are suffering from the evil virus that has interrupted our lives for way too long. When I opened my email and found that you had posted, I knew my prayers were answered. I sure hope you got some of the snow that swept through KY. It would have been a beautiful sight to see as you recuperate, but not so pleasant for my family and friends who were stuck on the highways for up to six hours.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 9, 2022 at 9:00 am

    I don’t think any others have done that song any better. You two did it so well beginning with the setting; Beautiful setting with the blue mountains on the horizon and the audio was crystal clear. And the cemetery underlined the question, Who will sing for me? Not an easy question nor answer, either generally or in specifics. Just maybe part of the answer is the angels?

    So glad to see your post again this morning Tipper, mostly because we are relieved you are feeling better. I am glad also that you felt the love. Each of you all can rest assured you are loved. Finding your pages has shown me as nothing else in life has what a hope and fellowship we have in a great, close family of like-hearted folks and I do not mean just Appalachianers. Going to a new church and being welcomed is sorta like that, except we see those folks. Here we do not see and yet we feel the kinship, as it will be “When All of God’s Singers Get Home.”

    • Reply
      Kelly Williams
      January 9, 2022 at 12:58 pm

      My daddy is buried in Coppinger Cemetery, on a high hill overlooking Tellico Plains. I often stop, as I’m leaving town, and leave a small river rock on tombstone, and sing a song for him. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

  • Reply
    GoodGriefLouise ( Bill )
    January 9, 2022 at 9:00 am

    Halleluiah! Praise The Lord. So happy to know everyone is on the road to a full recovery. Thanks for the post and this sweet song from the girls. I heard them do it recently on their channel. Many blessings from Texas!!

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    January 9, 2022 at 8:50 am

    That is apparently the Old Martins Creek Cemetery. Enjoyed the girls’ singing, and particularly appreciate whoever it is that cares for the grounds. It is a beautiful place which is obviously lovingly cared for. Kudos and a hearty “well done” to the groundskeeper(s) from one of their brethren.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    January 9, 2022 at 8:49 am

    Welcome back! I am thankful that you are better and pray you will be totally recovered soon! Do take things easy and din’t over-do!

  • Reply
    Nancy Boswell
    January 9, 2022 at 8:25 am

    So glad you are feeling better and thank the girls for sharing their musical talent with me (us) the viewers.

  • Reply
    Regina
    January 9, 2022 at 8:22 am

    I’m so thankful that you’re feeling better and will continue to keep you in prayer. I sure have missed seeing a new post show up in my inbox and was so excited to see one this morning! 🙂

  • Reply
    Pastor Lon
    January 9, 2022 at 8:13 am

    Thanks Miss Tipper,
    Yes mam I grew up hearing this song as well, and as you said it is a song mainly surrounded by or sang when a death occurs but it also is very soothing & comforting during those times in life!

    The Pressley Girls done an OUTSTANDING job with it and I totally enjoyed them singing it. I would rather listen to them sing it than some of the more popular artists that have sang it.

    So glad you are feeling better, we have been praying for you and your family!!!! ❤️❤️

  • Reply
    John Hickman
    January 9, 2022 at 8:10 am

    I am so happy that you and your family are doing better I have been praying many times daily for or your family, and am pleased that the many prayers from many are being answered, may GOD bless you and your family in a special way, thank you all for what you share with us as you open your door for us to see a part of your lives.

  • Reply
    Kathy Gautier
    January 9, 2022 at 7:54 am

    Tipper, I am so thankful you are feeling better. Get plenty of rest and don’t push too much. We have prayed for your family and it is so good to hear from you. I love the girls singing of this hymn. They are so talented. Have a blessed day. We missed you.

  • Reply
    AWGRIFF
    January 9, 2022 at 7:49 am

    Good job girls!! Had not heard that song in years.
    Tipper, glad you got this thing licked!! You surprised me by posting so quick. No one would have cared if you took more time off. Take care and don’t over work for a while.
    We had a 5=6 inch snow 2 days ago and now it’s leaving with a rain.

  • Reply
    Denise R
    January 9, 2022 at 7:43 am

    Soooooooo good to see you back and feeling better!!! Prayers answered!!! Such a pretty song, this is one we’ve not heard before, but the girls did an excellent job on it.

  • Reply
    Danilee
    January 9, 2022 at 7:32 am

    So thankful that you are feeling better!!!
    An answer to prayer.

  • Reply
    Martha D Justice
    January 9, 2022 at 7:30 am

    The girls did a great job singing this song, even though it’s a sad song. So glad you are feeling better, I have been praying for you each day. Take care

  • Reply
    donna sue
    January 9, 2022 at 7:26 am

    Tipper, I am so very glad you feel better! This virus is no fun. My heart is with everyone who gets it. Everybody experiences it uniquely, yet commonly. No two battles with it are the same, even in the same household. It has been up and down for me – one or two days feels miserable, then I have a day of feeling like I am getting over it. Yesterday was a really bad day for me, today so far I am not feeling the best, but better than yesterday at this time. Prayer from everyone is what carries me through for sure! This song is mournful. I almost do not want to think about it during this sickness!!! I remember my grandma saying things like “who is going to miss me when I’m gone?”. I always wanted to cry when she said that because I knew I would miss her. I also didn’t want her to say things like that, because in my mind she was going to make herself gone sooner just by saying things about death. The fear that has been associated with the virus that is attacking the world currently, has put thoughts in pretty much all of our minds about our own mortality. I know as I sit writing this, my lungs are feeling really tight and heavy, and that very faint fear whispers “is this it? Can you pull through this?”. I guess since I have always been such an optimistic person, that to think about our own death and what others were going to do or say about it, always seemed selfish in a sense, or somewhat morbid, to me. As I have gotten beyond the early years of my life and that ever present infallible mindset of youth, I do find myself thinking about the legacy I want to be remembered for as I walk through my middle years of life. Is that selfish of me? I don’t want to be selfish. Anyways. I will quit rambling. I want my mind to dwell on conquering this disease, and moving past this season of feeling so under the weather. Now that I am totally self-employed, I have been keeping my brain concentrating on my new business – my plans for it, the paperwork that needs to be done daily for the financial end of it, and the clothes I want to design, and so much more. And since I also am writing a children’s chapter series, my mind has been creating those books. I am sorry my thoughts are kind of jumbled this morning. My brain is in a fog that seems to be getting thicker as I write this comment!! Ugh! I hate being sick. What a time waster! The girls did this song so well. I love their talents. God has blessed them richly! I enjoyed reading your post, and though it seems I wandered away from your thoughts in my comment, I didn’t. Your words are in my soul, conjuring up what your heart felt in April 2016, and sympathizing with your tears then. I am so glad you are feeling better from this bug!!! Praise God for healing!!

    Donna. : )

    • Reply
      Sandra henderson
      January 9, 2022 at 10:06 am

      I thought it was me and something wrong with me, or my age or I’m depreseed or something! I’m sorry you’ve been sick, but your comment made me realize I’m feeling normal thoughts and it must be this time we’re in with virus, etc.im only 54 and even though I lost my husband 9 years ago, I shouldn’t be thinking of my own mortality so much! Awful times were living in!
      What kind of clothes are you designing? Do you have a website or something?
      I’ve always wanted to make my own clothes.
      Get well soon Donna.

      Tipper, I,m so glad you’re feeling better! I’ve been praying and thinking of you and family.
      The cemetery video was great, I thought. Professional looking planning n editing I thought. Like something you’d see on tv.the girls did a great rendition of this song. I’m glad they could play and sing for sweet lady recently. I’m sorry for her husband left behind…it’s a hard row to how to learn to live and go on without loved ones.
      Continue to take it easy….

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    January 9, 2022 at 7:09 am

    I’ve not listened to the girls yet, but what a great way to start this Sunday – seeing Blindpigandtheacorn in the inbox. I know there’s a mess of folks who feel the same.

  • Reply
    Ann Ullery
    January 9, 2022 at 6:46 am

    Beautiful song and lovely scenery. Would you be able to share the name and location of the cemetery please? There was a headstone toward the end of the video with the name “Stallcup”. That is the last name of one of my friends who lives in Alabama. She and her husband might like to know that a potential ancestor is buried there. Thank you so much for ALL you do, Tipper. Your blog, videos, stories, recipes and music are a joy and a blessing to so many!! Hope you are all feeling better!!

    • Reply
      Tipper
      January 12, 2022 at 11:06 am

      Ann- the cemetery is Old Martins Creek in Murphy NC

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 9, 2022 at 6:31 am

    So glad you are back, I have missed you! My mornings are just not the same without you! The song is beautiful, the girls sang it at my friend’s wife’s funeral recently, and it was a blessing to the family.
    Now, just another word…no more flu!
    Welcome back, we’ve been looking for you!

  • Reply
    M
    January 9, 2022 at 6:27 am

    Beautiful blending of their voices by the girls.

    So glad that you are feeling better. Hope that your family is doing better also.
    May God continue to strengthen each of you.

  • Reply
    Brad Scott
    January 9, 2022 at 6:16 am

    That was a moving and touching tribute to a well-worn song. The video was done so well. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Reply
    marilyn stanonis
    January 9, 2022 at 6:08 am

    Oh, so happy that you’re feeling better! I was just now awake thinking about you, afraid you weren’t getting well. Such relief!

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