Living in cabins set in valleys wrapped in hills of oak, Folk who fit ‘ginst Indian, plagues, pests, Yankee and Redcoat, Whose planting and harvesting were metered to epic rhyme, Family and clan whose ties to land bound them against time. They had songs of old, tunes, jigs, and reels pulsing in their blood, Philosophers with fiddles preserved truth, beauty, and good. When they buried, they cried to God in mournful ancient chants, Preachers lined the Sabbath hymns of faith-weary supplicants. Ballads were hummed with the whipoorwhills on warm summer nights, When lonesome hearts longed for the hopeful flickering of lights. In winter’s snow, song and hearth joined the whirring cold of wind, When the folk longed for Jerusalem’s mountain to descend.
Both songs of death and life were paced to dance by, For the day, for the night, for the rugged folk to survive.