I have been listening to and loving Genuine Negro Jig by the Carolina Chocolate Drops. It’s been the perfect companion when I’m driving home late from swimming at my parent’s house, down back roads lit with fireflies and the smell of summer rushing in the car windows. The songs have every manner of fiddle and banjo and old melodies that make you want to hike up your skirts and dance.
Music like this makes me pull out these two Appalachian country living books:
Illustrated by Marla Frazee 1999
Marla Frazee (from The Seven Silly Eaters fame) illustrates this classic lullaby which I’ve sung to my own babies. The pictures show each verse as frazzled parents and one big sister keep buying from a kindly traveling salesman until the horse and cart are upended and the parents and finally the baby fall asleep in the grass.
And also this sweet simple story of growing up in the mountains with a muddy swimming hole, baths by the woodstove, and shelling beans on the porch.
Cynthia Rylant 1982
illustrated by Diane Goode
When I was young in the mountains, we pumped pails of water from the well at the bottom of the hill, and heated the water to fill round tin tubs for our baths.
When I was young in the mountains, I never wanted to go to the ocean, and I never wanted to go to the desert. I never wanted to go anywhere else in the world, for I was in the mountains. And that was always enough.