Monday, August 22, 2011

The Songs of Moonlight Ridge

A few weeks back, I hosted a contest here on Moonlight Ridge. Originally, I asked three questions about some of the songs featured in Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge, with a free copy of the book, like a carrot on a stick, to the first person to get all three answers!

Then, upon considering the possibilities of short-term memory loss and the possible unfairness of excluding those who had not yet read the book, I changed the rules (It's my contest, I can do that) so that anyone who left a comment was entered in the drawing for the free book.

Shelley who blogs at

was the winner and has received her copy of SMOMR!

So, for anyone who may still be curious about the songs in question, here are the answers.

1- After chasing the hunting dogs, Rich Man and Poor Man, out of the house, what song did Great-granddaddy W.T. Greenberry sing to his marsupials?

Great Granddaddy W.T. sang Dona Nobis Pacem,
but in his version the words were "Oh, don't I know this possum?"

2 - What is the origin, title, or some of the words, of the strange song the children heard while they were in the woods near Grind Rock Spring?

Lily Clair and Willie T. heard somone singing Desdemona's Song, also known as Willow, Willow, from William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice.

3 - What song did Willie T. sing when he was in the hole?

Willie T. sang Au Clair de la Lune, (to the tune of Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms) as it had been handed down from Paw Paw Jack Levert, a Cajun from South Alabama who played poker for a living and made homemade fiddles on the side.

So, as Heny Hope would say, there you have it. If you want to find out more about these, and other alluring tunes from the mountain, get yourself a copy of Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge, and join the fun!


  1. I've never heard Desdemona's Song, but it doesn't sound real cheerful.
    I like your illustration for the Au Clair de la Lune song. However, it is a little confusing that it's sang to the tune of some other song with a long title that I've never heard. I guess it makes it more complex. Maybe having a recording done of someone singing these song who is familiar with the tunes would help the reader understand what your gettin' at.

  2. I tried to post the names of the songs before, but the post wouldn't take. Henry Hope and Willie T. were awful smart to know both the Willow song and Au Clair de la Lune. - JR

  3. You're right, Anonymous. Desdemona's song (Willow, Willow) is rather mournful.

    And, JR, our part of the country just seems to breed smart people!

  4. The truth is, many old Appalachian songs, such as Willow, Willow, began as centuries old English songs.

  5. Did I do this a while back? I forgot what my answers were then. Also, your followers are still on your page.

  6. Susan @ Blackberry - It doesn't matter what your answers were, though they were unique and entertaining! If you actually read the post above, I'm giving you (and everyone else) the anwers. You don't have to do nothin' but read the answers.

  7. My dear Ramey, I knew the answers to all those questions! But I became distracted and failed to send in my response! Now, I'll have to purchase another copy of Sweet Music; Mother still has mine in Savannah.

  8. Thankѕ for sharіng уour іnfo.

    I truly аpρгeciate your efforts and
    I will be ωaіting fоr your further post thank you оnce again.

    Mу ωeblοg: coffee pure cleanse amazon

  9. Gоοd site you've got here.. It's harԁ to find high-quality wrіting lіkе yours thesе daуѕ.

    I гeally аpргeciate inԁіvіdualѕ lіκе yοu!
    Taκe сare!!

    my blοg poѕt: insurance online