Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. –H.L. Mencken

Just to build Watauga dam…

I first heard  Old Crow Medicine Show play “Wagon Wheel” about a year ago and loved it.  The classic themes and excellent instrumentation stand out immediately.  It took a few months before I began to hear more Old Crow Medicine Show music and find the truly great songs. While the incredibly popular “Wagon Wheel” is a great Dylan-style piece, the bread and butter of OCMS is significantly more old-timey than Dylan. An added blessing comes from the band’s willingness to express their viewpoints, politically incorrect as they may be.  Though their ties to folk music have led them down the wrong path from time to time – like covering Woody Guthrie’s “Union Maid” without a hint of sarcasm – often they can be heard decrying the incursion of the government into the lives of ordinary people, as they do in their cover of Peter Rowan’s “Ruby Ridge” and as they do here:

By the way, the Watauga Dam actually exists. Read the background and construction section.

Old Crow Medicine Show – Half Mile Down

They come down from Washington City
To our Blue Ridge Mountain home
And across that crooked river
To the valley down below

I was swimmin’ in that water
When they came up to the shore
Sayin’ sorry son this won’t be
Dry land here anymore

Yes and my home town
Is a half mile down
It’s a half mile o’ water
All around, all around
My home town is a half mile down

First they started their surveyin’
And makin’ up their plans
To flood that peaceful valley
Just to build Watauga dam
Oh they brought in their bulldozers
And pushed our homes away
And they handed me a shovel
And sixty cents a day


So they stripped out all the timber
And they leveled all the land
And they drilled and dynamited
‘Til they blew the mountains in
I tore down my old homeplace
And I dug up Daddy’s grave
And I relocated Momma to 14 miles away

Now I look down on the water
That rose up on that day
By the banks of the old Watauga
Where I once used to play

Yes I look out on that water
Where they made their big mistake
And covered up our hometown
‘Neath the godforsaken lake


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This entry was posted on March 14, 2014 by in Government overreach, Music and tagged , , , , , , .

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