The Heritage of Daniel Haston


The Caney Fork of the Cumberland
Old Songs - Pages 83-85
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Old Songs

In connection with raising the Great Falls Dam 35 feet, 1923-25, the new shore line was surveyed and marked during the fall of 1923.  Our survey party stayed at farm houses along the river at night.  Many evenings were spent listening to old-time music and joining in singing old songs.  None of these were recorded.  On Cane Creek Sam Brock would give the tune with his old tuning fork and the family and visitors joined in the singing.  The writer wrote down the words of two songs that seemed to be favorites with the family.  Of course many hymns were sung too.  -A.W.C. 

The Maple on the Hill
Near a quiet and country village
   Stood a maple on the hill.
There I met with my Primetta long ago;
   And the stars were shining bright
And we heard the whippoorwills.
   There we vowed to have each other ever


We are getting old and feeble
   Yet the stars are shining bright.
And we listen to the murmur of the rills.
   Will you always love me darling
As you did that starry night
   When we sat beneath the maple on the hill?

2nd. Verse:

We would sing love songs together
   When the birds had gone to roost;
And would listen to the murmur of the rills.
   Then I'd fold my arms around you,
Lean my head upon your breast
   As we sat beneath the maple on the hill.

3rd. Verse:

Will you never miss me darling
    When they've laid me down to rest.
'Tis a little wish oh darling grant it still
    And you'll linger then in sadness.
Let your tears kiss the flowers on my grave
   As you wander near the maple on the hill.

4th. Verse:

Yes, I'll soon be with the angels
   On that bright and peaceful shore.
And I have resigned to my Father's will.
   Oh my time has come my darling.
Yes at last forever I must leave you
   And the maple on the hill.

The Haunted Falls
Once in olden times a river
   Ran between two mountain walls,
And the place from first it started
   formed a place called "Haunted Falls." 


On its banks there lived a white man
   With his wife and children three.
And for many years the forest
   Echoed back its shouts of glee.


One bright day their own dear father
   To the little town had gone,
Left his wife and little children
   For a quiet hour alone.


Hark! the trampling sounds of horses
   And the woman turned in fright,
Just in time to draw the door bolt
   As three Indians rode in sight.


Then she turned and kissed her children;
   Bade them not to speak or cry,
Cast them in a secret closet
   And inveiled herself to die.


With an angry push the chieftain
   Broke the bolt from off the door.
There he saw the weeping woman,
   Lying there upon the floor.


Then he shouted to his comrades
   As he seized a heavy stick.
Come, we'll drown the weeping woman.
   Lose no time I say be quick.


Then he caught her by her dresses
   And he dragged her to the floor;
Caught her by her long brown tresses
   And he dragged her to the shore.


There they danced and sang around her;
   Heeding not her pitious cries.
Dashed her on the rocks below them
   And in agony she died.


'Twas revenge that they had wanted.
   'Twas revenge that they had found.
So they burned the sleeping babies
   And the dwelling to the ground.


Now the old man wanders lonely
   Around the place the dwelling stood
And the people of the villages
   Call the place the "Haunted Woods."

A Cake With a Message

Some of the young ladies in the Cane Creek valley, and some not so young, had a subtle way of expressing their feelings toward a young man with a cake.  They baked a plain cake with one-half inch layers and with a filling between layers much like lemon sauce except it was thicker.  The cake was topped with powdered sugar.

The secret in the cake was the number of layers.  Two or three meant the lady had little or no interest in the young man.  Four layers indicated some interest, while 5 layers showed great interest.  Six or seven layers expressed real love and the young lady would probably say, "Yes," if you asked her to marry you.

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