Listen to an “Appalachian Round”

The song “Appalachian Round” is one of the prettiest, most evocative group songs in the English language. Here is a 2009 version I recorded with a bunch of fellow travelers — Albert Frank Perrone, Lori McKinney, and Kathleen Coffee (who now goes by Water Light). This was for a Christmas concert that year at The Room Upstairs in Princeton WV. Robert Blankenship did the video recording. Thanks to Rudy Panucci for surfacing this and featuring it on a recent re-broadcast of his “Radio Free Charleston” show.


And thanks to Bob Webb and Becky Skeen Webb, who taught me the glorious harmonic convergence of singing this round. Below are the lyrics, if you’d like to try it with your own tribe. PS: I have added the final two lines — it may take more — for the other singers to come around and land on them, so that the whole group sings the last lines in unison.


MUSIC: traditional WORDS: George Furse

Take me back, oh hills I love.
Lift me from this lonely bed.
Light my way with stars above.
Curl soft winds about my head.

Wash my feet in crystal streams.
Cradle my arms in boughs of oak.
Breathe the scent of pine for dreams.
Wrap me tight in earthen cloak.

Take me back, oh hills I love.
Lift me from this lonely bed.

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