Watch “High On A Mountain” from the Be Still recording session
via NPR’s A Blog Supreme: This is “High On A Mountain,” by Ola Belle Reed, a pioneering folk and bluegrass musician from the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. It too has become standard repertoire, at least within the bluegrass community. Reed recorded the song for a 1976 album called My Epitaph, and she talked about the tune for the liner notes (link opens PDF):
I’ve been asked many times to describe my life in the mountains. There’s one point I’d specifically like to make and want to make is that I don’t believe there would be any way in the world that you could possibly describe it. … really and truly we were so close to the earth and the elements and the God’s creation. I think that’s the one thing that made them know. I think that the music and everything comes through communication with people. The people lived with the earth, they had to make their living. That’s why I’m saying that you can not separate your music from your lifestyle. You cannot separate your lifestyle, your religion, your politics from your music. It’s a part of life. And that’s what our music was in the mountains. It was a part of our life.