America Loses Another Son Who Celebrated Her Greatness

GlennYarboroughby Anniel8/14/16
On August 9th, Bear and I began wondering how Glenn Yarbrough was doing. His daughter had not sent out much information lately. Bear decided the end was near and we played a few of our favorite Limeliters numbers.

Early this morning, August 12, 2016, I woke when Bear put the Limeliters’ recording of “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” on [Here’s the Tommy Dorsey version…couldn’t find one by the Limeliters – Editor], and knew he was gone. Then we traveled America with him for awhile. There was “Joy Across the Land” at our home then. We walked this land “From California to the New York Island” and whistled with the “Whistlin Gypsy.”

His daughter Holly’s account of his death, which occurred on August 11th, was so beautiful. He lived with her in Nashville and had been bedridden for a few years while his family cared for him. She told how for two days his loved ones took turns to lay by his side, holding him tight while he prepared for his last earthly journey. They finally played his recording of “Baby the Rain Must Fall” and he opened his eyes one last time, took a few more breaths, and was gone.

When I go to my designer heaven I hope Glenn’s one-of-a-kind voice is there singing to his “The Honey Wind Blows”:

“The Honey wind blows
And the warm days dwindle,
The butterfly spins a silk cocoon
On a silvery spindle.

The petals fall from
The last red rose . . .

The Honey wind blows
And the world grows colder,
And you and I are just a little bit older. . .”

I hope they also have banjos among those harps in the Mansions of God.

Rest with God, Glenn Yarbrough (1930-2016). • (931 views)

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21 Responses to America Loses Another Son Who Celebrated Her Greatness

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I’m not very familiar with him, though one of my anthology CDs (Nipper’s Greatest Hits of the ’60s Volume 1) includes “Baby, the Rain Must Fall”, and I do like it. I have a version of “On the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe” by Judy Garland. The line you quote is, I believe, from “This Land is Your Land’, which I also have in at least one of my America celebration CDs.

  2. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I remember Yarbrough from my childhood. He truly did have a distinctive voice.

    He brings to mind a period when folk groups like the Kingston Trio were extremely popular.

    Interesting how, in those days, the West was in a titanic struggle with the Soviet Union and World Communism, but life was less stressful and simpler than today.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Y’all need to run out and see “A Mighty Wind.” It’s a screwball parody (lovingly done, light and without politics) of 60’s folk music. It’s crude in places but the songs are hilarious…and real tributes to various folk groups such as The Kingston Trio, The New Christy Minstrels, The Brothers Four, and others.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I have a 3 Cd set of Kingston Trio songs. “Tom Dooley”, “MTA”, “Desert Pete”, “Tijuana Jail”, “Bad Man’s Blunder” — not to mention their versions of songs like “Lemon Tree”, “They Call the Wind Maria”, “Sloop John B”, and “Reuben James” that are better known by other performers.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Interesting how, in those days, the West was in a titanic struggle with the Soviet Union and World Communism, but life was less stressful and simpler than today.

      Before he put his mouth over the tailpipe of Trump, Rush often noted how people today make their own stress.

      It’s seems to be in our DNA. We all know we’re supposed to nourish gratitude but it’s not easy. It’s a lot more fun to bitch and complain.

      And, really, that shows you were the starting point is of the human psyche: The world shall reorder itself according to my emotional needs.

      The sanity providing by non-fascistic theism (aka “anybody but Islam”) is that it puts a different perspective on our lives. There is something bigger than us. And it’s not all about us (even though much of it is, but not all).

      Maturity and gratitude bring this perspective. Because Timothy has 3 CDs (3 CDs!) of the Kingston Trio, does that mean he’s whistling past the graveyard (denial…that river in Egypt) or that he’s not fixating on problems and hasn’t made an idol out of his grievances as is all the rage these days?

      I like Sinatra. Does that mean I long for a simpler time and am burying my head in the sand? Well, Sinatra was not so simply, or tame. (As they said of Aslam, “After all, he’s not a time lion.”

      And I hope and pray for a cure for cancer. But I’m not a vulgar narcissist (the two go together). I don’t go around with one of those pathetic “F**k cancer” t-shirts. We want things cured, not fucked.

      The culture out there is vulgar and going crazy (perhaps we need a t-shirt that says “F**k Leftist Culture). Whoever is elected president will just confirm the craziness. And lest we forget (and I’m not talking about The Kingston Trio), much of folk music was of the 60’s when the true pajama boys were born. Instead of going to work and doing something with their lives, a lot of rich spoiled kids put to music all the supposedly rotten things about America and their own lives.

      Of course, much of folk music is innocent, uplifting, and the product of a noble heart. I dare say Glenn the Folker was one of those (not to be confused with Glenn the Greater or Mr. Lesser). We should celebrate corn if for no other reason that it puts us prominently in rebellion to rap music and all the other crap that is sewage put to music.

      And with our hearts right, we’ll be set to beat the next Soviet Union. Right now, we are so effed up we can’t even lick ISIS.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Yes, “Baby, the Rain Must Fall” (by Glenn Yarborough, mentioned above) is quite inspiring. , about facing whatever life sends you. “I don’t know now what waits for me, maybe Heaven, maybe Hell. . . . Wherever my heart leads me, baby I must go, baby I must go.”

        And I will mention again “Desert Pete”. I was unfamiliar with it when I got that Kingston Trio triple set, but it’s a little tale of kindness and trust. I highly recommend it.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          maybe Hell.

          Oh, you’re not going to Hell, Timothy. The Patron Saint of Music, Dame Clark, would never allow that. And here’s The Kingston Trio doing “Desert Pete .”

          Yeah, you’ll have to prime the pump, work that handle like there’s a fire.
          Under the rock you’ll find some water left there in a bitter’s jar.
          Now there’s just enough to prime it with, so don’t you go drinkin’ first.
          Just pour it in and pump like mad and, buddy, you’ll quench your thirst.

          What a wonderfully wholesome, corny, and homespun song. And who can ever forget that other memorable tune by The Kingston Trio, I’m a Thug:

          I be rolling, nigga I be rolling
          In this Panamera, whip that bitch like it was stolen
          Prezzie on my wrist, thirty racks all going
          And my neck all frozen; little nigga, I be holding, bitch

          Ooops. Must have got my wires crossed. But I post that as a reminder of just how off track things have gone. They’re not making too many Glenn Yarboroughs anymore.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Yes, that’s a big change — which is one reason I appreciated “Desert Pete” as soon as I heard it.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Wow, “nigga” I mean really wow!!!

            How can you show so little respect for those wonderful rappers? They have rights as well as you. Demeaning them says more about you than it does about them.

            We may wish they were a little less vulgar and explicit about abusing women and killing cops, as well as each other, but we should not jump to conclusions about them and their goals.

  3. Anniel says:

    I thought for a long time that Glenn had already died. Then we decided to get some of his old songs we loved so much, and found that he and his Limelighters group were doing live retrospective shows, also featuring a bunch of Glenn’s hits while he was singing alone. We determined we would go to Seattle and sing with the people who also loved him and them, but way led on way and we never made it.

    We picked up more of his music along the way, and learned how much he had become religious and changed his life for the better. But most of all that love of America shone through. What a treat.

    Then Bear got put on a list and asked by Glenn’s daughter to write him and let him know he was not forgotten. We have never discovered how Bear got on Holly’s e-mail list, but he kept in touch. Holly wrote right after Glenn’s death and sent out the news, knowing that the next morning would be chaos.

    I once thought of how the story of the founding and history of our great nation could be told in half-hour or hour long history lessons, narrated by someone with a great speaking voice, and great musical numbers to make the lessons memorable. I wanted to start with Jamestown and add a new episode each month, with a new city’s historical significance each time. The series could start in the east and work to the west. At the end of each year the full years discs could be sold to help defray costs.

    So I started putting together a list of music to be used. I remember I had Neil Dimond’s wonderful song about “They’re Coming to America”, railroad building songs, pioneer songs, and all kinds of folk songs, Negro spirituals, Civil War songs like “Tenting Tonight”, there is so much music to tie history together. I suppose the closest thing we have is some of Dinesh D’Sousa’s work.

    It could be an overwhelming work, beyond my skills and remaining time, but I would love to see such a work be done. Can you think of any wealthy patriot who would fund it, or any TV or Cable Channel that would accept such an offering? I thought not.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Two CDs you might want to check out are An American Celebration and Hooked on America, both heavily laden with much of the sort of music you’re thinking of. Aside from anything else, I think most readers here would like them. (And don’t forget John Philip Sousa in looking for patriotic music.)

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I have long asked people to write inspirational essays of Americana. Visit an old museum or battleground and give your impressions. Take a few photos. That beats the hell out of endless analysis that Obama and Hillary are scum, which they certainly are.

      The only thing most young people know about America is what the Left has taught them. And what they’ve taught them is to be ashamed of their country and to feel guilty about it. Message received in most cases.

      It’s beyond my time and skills to do the project that you’re talking about as well. But surely it’s not beyond our skills to teach a little bit about America history.

      There have been some people who kinda-sort did what you have done. John Ratzenberger’s American Made is in that vein. Certainly the writings and TV programs of Alistair Cooke are love letters to America of a sort. And there is implicit “America is good” in Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs series. And who can forget Donald Trump who promises to “Make America Great Again”?

      But forget about a rich benefactor ever promoting America. They’re too busy either trying to knock it down by funding Leftist politics or are part of the corruption of the Republican Party. It’s our job, like it or not.

      The interesting question is whether or not the younger generations will have any curiosity to look beyond the politically correct nonsense they are taught and discover real American history. But look at the energy they put into trying to find phantom Pokemon monsters. I’m not hopeful that these younger generations can think past the silicon chips in their hand.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        One problem is that so many important historical sites regarding America’s founding are so far to the East. I have somewhere here (in a bag in a POD, at the moment) a book on American Revolution battles which includes how to visit whatever there is. (Elizabeth and I visited Monmouth battlefield and Valley Forge back in 2001, as well as some of the key sites in Philadelphia, which is where the Worldcon was held that year. But our ability to do such tours is virtually non-existent today due to the effects of aging.)

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          One problem is that so many important historical sites regarding America’s founding are so far to the East.

          We’ve got the Oregon Trail, the Alaskan Gold Rush, and 54° 40′ or Fight, but that’s about it. I wished we would have invaded and taken British Columbia. It’s a nice land. All we Washingtonian’s got was the 49th parallel and a stupid t-shirt.

          The worldly incarnation of St. Francis (the fake Pope)_ is hopping, skipping, and singing a Leftist song to today’s yutes. “You’re special! You deserve “social justice.”! You’re raping the planet unless you raise ‘people of color’ to a special and un-criticizable status.”

          Think I’m joking about that last one? Of course you don’t. We get the shtick of “white privilege” wherein the only remedy is white people debasing themselves. Read Todd Herman’s Now you can take a class that focuses on white fragility in Seattle:

          Your tax dollars at work in Seattle — soon, you’ll be paying for classes that focus on white fragility. From the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, white fragility is defined as “the inability of white people to tolerate racial stress. And it is going to offer the perspectives and skills needed for white people to have more constructive cross-racial interactions.”

          Is there some scientific study that shows that you can have positive interracial interactions if only one side is considered to be the side with the problem? Can someone point me in the direction of the study that says that white people’s brains are unable to handle racial stress?

          I point this out not necessarily to engage in pointless bitching but to point out that there might not be receptive ears to any notion of America that is noble and good. Black is good. White is bad. Understand the new racism which is called “social justice” and you’ll understand why I wonder only what the body count will eventually be, not that there will be one.

          And if someone can find a way to blast through the Left’s propaganda, I’m all ears. In the meantime, most of this delving into American history represents our last hurrah. I think we know that. There are good parents who try to swim against the cultural current, but even they understand that there is no fighting your way upstream, there is only going slower downstream.

          But I’m not a pessimist. Good ideas can come again. But right now we’re living in a time when we’re seeing very bad ideas being rooted into our culture. It’s the botched mix of concrete that will topple the building at the slightest nudge. But it sure looks solid at the time.

  4. Timothy Lane says:

    And now the anit-Yarborough: Black rioters in Milwaukee (complaining about a justified shooting by a black cop of an armed black criminal) are calling not for such mundane goals as justice, but simply blood — white blood, because one race or the othe must be eliminated. The criminal’s sister has called for the rioters to attack in the suburbs instead of the inner city. My own reaction was that the rioters should be given a lifetime supply of lead, and the sister locked up forever for inciting them.

    Meanwhile, Peggy Noonan has shown how the multinational elites don’t care about their fellow countrymen. Their loyalty is to their fellow global elites. It first appeared at the WSJ website, but I was unable to read it there. Now it’s at patriotpost, where it is available to all. The link is:

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      There is something absolutely central that I was thinking about the other day. What is “good” is now ran through the lens of politics. And this is true of about anything these days, including Donald Trump. He’s “good” because he’s not Hillary. But very few have the honesty and clarity to just call the guy a bum…one it might be smart to indeed vote for given the alternative, but a bum all the same.

      Glenn sent me a book the other day which I’ve started to read through. It’s a collection of works, but on the main menu is C.S. Lewis’ “God in the Dock.” I haven’t decided whether to also critique the book and comment on it as well while reading it. It’s a difficult thing even for me because such a book is meant to lift you above the mundane….and to batter it down to earth with pedanticism would not be right. To discuss what I think about it will be, but all in good time.

      I no longer break bread with the purely political. I see now fully the rot that it is. It is deemed “good” by the elites to do this and such. That they don’t pay a price for their decisions (at least immediately) shows you the problem with political “goodness.” It’s disconnected from actions and consequences.

      I’ve pulled a few weeds here at this site, and I don’t mean people. I mean attitudes. We’ve simply got to acknowledge one of the largest problems in America and it is the politicization of “good.” There is very little humanity and wisdom left in most people.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Of course, it’s nothing new that the elites make others pay for their own moral preening and sense of (guilt/charity/whatever). The original conception of the “forgotten man” was those (basically, the middle class) who pay the price for all these grand dreams to “help” those less fortunate. This has been my primary political concern ever since I read in National Review about the scattered-site housing imposed on Yonkers by a judge living in a gated community.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Good specific points and instances.

          By “politicized morals” it comes to mind a better way to express that. These kinds of morals are “for show.” They are “prestige” morals. They are the kinds of checkbook morals easy to write but much tougher to cash. People become mere tokens, puppets to show the supposed “compassion” of the elites…who, if you look at the wreckage they never take responsibility for, leave the normal person wondering if they are stupid or evil.

          A Catholic friend or writer (it all tends to blur together who said or wrote what) often noted that “compassion” means co-passion…aka “to suffer together.” It’s easy to be nice. You just smile at the Muslim who is practicing Taqiyya and assume good intentions (for to do otherwise would reflect on you and require one to make judgments about people and things). The purpose of politicized compassion, other than gaining votes, is not helping people but to be seen as a do-gooder.

          I don’t particularly suffer fools gladly so I’m not one to talk. But I do know that it’s the height of hubris to phone in your morals as the Left does. But that’s the way it is. The American ideal was that government was necessary but that it needed strict limits placed upon it. Power corrupts. Absolutely power corrupts absolutely and all that. The moral foundation was to exist in the common people. If they had it, no politician of bad behavior could last for long. If they had it, there was a good chance that our system of government could work well most of the time.

          That idea has been almost completely lost. Now people almost completely trust Progressive politicians and give them a blank check in regards to writing the moral code. And the idea of putting constraints on do-gooders seems oxymoronic to them.

          I believe in infrastructure politics. I believe in city planning politics. I believe in taking-out-the-trash politics. But I’m highly dubious of the ability of government to be compassionate. That is the realm of people, family, religion, and community ties. No wonder Leftists want to destroy and de-legitimize those means of fine-grained dealing with reality in ways that matter.

          And when generations of people have been made shallow and dumb by a liberal education, television, and willingly going along with the superficial vulgar entertainment-centric culture, morals are easier to think of as those “divisive” things that religious people delve in. It’s much easier just to let government decide these things while one is “nice” to everyone and everything.

          And right now our government leaders are blind, stupid, and morally bankrupt. And that includes both Left and right. They have no coherent and realistic vision of reality so they can’t, for example, come up with a plan to deal with ISIS. They don’t read Andy McCarthy. Instead, they’re intent on being “nice” and thus insulating Islam from all blame. There are other reasons for this other than “nice” but it is a factor.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I think it may have been Martin Olasky who used that definition of compassion. A good example of false-front moralism came years ago in the Almanac of American Politics, in which they noted that rich housewives in Marin County (CA) would go shopping in cashmere sweaters — and barefoot, to show solidarity with the poor.

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