At one time in the mountains of fair West Virginia
the people lived happy and free.
They prided themselves in their independence
and natural abilities.
These people had ventured from far away shores
from Scotland, and Ireland, and Wales.
Remembered their homelands in the words of sweet ballads
entertaining each other with tales.
Life was not easy as you may surmise
they lived off the wealth of the land
Why any would choose, to live in those mountains
town’s people could not understand.
Up in those hills there lived a young beauty
by the name of Rose Ella McNye.
A sprite of a girl, with flaming red hair
and eyes like a blue summer sky.
Rose Ella had never had schoolin but she’d
learned at her grandma’s knee.
What you could reap from the mountains and valleys
and make into home remedy’s.
Many’s the time folk knocked at her door
seeking help for an ailing loved one.
She’d gather her bags of herbs and dried yarbs*
and off thru the woods she would run.
The day came when she met her a suitor
by the name of Newt Matheny.
Folks warned her,” Rose Ella don’t court him,
he comes from a bad family.”
Rose Ella disregarded the warnings
they married and started a clan.
After 3 or 4 children she realized;
she’d married a traveling man.
Rose Ella saw to the farmin
did her doctorin with babies in tow.
Newt stuck to the drinkin and makin of moonshine.
when he felt like it he’d up and go.
During one of his many adventures;
some one knocked, on Rose Ella’s door.
She went to help while her babies were sleeping
never dreaming of what lay in store.
As she returned about sunrise
fear gripped her heart at the sight;
of her cabin ablaze to the roof peak;
two babies were lost in the night.
A week or so later when Newt sobered up
he learned of the loss they had shared.
Ran back to Rose Ella who sat in a daze
with streaks of white all through her hair.
Rose Ella regained most her senses
so her three babes left she could tend.
She and Newt never more shared the same bed.
Some ailments you just cannot mend.
the true story of my great-grandma , c.d.m. 3/09
*yarbs are wild roots and leaves, as opposed to those raised in gardens