Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts

Norm Walker

The Ballad of Ross and Anna

(words and music by Norman G. Walker - 2005 © SOCAN)

A long long time ago, in west North Carolina
A boy named Ross and a girl named Anna, nothing could be finer
They fell in love at sixteen years, and promised for to wed
But they needed a place in a flat level space, and a home for a roof
and a bed.

There’s fire on the mountain, upon the mountain side
Flames leap, disturb my sleep, it burns down deep inside
What could be the reason, the purpose of it for
The fate of Ross and Anna, upon that cabin floor?

Ross had sixty acres of rugged mountain ground
But the slopes were steep, the valleys so deep,
One level spot he found
A chunk of solid granite that overlooked the hollow
The spot was best for a newly-wed nest, a cabin soon to follow.
The kinfolk and the neighbours, they came to lend a hand
To build a new log cabin on that granite rock to stand.
That cabin had a granite floor, was solid flat except
A hole in the middle ‘bout the size of a fist,
So a floor drain was a gift. … Chorus

Wedding celebration with fiddle, dance and song
And a pounding for the bride and groom, to help them get along
They put the pound provisions on shelves up in the cabin
And started a life as a man and a wife, the life they would be havin’.
The first night in the cabin, was cool at winter’s end
Ross gathered logs and tinder there, the fireplace to tend
Flaming of the embers soon had the cabin warm
That granite too would hold the heat, a comfort in the storm. …

Ross got up in darkness, in the middle of the night
And walked toward the fireplace, rebuild the fire bright
A rattling and a hissing, and a pain he felt instead
As he hit the floor, his words implore, said, “Anna, stay in bed”.
Next morning when some neighbours, stopped in to say hello
They knew that something very wrong had happened, and then so
The door was locked but they could hear poor Anna still inside
They rammed the door, snakes covered the floor,
The place where Ross had died. … Chorus

Rattlesnakes were everywhere but Anna still in bed
In shock and grief and terror there, her lover lying dead
The neighbours cut a hole in the roof, took Anna up that route
From the door they threw a long lasso, pulled Ross’ body out.
That hole in the rock was a passage to a hibernating cavern
The fire drew the rattling crew, to the warmth up in the cabin
They thought to move the cabin, but the snakes would not recede
So they burned that building to the ground,
Put closure to the deed. … Chorus

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