Friday, March 4, 2016

Fire on the Mountain

This is an old Kentucky yarn. *

Josh Richards and his wife Mandy lived 3 miles up in Big Mine Fork Creek in Johnson County. Josh was always in demand at the local square dances for he played a mean fiddle.

In July of 1897, after playing at a neighbor’s all-night dance, Josh and his wife slept in. Around noon, Josh got up and sat on his front porch. He tuned his instrument and began to play one of his favorite tunes, Fire on the Mountain.

After a few notes he fell from where he sat, dead from a heart attack. After the funeral Mandy moved to Ohio to live with her daughter and the Richard's cabin now abandoned remained empty.

It wasn't long before a group of children playing downstream in a creek heard the sound that many would hear in the future. As they passed the cabin they heard fiddle music.

They told their parents and these adults congregated at the Richard’s cabin that evening. Sure enough, they head the fiddle music too. Most swore it sounded like Josh’s playing.

For 87 years, countless witnesses came forward to state they heard this fiddle music at the old cabin. Some even claimed to see the misty outline of Josh sitting on his porch, his fiddle tucked under his chin.

The song heard was Josh’s favorite, Fire on the Mountain. Some stated this music had a pulsating sound and appeared to come from way off, others mentioned this music seemed to surround them.

Several have tried to record the music they heard but none succeeded.

Today the Richard’s old cabin is long gone but people still report hearing the familiar notes of Fire on the Mountain.

*  The word yarn means to spin a tale that is exaggerated.

Here is the Bluegrass tune --Fire on the Mountain.

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