Robin and Linda Williams performed the title song of their new album, These Old Dark Hills, on Prairie Home Companion.
It is a captivating piece, made more soulful by the Shoe Band's accompaniment with its Hammond organ. It reminds me of another one of theirs, Green Summertime.
My feelings about this kind of rural mysticism are ambivalent. Tallahassee still has something of a small-town feel. Though I grew up in the suburbs of Orlando, I have lived here for most of my adult life, and when I return from visiting family in Central Florida, I confess that my heart lifts when I leave Perry behind, heading north into the hills of Leon County.On a gravel country road By the bed of the old railroad The dust follows turning wheels And blows away across the fields In this world of mine In the green summertime
But "old dark hills" makes me think of the forlorn hills of Coosa County in Alabama, where my family lived a hundred years ago. I can't say I regret not having lived there, in real small-town isolation. With rootlessness comes personal freedom, but something is lost as well.