An Un-Reconstructed Native-Born Appalachian American

Sound on:
Rhododendron Song

All those people who like to joke
About West Virginia; and the ones who poke
Some nasty fun at Mountaineerland:
Some I can handle: some I can't stand!
They make us West Virginians the goats:
The object of puns and anecdotes...
Some call us barefoot country clowns;
Living in shacks with pigs and hounds.

Some seem to delight in putting us down!
Crude portrayals of Mountaineers abound:
We've been called hillbillies from the sticks:
Stupid, ignorant illiterate hicks!
Living off the D.P.A.;
Staying drunk throughout the day!
Making moonshine after dark:
Dumb, but happy as a lark!

We've suffered indignity and scorn
Heaped on the state where we were born;
But - what really gets me in a huff
Is when they start that incest stuff!
Some may say that it's all in fun,
I say it's rude, and overdone!
If they'd check their closet's grimy bones
Maybe they'd leave our state alone.

Our state is hilly, I'll confess...
Some things about it are a mess;
But I'm sure you'll find in every state
Many conditions not first-rate...
Homeless people, crime and squalor
Isn't just found up our hills and hollows
Greed and corruption on every hand
Isn't just here in Mountaineerland...

Our Mountain State is a sight to see!
Second to none in scenery:
Fertile valleys, green and fair;
Clean, refreshing mountain air:
Picturesque forests with timber tall;
Mountain streams and waterfall!
In wild, wonderful West Virginia
You're sure to find something that'll win ya'!

Look a little closer, and you will find
West Virginians of the genteel kind:
Friendly folks everywhere you go:
It's not that way in some states I know...
To those who'd cast at us a stone:
Think of the state you call your own...
There's a lot of love for it within ya'...
That's how I feel about West Virginia!


*** With special thanks to the late Patrick Gainer, Professor Emeritus of English, West Virginia University. Teacher, friend, co-author, and Mountaineer Par Excellence.