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Lyr/Chords Add: The Casto Hole

Walking Eagle 12 Sep 01 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Russ 12 Sep 01 - 12:09 PM
Walking Eagle 14 Sep 01 - 04:47 PM
katlaughing 16 Sep 01 - 10:04 AM
katlaughing 14 Oct 01 - 08:08 PM
masato sakurai 14 Oct 01 - 11:00 PM
masato sakurai 14 Oct 01 - 11:05 PM
katlaughing 14 Oct 01 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,Leigh Ann Hood 30 May 12 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,Leigh Ann again 30 May 12 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,Gary Eller 13 Sep 12 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,Guest Martha 14 Feb 14 - 12:44 PM
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Subject: The Casto Hole
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 11:11 AM

A few weeks ago, I said that I would post lyrics and dulcimer tab to a strictly WV Civil War song titled The Casto Hole. Although this song never became widely distributed, it is well known in Jackson County WV where it originated. During the Civil War, most of Jackson County backed the Confederacy. The large Casto family, however remained loyal to the Union. Because of their pro-union activities, in particular their association with the Underground Railroad, the Castos were forced to "hole up" in a cave near Statts Mill.

The song about them was written, supposedly, by a minister named Eliah Powers. Only part is given here.

I'll will give the first line, with the tab numbers following that line. All numbers are melody string numbers, except for the last three numbers, which are harmony string numbers. Dulcimer tuning is DADD.

Far in the woods on upper Tug - - 77774555.
They wrap Old Union in a rug - - 5422011.
Where Nic'las reads the Union roll - - 02220333.
And rallys round the Casto Hole - - 3221 - fret harmony - 111.

Union, union is their song.
It's two feet wide and four feet long.1
Lift up your head and sing it bold.
A hundred feet in the Casto Hole.

The cast Hole is a cavern deep.
Where Union men can quiet sleep.
And all their war like plans unfold.
While forted there in the Casto Hole.

The game-legg'd miller took his flight.2
For upper Tug he struck one night.
His fears were far beyond control.
So he bloted back to the Casto Hole.

Go to their homes and pay a call.
there reigns a solemn silence all.
Take their tracks, be they ever cold.
They'll lead you to the Casto Hole.

They say old Joel, he died of late.
And took his flight to Heaven's Gate.
Saint Peter knew the poor old soul.
And kicked him back to the Casto Hole.

1. The American flag.
2. The game legged miller is little remembered. He was an organizer for the Underground Railroad.

There you have it. there is another purely WV Civil War song titled Sheridan's Ride, written by a WV Union soldier, but I'll save that for later. These songs are courtesy of Michael Bush from his book, Folk Songs of Central WV - Vol. 2.

W.E.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Add: The Casto Hole
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 12:09 PM

Blast from the past. Quite a surprise to see this song at MudCat. I have volumes 1 and 2 of Jim's (James Michael Bush's) works. Bought them from him 30 odd years ago. Once worked with a WV Casto who'd never heard the song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Add: The Casto Hole
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 14 Sep 01 - 04:47 PM

There were some other 'catters requesting this song, so I thought I'd refresh it in case it was missed. Sorry I didn't know how to do the page break routine then.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Add: The Casto Hole
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Sep 01 - 10:04 AM

I am sorry it has taken me so long to get in here, Walking Eagle. Got lost in the events of the week. Thank you so much for posting this. I will try it out on dulcimer, today.

Since our discussion on this area and period of time, I've found out more about my ancestors in that area. My gggrandfather was indeed a scout for Thurmond's Partisan Rangers and I have about a dozen and a half of old scraps of paper from that time, some telling Capt. Thurmond to please pay, to my ancestor, monies for property captured by the enemy and owed to the signee.

My dad said the family thought it ironic that in a set of blue books on the Civil War, which they had when he was growing up, our "scout/spy" had his picture in it in a Union cap!

Thanks, again. I really appreciate it.

kat


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Add: The Casto Hole
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 08:08 PM

Walking Eagle, I have finally found the energy and time to work on this a little bit. It is a lovely tune and I love the sound. Thank you so much.

I have only been playing a few months, though, and have a question. In the tabs, you say the last three are fret harmony. Do you mean to play the "1" fret on the lower, drone string which is tuned to the lower D, or the middle harmony string which is tuned to A? Or have I got it completely wrong? Neither one sounds right to me, BUT "2" fret on the low D sounds really good to me. Maybe I've got the last bit mixed up, melody-wise?

Thanks!

kat


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Subject: Lyr Add: The Casto Hole
From: masato sakurai
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 11:00 PM

From the Casto Family website(Click "11. The Casto Hole," or scroll down please):

"During the war Nicholas Casto (an ancestor) wrote a poem deriding the Confederate sympathizers in the country, of which there are no known copies, which moved his good friend Elijah Powers a Confederate sympathizer to pen the poem known as "The Casto Hole". in retaliation. This cave is supposedly at Limber Ridge at Statts Mill."

THE CASTO HOLE

Far in the woods of Upper Tug
We wrap old Union in a rug.
Where nicholas reads his Union Roll
And Rallies round the Casto Hole.

The Casto Hole is a cavern deep
Where Union men can quiet sleep,
There all their war-like plans unfold
While forted in the Casto Hole.

There you can hail the Union flag,
For such they call a striped rag.
Some two feet square stuck on a pole
In the region of the Casto Hole.

Union, Union is their song,
It's two feet broad and four feet long.
Hold up your heads and sing it "bold"
A hundred feet in the Casto Hole.

A lame-leg miller took afright
For Upper Tug he cut one night.
His fears were far beyond control
So he bolted for the Casto Hole.

Since Wise is gone, they now know fear
Except at night, lest they might hear
Some demon howl, or ghost of old
Prowling around the Casto Hole.

A southern scout - horrors profound,
That name, it shakes the very ground;
That name's a thunderbolt to Joel -
The general of the Casto Hole.

But, oh, the terrors of a scout
To those poor devils crowded out.
In their retreat, headlong they roll
Chock full they fill the Casto Hole.

Go to their houses, give a call,
There reigns a solemn silence, all.
But take their tracks, however cold,
They'll lead you to the Casto Hole.

No danger near - see how they prance?
Like Indians in an Indian dance -
Ignorant as Indians, 'pon my soul,
These warriors of the Casto Hole.

Lord, calm their fears, thy grace is good;
Call these scared devils from the wood,
Call them, like sheep, unto thy fold -
Those heroes of the Casto Hole.

Poor old Joel, he died of late,
And took his flight to Heaven's Gate.
St. Peter knew the poor old soul,
And kicked them back to the Casto Hole.

Down from the pearly gates he flies,
A howling demon of the skies.
A ghastly ghost, black, grim, and cold -
Came sliding back to the Casto Hole.

On terra-firma, safe again,
Young, yelping devils, in this train
To the Old Rogues' March they beat a roll
And escorted him back to the Casto Hole.

Old wizard Nicholas was on hand
In the witches department, holds command
He sped his signs from pole to pole,
For all witches to meet him in the Casto Hole.

That great magician of the North
Nods, earthquakes shock all round the earth;
Conjures the light from his northern pole
To illuminate the Casto Hole.

Witches and wizards and goblins grim
, Assembled there and were sworn in.
Presiding, sat the ghost of Joel -
At a Union meeting in the Casto Hole.

And wooly heads, they came long
With chalky eyes and odors strong
In that deep den, high place did hold -
All abolition in the Casto Hole.

"A source tells me that The Casto Hole was one of the states firsts ballads."

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Add: The Casto Hole
From: masato sakurai
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 11:05 PM

Sorry, the site is:

CLICK HERE.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Add: The Casto Hole
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 11:24 PM

Masato, thank you very much!

(As a joeclone, I fixed the first link.)

You are a treasure trove of info. It is a great pleasure to have you join us.

Thank you, again,

kat


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Add: The Casto Hole
From: GUEST,Leigh Ann Hood
Date: 30 May 12 - 03:34 PM

According to my relatives (Power's), Elihugh (not Elijah) fled the county never to return after being shot at from the hills surrounding his farm. He is not buried in Jackson County. I have an old recording of Hoyt Powers, his grandson, singing the song. My great-grandfather was a Powers and my great-grandmother was a Casto.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Add: The Casto Hole
From: GUEST,Leigh Ann again
Date: 30 May 12 - 03:36 PM

I was also always told that the Hole was a stop on the Underground Railroad. The verse that talks about "wooly heads, chalky eyes and odor strong" is disparaginly referring to escaped slaves.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Add: The Casto Hole
From: GUEST,Gary Eller
Date: 13 Sep 12 - 04:52 PM

I would love to hear the recording of Casto Hole. Any way that is possible?

Are there other recordings out there somewhere of this interesting song?


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Chords Add: The Casto Hole
From: GUEST,Guest Martha
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 12:44 PM

If I've got this right, and I'm not sure that I do, my great-great grandfather was Elihugh Powers. That would make Hoyt Powers Elihugh's grandson, and my grandfather was Hoyt's half-brother. Whether or not the Casto Hole was a stop on the Underground Railroad, I do not know, but I've been fascinated by this song and the stories behind it for most of my life. I remember my great grandmother's funeral being handled by the Casto Funeral Home. I also knew that at least one Powers had married a Casto, which is the best way to end a feud! Thanks for keeping this song online so I can share it with my in-laws!!


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