Recommendation VI: Alison Krauss

For this one, I didn’t know what to do. I had several lined up and it’s so hard to just pick one since they’re all excellent and have their own story to them. When I made the last entry, I wanted a group song. I was originally going to use AKUS (Alison Krauss & Union Station), but I had trouble picking a song from them to feature. Since I’m really big on variety and I think male and females have made a lot of great contributions to music equally, I try to alternate in between the genders in my entries, and I also wanted to choose a bluegrass one this time, so going with Alison Krauss seemed the natural choice.

So, my sixth recommendation is: Alison Krauss’s “Jacob’s Dream” from her 2007 A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection album. This is one of five never-before-released tracks from Alison and it’s just INCREDIBLE. I totally love the album and am so glad I got it earlier this month on April 3rd when it came out. Along with the new songs, there are 11 other songs on the collection (16 tracks in all), and this is one of the best albums I own, I gotta say. It is definitely worth the money if you are a fan of Alison’s voice and are willing to hear more music from her, so not just her bluegrass work with Union Station. I got this album because I really liked the clips I heard of the songs and I really wanted the songs from the Cold Mountain soundtrack that are on here lol. I already owned some of the songs from other albums, but that doesn’t matter: that just proves how talented Alison Krauss is.

ALL of the new songs on the album are just awesome and I play them over and over, but “Jacob’s Dream” is the one that I think stands the most out for me as my most favorite. It could be considered bluegrass or folk-ish: it has a great acoustic guitar mountain-ish sound to it. Alison’s voice adds a lot to the darkness and mystery of the lyrics. The song takes place in the mountains with two boys wandering off to look for their father who was hunting and soon they get lost, leading to a long and worrisome search for them by family, friends, and other concerned people. A man named Jacob has a dream that illustrates where the boys most likely are, and so the people search over there and the boys are discovered dead. What hooked me the most was the chorus where Alison sings so sweetly: ” Oh, mommy and daddy, why can’t you hear our cries?“. Her vocals sound so angel-like and even child-like when she narrates for the cries of the two lost boys, and it just grips you in and it portrays the real-life story so so well.

I read a review of this song on Country Universe and Kevin, the blogger there, comments that the song “end[s] either in tragedy or glory, depending on how strong your faith is” and that hits the target. Now, I see it as both: it’s very sad about how these boys died because I hear a lot of stories of children dying by getting lost or kidnapped and it’s a huge sadness for family and friends. But looking at it from the other perspective, the boys cry about how they will see their mommy and daddy in Heaven so everything will be alright and not to worry about them, so it has two sides to it. Overall, I think it’s just an amazing song and it lasts 5:25 minutes!

So, yes, you can buy the song on iTunes (only six tracks are available for download on there though), but I really recommend that you buy the whole physical album and discover more about Alison’s music by listening and relating to what she has to say or just by letting it relax you. I’ve listened to this album while doing some papers for class and it’s soothing and made me feel better from all the stress of class work. Ahh, I just love her voice!

Thanks for reading!

Buy the song here on iTunes now!

Here are the lyrics to “Jacob’s Dream”, written by Julie Lee & John Pennell:

In the spring of 1856, with the snow still on the ground
Two little boys were lost in the mountains above the town
The father went out hunting, the boys had stayed behind
While mother tended to her chores they wandered from her side

The two had gone to follow him and lost their way instead
By dusk, the boys had not been found and fear had turned to dread
200 men had gathered there to comb the mountain side
The fires were built on the highest peak in hopes they’d see the light

“Oh, mommy and daddy, why can’t you hear our cries?
The day is almost over, soon it will be night
We’re so cold and hungry and our feet are tired and sore
We promise not to stray again from our cabin door”

Now Jacob Dibert woke one night from a strange and eerie dream
He saw a path between two hills near a dark and swollen stream
He told his wife he saw the boys huddled close beside a log
For two more nights the dream returned this vision sent from God

“Oh, mommy and daddy, why can’t you hear our cries?
The day is almost over, soon it will be night
We’re so cold and hungry and our feet are tired and sore
We promise not to stray again from our cabin door”

A thousand men had searched in vain the west side of Bob’s Creek
But Jacob’s wife knew of this place and said to travel east
With a guide to take him there, Jacob came upon the scene
And found the boys cold and still beneath the old birch tree

Oh, mommy and daddy, look past the tears you cry
We’re both up in Heaven now, God is by our side
As you lay us down to rest in the presence of the Lord
Know that we will meet you here at Heaven’s door

Oh, mommy and daddy, look past the tears you cry
We’re both up in Heaven now, God is by our side
And as you lay us down to rest in the presence of the Lord
Know that we will meet you here at Heaven’s door

—————————————————-
http://www.alisonkrauss.com/

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18 Comments

  1. I absolutely love this album,and I appreciate the shout-out in your commentary.

    This site just keeps getting better. I can’t believe nobody ever thought of spotlighting forgotten tracks before. Thankfully, someone with good taste thought of it first!

  2. No problem! I listen to it like everyday.

    Thanks so much. I just need to find more ways to get the word out!

  3. I am wondering where everyone who has these lyrics online is getting Jacob’s last name. It is Dibert. I do not know if it was written wrong or if it was just made up by someone who as guessing the lyrics.

  4. Thanks Anonymous for the correction and I apologize for not seeing your post until tonight.

  5. That is ok. I am Dei a great great granddaughter of Jacob. Oh and I noticed another thing.. the creek is Bob’s creek not pop’s. I just noticed that today. Thank you so much.

  6. Hi Dei!

    Sorry again for not seeing your latest reply and responding so late. I didn’t realize until now that there was a new comment – I need to spend more time on the blog! lol. Thanks for the new correction. Fixed it.

    It truly is an amazing story and song.

  7. Also – thought I’d let you know: this blog entry is the highest-searched-for song/story from this blog, so I’m very thankful for the corrections to the lyrics!

  8. I heard this song for the first time tonight during an Allison Kraus Concert in Sacramento. It was SO increibly moving, that i burst into tears not 30 seconds into it. I still cannot bring myself to listen to it again right now, as I know it will make me cry. Her voice was so angelic as she sang. WOW.

  9. I am so glad you had the lyrics. I too like another poster heard this first at Alison concert with Union Station. I see them every time they come to town. Such a talented group! I had to buy this CD I purchased at the concert. She said before she sang that it was based on a true story. I too cried and had goose bumps listening to it. I have listened to the CD every day since then. The concert was 2 weeks ago. My husband and I thinking of flying to another city and seeing them again. Thanks for the lyrics.

  10. I have the cd and think it is the best I own right now. was jacobs dream a true story and do you know where I could read more about it?
    easterbl

  11. See Appendix H for the story of the Lost Cox Children in Bedford County, PA:
    http://www.coldwaterheritage.org/grantinfo/2003Grantees/Coldwater%20Conservation%20Plan%20for%20Rhodes,%20Ciana,%20and%20Ickes%20Run.pdf

  12. Thanks Anonymous for the page file! It’s a very large file, and the story is on page 94 & 95 of 95 pages, so I’ll just copy and paste it after my message.

    Did anyone else see Alison perform this in the studio on the GAC special? Man, that was amazing…she never sounded better and the acoustics were equally as awesome. It’s a must see – best performance of the incredible special.

    Here’s the story from that file:

    The Lost Children of the Alleghenies:
    Near the junction of Ciana Run and Rhodes Run stands a monument marking the site where the lost Cox children were found in 1856. Erected by public subscription, the monument commemorates an event that had never been fully explained.

    On the morning of April 24, 1856, Samuel Cox took his gun toward the sound of the family dog’s barking while his wife Susannah busied herself about the homestead. During these brief moments while both parents were occupied with their tasks, the two young sons of Samuel and Susannah vanished. The boys, George (seven) and Joseph (five), had wandered off into the woods and didn’t respond to their parents’ repeated calls. Samuel made his way to the house of his nearest neighbors to enlist their aid. One neighbor set out on horseback to enlist more help from all the farmers scattered for miles around. By nightfall, more than a hundred people were searching the woods for the boys, with no success.

    At daybreak when the search began again, searchers were hopeful of finding the boys in good condition since it had been a warm night for the season. But even with additional volunteers, the search party again came to the end of the day without finding George and Joseph. For the next ten days, even though the number of searchers swelled to over a thousand, the boys could not be located. The parents became so desperate that they asked a local dowser and a reputed witch to help; neither could.

    Soon, suspicions turned on Samuel and Susannah Cox themselves as several people accused them of doing away with their own children. The floor of the family’s shack was torn up and the yard around the home was dug up, in an attempt to prove the theory, but nothing was found. Rumors and accusations pointed at other supposed ‘kidnappers’; Masons, Catholics, various foreigners all were lamed. This was the era of the Know-Nothing Party and other xenophobic groups. These attitudes and beliefs held sway among many in the isolated villages and homesteads of the region. Church congregations in the area were known to participate in ‘pow wows’ and witchcraft was often an explanation for the strange or unusual.

    It was at this time that a farmer named Jacob Dibert, who lived about 12 miles distant from the Cox’s, had an odd dream. In it, he was searching alone for the children in a section of the woods that he had never seen before. As he walked forward he discovered a dead deer just past it. He stepped over the body and followed a deer trail until he found a child’s shoe; beyond that was a fallen beech tree which allowed him to cross a stream. Next he came to a stony ridge that led into a ravine with a small brook; and there, in the shelter of a semi-circle formed by the roots of a birch tree, he found the boys… dead.
    Dibert told his wife about the dream, and they decided to keep it to themselves; but when the dream repeated itself on the following two nights, they decided to tell Mrs. Dibert’s brother, Harrison Whysong, about it. Whysong was familiar with the area the boys had disappeared in, and there were similarities between this area and Jacob’s dream. So the two men went to the area and began to search; five minutes later, they found a dead deer… exactly as in the dream. Then the child’s shoe… the beech tree over a creek… the stony ridge… and the birch tree. At the roots of the birch tree they found the boys, George and Joseph Cox, dead of exposure. The boys were buried in Mt. Union Cemetery in Lovely on May 8, 1856. In 1906, on the fiftieth anniversary of the tragedy, the stone monument was erected near the site the bodies were found so that the strange event would never be forgotten. “

  13. Does anyone know how the writers came upon this information and why they choose to compose the song? Samuel & Susannah Cox boy’s parents are also my husband’s great-great grandparents, so I find this quite interesting.

    There was a song written circa 1946 called “Babes in the Woods” that we were told is also about the missing children.

  14. I contacted the songwriter, Julie Lee, and she told me that her mother had grown up in Bedford, PA and was familiar with the story. Julie also said that she had heard the story many times growing up.

    And WOW, what a powerfully crafted song! Along with Alison’s vocals . . . . that song just wrung me out for a week straight! I, too, heard it for the first time at an AKUS concert in Atlanta at the Fox theater two weekends ago. I downloaded it from iTunes and I play it on my 1-hour-each-way daily commute. Even after many times through I still get choked up at some point along the way. I’m a father of two boys (5 and 8) so you can imagine how that song just tears me up. But I’m thankful to have the perspective the song brings without having to go through the tragedy myself.

    Music is such a powerful gift.

  15. Thanks for the extra info Joseph!

  16. Thank you for contacting the song writer and answering my question about what led to the song being written. It certainly does pull on the heart-strings. After hearing the family story and visiting the grave-site and memorial for many years, the song still makes it seem so fresh. My heart goes out anew to Samuel,Susannah & family. I’ve informed other family members that they must buy this CD.

  17. I heard this song one night very late, on the A.B.C Australia and it stuck in my head as some times songs do, but I got it wrong thought it was about a boy and girl left to die my their parents
    in a cottage in the woods
    and it haunted me
    its so sad but yet lovely
    now I know what its about
    thank you for the song
    Beverley

  18. if anyone saw the GAC special on Alison Krauss(100 miles or more) she mentioned this was the hardest song to sing because of the tragedy involved. I was so intrigued I got a PA map out and tried blotting out where I believe this is. Its amazing how society has changed. Today we worry for our children because their are too many people around that can harm them. Back then, there was’nt enough people around to harm them or save them


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