You can read the liner notes and get the basic idea. No need for overkill. [Just Click Image To Enlarge]
These titles are just my own inspirations. No particular reasoning, except in a few cases.
Got to thank my mother in law for telling me about Hoskins Spring — a real place, though now isolated, in Burleson County. It was once a thriving place (OK, that means different things to those of us from the country) with a building that doubled as a school and a church. Peggy and I checked it out one time, and it was pretty run down — about to fall down actually. Her grandmother had taught there 70 or 80 years ago, and you could tell it was a special place of worship for Hoskins Spring Baptist Church. Though a pretty good Burleson County historian myself, I had never heard of it. Made for a good song title anyway.
“Fraimville Rag” is for a community on the north end of the county once called Fraimville. It is now called Hix. Peggy’s family on her mother’s side is from that area, with relatives buried at the Hix Baptist Church Cemetery. Peggy’s family were early settlers in Burleson County, arguably THE first in 1833. Old Gabriel Jackson was a relative of Andrew Jackson of Tennessee and got to Burleson County when it was just he and the wife, some wary and hostile Indians and wild animals. The chamber of commerce wasn’t there to welcome them. Gabriel had some money and a good heart. The story goes that he provided the money to ransom children who had been taken by the Indians, often after killing their parents. Fraimville is now just a memory, but Peggy and I treasure history. So I get to keep it alive in a song.
“Daylight on the Yegua” refers to Yegua Creek, which runs through a good part of our county. Us locals just call it “The Yegua.” By the way, that is pronounced YAY’ Wah.
“Remember Fightin’ Jacob” is a reference to my great-great grandfather Jacob McKnight, a mountain man from northwest Arkansas. OK, technically my STEP-great-great grandpa. Whatever. Interesting guy, the patriarch of our clan.
Jacob came from Indiana, fought with the Union in the 156th Indiana Infantry in the Civil War, in three tours of duty. He suffered a leg wound at the Battle of Pea Ridge in northwest Arkansas in 1862. His brother Elijah was killed at Gettysburg. Jacob knew that there were four counties in northwest Arkansas that were Union, even though the rest of the state was Confederate. The people there were more than supportive of the Union troops, and I am sure he saw that firsthand.
He later relocated to southern Missouri, met by great-great grandmother Mary Jane Sanders, married her and adopted her four-year-old son John Sanders. And they had a bunch of kids of their own. Jacob took the family into Madison County Arkansas in 1888 and stayed there for good in a place called Witter. A lot of our extended family lived there well into the 20th Century, and I understand a lot of McKnights still do.
Jacob was a member of the Phil Sheridan VFW Post in Aurora, just around the side of the mountain from Witter, with a bunch of other old Arkansas Unionists. I’ve seen a picture of them from 1891.
Me and my son found Jacob’s grave way up on Venus Mountain near Witter last year. A beautiful, scenic view.
Jacob gets pretty rough treatment in the family stories. Not a perfect guy, no doubt. But I am free to make music, write about him, bitch about anything or anyone because he had the guts to stare down death at Pea Ridge, and other places. You might not have wanted old Jacob as a guest in your home, but you need guys like this to win a war. Just sayin.