Still On The Hill

ozarkinfolk duo


Once a River
by Still on the Hill (2014)


Kelly & Donna Mulhollan


I learned how the Cherokee greeted the dawn

They went to the water with a prayer and a song

The waves beacon me to the shores of Beaver Lake

To get out on my sailboat and simply drift away

It really don’t matter what course I might take

The wind fills my soul, when I go to water.


When I go to water I can feel my worries drown

Sinking down to the bottom

On an altar made of water I will lay my troubles down

I will rest my soul when I go to water


I got my ole cane pole and my flat bottom boat

Filled up my cooler, wrote my sweetheart a note

Said, “I’ll be back this evening, a brand new man,

I’ll heat up the grill and grab a frying pan~”

But if I catch nothing it won’t matter you know,

It fills my soul when I go to water.


Could it be the gentle rocking that sets my soul free?

Rocking to the rhythm of an ancient melody?

An inner-tube and sunscreen, something cool to drink…

A bright summer sun shining down on me…

That’s all that I need to relax, don’t ya know…

It fills my soul when I go to water.

FLOOD of ‘27

Words & Music Donna Mulhollan


Sky looked like a preacher’s frown

Clothes on the line whippin’ round

Buckets of rain pouring down as we prayed

For the levees to hold

Old man Mississippi had a mind of his own

The high waters came and washed away our home

No time to gather anything, old photographs or Grandma’s ring

Just a prayer on the wing, as we faced the flood


I braced myself against the wind

Wet calico against my skin

Felt the darkness crashing in as I climbed

Up to the rooftop

Watched the river rising high

Blackwater spreading far and wide

I nursed the baby and I cried

“Oh where will we go now?”

That night felt like eternity, I prayed to God

“Please rescue me”, that town went down in history

in the Flood of ‘27


Somehow I managed to survive

I was glad to be alive, I volunteered both day and night

At camps set up by the Red Cross

Young black men were forced to stay

Repair the levee’s without pay

Small pox took my child away

Damn (Dam) that ole river

Then Uncle Sam, he stepped in…

With promises to build great dams

All across these southern lands,

to tame those rivers.


The river finally did subside

The sky is smiling big and wide

Clouds have all been pushed aside

   Now I’m starting over!


A Tribute to Phillip Steele


I couldn’t help staring at her ole floppy hat

And the fact that she always dressed up just like a man

With her plaid flannel shirt and her bright red hair

She was quite a sight at the County Fair


I could not take my eyes off of… White River Red


Forestina Magaline was her given name

She traveled with the circus, back in her younger days

Met a carney named Jack Campbell, he was rowdy & loud

His gamblin’ game with RATS…well it really drew a CROWD.


The voice of the carnival was White River Red


TALK: I grew up to be a writer, I wrote books on history

About the Jesse James, the Civil War and the Cherokee

But the story of White River Red… was one I loved the best

The rest of her story is as good as it gets!


In 1931 she bought a little piece of land

It became winter quarters for her carnival friends

When Jack Campbell died she started hauling Christmas Trees,

Fence Posts, Hay and Strawberries!

Her entourage of animals made her think of circus days

Folks came from miles around to see her BABOON in a cage!


Now White River Red…she had pockets that were deep

Secretly she helped out any one who was in need

For funeral expenses she’d spend a perty dollar

She’d throw birthday parties for kids down in the holler,

She died without a penny to her name

Didn’t have a proper stone… to mark her grave!


TALK: So I made sure that ample funds were raised

And a red granite stone was beautifully engraved

With pictures showing Forestina’s old circus life

An epitaph that read A LEGEND IN HER OWN TIME

My name is Phillip Steele and I want it to be said

“There never was a LADY like White River Red”

Rest in Peace, Jack Bland

Donna and Kelly Mulhollan


He buried my Malinda one the far side of the river

Never did he dream, that he could out live her

Oh how she loved the Dogwoods, when they were in bloom

Every day upon her grave…he placed a blossom or two


In the Month of May…he’d bring her purple violets

And Evening Primrose-June clear though August

In the Dog Days of Summer…Orange Bittersweet…

It grew by the roadside, so that’s what he’d bring!


Every day without fail, he’d visit her grave

Oct.- Nov.  – he’d bring her Queen Anne’s Lace

And Lovely Winter Jasmine-when December came

A team of wild horses, couldn’t keep him away



And flooded Rocky Branch

He tried to get across,

but never had a chance


They buried Jack Bland…beside Malinda’s grave

They were moved to higher ground…

When they built Beaver Lake

Beneath a lovely Dogwood, that blossoms every spring

No need to cross the river now…




Donna & Kelly Mulhollan


If the water was a little too deep and wide

And you needed to get to the other side

With a load of hides and a deadline to deliver

If your sweetheart lived down in Larue

Pretty as a picture with eyes of blue

Abner Jennings would FERRY you…

Across the White River


5 cents for a person on foot

10 cents for a man & horse

same for a man & his mule, of course!


Travelin’ down from the town of Glade

With a wagon full of good hard grain

You didn’t wanna dawdle

& you sure didn’t need to tarry

The road to the mill was crooked & long

It was quicker if you sang a mountain song

and crossed the White River on

Abner Jenning’s Ferry


A One-Horse Wagon or a pony with a cart

Only cost you TWO THIN DIMES

But a 4-Horse Carriage cost 30c to ride


Sometimes around Fishtrap Hollow

The river was no more than a little swallow

Kids could roll up their britches and wade to the other side

Jennings Ferry on down the way

Was the best darn place on a summer day

Abner never made the young un’s pay

For hitchin’ a ride


50 cents for 3 strong OX

Tethered together with a wooden Yoke

2 Cents for a goose or a gander or a goat


Abner Jennings passed away

But some folks claim on a sunny day

They see his boat in the clouds, floating right along

If you listen .…carefully to the wind in the cedar and birds on the wing

You might just hear Abner sing, his favorite river song.


Donna and Kelly Mulhollan


Standing in deep water, branches bare and bleached to white

Stretched like bony fingers, reaching to an empty sky

The river’s just a memory but I’m still holding on,

To offer up a willing branch and sing my cedar song.


Lovely Green Heron, statue of such simple grace

Stop by here a little while; I will be your resting place

Red Headed Woodpecker…your numbers now are few

I will be a sanctuary if you want me to.


Young boy with your red canoe, paddle gently with your boat

Like a hundred times before to your favorite fishing hole

Tie a rope around my waist…together we belong

I will help you pass the day and sing my cedar song.


Tree swallow fill my limbs with your iridescent blues

My trunk it has a perfect hole, it can house your precious jewels.        

Spider decorate my boughs and when your web is done,

Let it catch the morning dew and sparkle in the sun!   


Dragon Fly rest your wings, perch upon my highest branch

King Fisher fishing’s good, stop awhile and take a chance

Down below the surface there’s a haven that is safe

Blue Gill come and lay your eggs in this hiding place.


In the blinking of an eye, somehow 50 years have passed

Everything it changes, nothing’s ever seems to last.

When the moon is on the rise and the day has up and gone

I may still be standing here, to sing my Cedar Song.


Donna & Kelly Mulhollan


Way back at the turn of the century

The Ozark Mountains were rugged and steep

Folks down in Garfield needed a road,

to get to Eureka Springs…I’m told

but the ole White River was deep and wide

if you wanted to get to the other side

you needed a boat, a wing and a prayer

cuz there weren’t no road-a waiting over there


Oooooo   Lost Bridge,    Oooooooo Lost Bridge


Then round 1929, they built a bridge it was mighty fine

Made of concrete, steel and wood

Things were looking pretty good

But they never got around to building a road

Either way…neither to or fro

Soon the Great Depression came

And all the money just floated away


Oooooooo   Lost Bridge,  Ooooooo  Lost Bridge


For many blue moons it just sat there

A Bridge to nowhere, not a man or a mule or a wagon ever crossed

Not a Tinker or a Trader or a Traveler lost

1943 on the 7th of May, an angry flood washed her away

Big timbers on the river came crashing down

She sank beneath the waves & finally drowned


Ooooooooo  Lost Bridge,  Ooooooooooo  Lost Bridge


Well the story of that bridge is a good one to tell

And many a man have told it well

Whoever heard of a bridge without a road

Now ain’t that a story that outta be told

Then in ‘64 the river was dammed

The core flooded all that beautiful land

Hundreds of feet ‘neath Beaver Lake

She’s tossing and a turning in a watery grave


Oooooooo  Lost Bridge…Oooooooo  Lost Bridge


Donna Mulhollan


I loved those Sunday mornings when we all dressed up in our best

Mama put her bonnet on and Papa wore his woolen vest

I had just one pair of shoes now too small for my pretty feet

But I laced them up then we all walked, down to Hogscald Creek

And listened to Brother Weatherman Preach


He said, “Take your sins to the river, wash them clean in the word.

I just knew if I went down in that water

My soul would come up singing like a bird!


Church was held beneath the bluff, benches hewn from cedar trees

When the gospel echoed through the hill, swore I heard the angels sing

A waterfall it tumbled down to  a pool beneath the cave

I wanted to be baptized there and Lordy I would pray

I’d be washed in the blood of the lamb one day.


And the preacher would take me down to the river

Wash me clean in the word, I knew when I went down in the water

My soul would come up singing like a bird


So Mama sewed a dress for me from flour sacks bleached white

Stitched with nimble fingers by the coal lamp light

Lying in my little bed, my heart filled with love

Listening to my Mama sing…On the Wings of a Dove


When Jesus went down, to the river to pray

He was baptized, in the usual way

When it was done, God blessed his son

He sent down his love…on the wings of a dove


Sunday came and I put on my brand new baptism gown

Mama tied stones around the hem, important to weigh it down

Plaited my golden hair, woven into one long braid

She kissed my cheek…tenderly, then we both kneeled and prayed

And she walked me down to Hogscald to be saved.


The preacher took me down to the river, he washed me clean in the word

When I went down into the water…my soul came up singing like a bird


On the wings of a snow white dove

He sends his pure, sweet love

A sign from above…on the wings of a dove.


Kelly & Donna Mulhollan


Well I got me a friend and his name is Jay

Gonna paddle every inch of Beaver Lake

All 487 miles, counting all the coves and counting all the isles

Guess it’s gonna take him awhile


Goin’ down Joe’s Creek, Ford’s Creek

Horseshoe Bend, Northfork, Tanglewood

Come around again, Kirk Hollow, Van’s Hollow

Tip A Canoe, Mill Hollow, Penitentiary Hollow & Larue


Have you ever seen a map of Beaver Lake?

Like some old oriental dragon shape,

You never know just where your at…

It might be this way, it might be that

Hope my friend Jay’s gotta map.


Goin’ down Devil’s Gap, Slate Gap, Monte Ne

Coppermine, War Eagle…just down the way

Look out, Lost Bridge, Pilgrim’s Rest

Horn Hollow, Escalope Hollow & Ventris


All the dad-gum news and the troubles of the day

When I dip my paddle they’ll fizzle away

Pardon me please if I dare do say

Well you might set aside just one fine day

“Out there on that lake like my friend Jay”


Goin down Starkey, Prairie Creek, Devil’s Eyebrow,

Shaddox Branch, Rocky Branch, not far now

Ford’s Hollow, Fall’s Hollow, Hogscald Hollow

Goose Hollow,  Sugar Hollow, Hoot Owl Hollow

Avoka Hollow, Woods Hollow, Hickory Flats Hollow

Henry Hollow, Molder Hollow, Take a good swallow

Brush Creek, Rambo Creek,  Hickory Creek

Spider Creek, Whitner Creek, Blackburn Creek,

Roberts’ Creek, Richard’s Creek, Indian Creek

Pine Creek, Big Clifty Creek and FRIENDSHIP CREEK


Friendship Creek, What a nice name for a creek

Hey, why don’t we call up some friends and head down that way

Be a great way to spend the day

Hey, let’s call our friend….JAY!