I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground

I love the song “Rock In The Sea” by Shocking Blue, which incorporates some of the lyrics and spirit of the old mountain tune “I Wish I was A Rock In The Sea,” first recorded by the folklorist Bascom Lamar Lunsford.

Rock In The Sea- Shocking Blue

As a fruit tree salesman, Lunsford travelled extensively through North Carolina and traded traditional tunes with his customers and acquaintances.

I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground- Bascom Lamar Lunsford

Jackson C. Frank borrowed from the song as well, incorporating later verses of the song into his song “Kimbie,” from his eponymous 1965 album.

Kimbie- Jackson C. Frank

A few years ago, Marianne Faithfull sang Kimbie for her Easy Come Easy Go album.

Kimbie- Marianne Faithfull

Greil Marcus wrote of the song in his book Lipstick Traces:

Yeah, what he said. That’s basically why I like this song and those it inspired.

Also, moles are practically blind, survive on earthworms and mice, and are non-existent in Ireland.


3 responses to “I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground

  1. Hah, I found this song by way of Harry Smith’s anthology of American folk music. I’ve been loving it ever since. Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s other song on that anthology, “Dry Bones” is also very beautiful, especially his voice’s melody when he says, “I saw the light from heaven, shining all around”.

  2. This is a brilliant post. Thank you.

  3. great post, gentlebear. that jackson frank song is pretty special — really made my day. cheers.

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