From the recording Pilot Mountain
As you cut across Fancy Gap from Virginia to North Carolina, the close, steep mountains give way to the wide piedmont. But there ahead, rising all alone is Pilot Mountain. It's topped by a bare-rock dome--hardened quartzite that resists erosion. I made up the chorus as I came down the slope one morning heading to Mark's house. I hummed it for a year or so until another visit to Mark's. Then I wrote it down. The second verse refers to the Hillsville Shootout in 1912. Last time I checked, there were still bullet holes in the courthouse steps.
Pilot Mountain Mamaw was just a girl when her family started out from Pennsylvania down the old Wagon Road Crossed at Harper’s Ferry along the Shenandoah shore and up the Valley they pulled a heavy load Southeast to cross the Blue Ridge in rugged Fancy Gap They wondered if they'd ever find their way Like a signal to the schooners sailing on Atlantic waves A tower for the tired travelers coming home to stay Pilot Mountain, guide me on to my Carolina home Pilot Mountain, guide me on to my Carolina home In nineteen hundred twelve I climbed back up into Virginia to labor on the old Sidna Allen’s farm I minded my own business working hard out in the fields and kept my body out of sight and out of harm But that fateful day in Hillsville with the shootout at the courthouse I found myself involved in my worst fear I escaped into the mountains where I wandered lost and lone Till a vision of a fortress stood before me high and clear Pilot Mountain, guide me on to my Carolina home Pilot Mountain, guide me on to my Carolina home Pilot Mountain, guide me home To the foothills down below your quartzite dome Standing tall a quarter mile above the floor There to greet me and lead me to my door Bodie Island lighthouse dates to 1872 and Currituck 1875 Ocracoke in was built way back in 1823; Hatteras in 1869 Old Baldy is the oldest light – 1817 But the Knob was standing long, long before Those ancient coastline beacons had ever even shone And it might still be shining long after they're gone Pilot Mountain, guide me on to my Carolina home Pilot Mountain, guide me on to my Carolina home