Sailor's Regret
When I was a kid many old men in and around the community, where I was raised were nearly all, practicing, amateur weathermen. They could predict the weather by the physical signs they observed.
A really black woolly worm meant a really cold winter. The same for a hornet's nest built low to the ground, a sure sign of a bad winter. A ring around the moon foretold falling weather. For every heavy fog in August, there would be that many heavy snows in December. A terrapin traveling in the direction of the creek was a dry weather sign. If he was traveling toward the hills, it was a wet weather sign. There were numerous other signs that I recall hearing the old-timers talk about in my grandfather's country store.
One constant, that any of these amateur weathermen used was, when storm systems came from a westerly direction (as most weather systems do), if the system hung together crossing the ridge line known as the Jimmy Ridge aka Blaine Hill, it meant we were gonna get rained on. However, many of these systems did indeed break apart when crossing the ridge-line, hence the saying, ah… it’s breakin' on the Jimmy Ridge. There was likely a scientific explanation for this but these forecasters knew what they saw and had seen time and time again and so it became a catch phrase when storms clouds arose from that direction. Of course, any time weather systems came from the south, well.... even a rank amateur weatherman could predict that we were gonna get a 'frog strangler'. Anyhow, just remembering these old sayings & recollections, inspired Larry Shell and I use them as a basis for the song. Larry reminded me that I had told him the story years ago. Here is I how it came out in song. Most people won't know what the Jimmy Ridge is but folks from my neck of the woods will and every one still alive for miles, in and around Lawrence County, KY, from the era of the 1960s, 70s will remember Raleigh (Rawl) Butler and Butler's General Store in Blaine, Ky. Other Appalachians who did not know Rawl, will plug in their own name because amateur weathermen still abound in the Appalachians.