Hell Fire-ah

I have a country music playlist I’ve essentially been working on for 20+ years. It’s called “Gone Country,” and it features songs that were popular when I was a kid.

That was the only time I ever really liked country music.

Initially, I downloaded digital versions of the songs from Napster and burned them onto CDs. There were 5 compilations in all. Nowadays, I have the best of these in one playlist on my Apple Music.

It’s my cycling playlist and I love playing with the sequencing when I add a new song, which is rare. Most all of these songs have a sort of beat that’s comfortable and the tunes are very singable.


Anyway, this song, “Elvira” has been lodged in my head for a while and so I considered adding it. What’s funny is that when I was a small child, I was convinced they were singing “Hell Fire-ah.”

At the church I was raised in, we had an old Preacher who would sub in when the main minister was away. He was called Preacher Collins, and I never knew him to have a first name.

He was one of those old time whooping and hollering types of preachers who’d get going and add an “ah HA” at the end of a phrase.

There was a certain ah HA.
Rhythm to it ah HA.
He would get to preaching ah HA
And it was a sight to behold ah HA.

That sort of thing.

I would imagine that my poor childhood brain must have been under the influence of old Preacher Collins when all I could hear in the song was “Hell Fire-ha.” If you listen to this old Oak Ridge Boys song, you might see how I heard that even tho it’s quite clear—to my adult ears—what they were singing.

Look it up on youtube.


Ah HA.

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