Daddy Was a Mover
The Dillards Lyrics

Daddy was a mover and a gold creek miner
Never had a dollar or a hard luck song
Mama ran off and he′s never gonna find her
Went down the river she's a long time gone

Daddy taught me everything he thought we
Needed in the world just to get along
Brew a little feel good cut a little cord wood
Sing a little tenor on a gospel song
Can you see me, daddy where the river went wrong
It ain′t easy, high and dry and the memory's gone
I'll settle down and let the river roll on

Misty midnight hunting by moonlight
One shot rifle and a one-eyed dog
Lonesome Sundays feel like Mondays
Daddy kept the bible in the sycamore log

Lonesome yearning, the kids keep turning on
Never had a woman I could call my own
What′s to give her running on the river
Sleeping in the gravel like a rolling stone

Can you see me, daddy where the river went wrong
It ain′t easy, high and dry and the memory's gone
I′ll settle down and let the river roll on

Can you see me, daddy where the river went wrong
It ain't easy, high and dry and the memory′s gone
I'll settle down and let the river roll on

Writer(s): Dillard, Jayne

Contributed by Leo I. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:


For anyone who might remember some of our early country artists: Mr. Billy Ray Lathum (not LathAm), of the Kentucky Colonels and The Dillards, passed away, August 18, 2018. His memorial was today, September 1, 2018, at The Station in Nashville, TN. He was a dear friend of mine, and my parents. I met him when I was four years old. We had a three hour conversation. I did not have the chance to see him again in the physical, but he was my rock via telephone when my Mom passed away in 2012. I couldn't be at his memorial today, because of finances, last minute stuff (it being Labor Day weekend and all). Billy was possibly the most remarkable banjo player to ever walk the earth. An icon in the industry who played on the Andy Griffith Show, and also with Elton John and so many others in the industry. He was not a show-off, he was a true showman. And, he loved life and country music with all of his heart. RIP Billy Ray.

eddie lathum

My uncle Billy Ray was an amazing person, I cherished every moment I spent with him,

Mountain Rock

One of my favorite banjo pickers! Billy had his spirit do the pickin’ and his physical body was just there for good looks. God bless him.

Gary Buchanan

Outstanding work done by a group of legends not afraid to stretch out a little once in awhile, no more, no less. They weren't following anyone's rules, just playing some great music!


Thank you for posting this clip Aubrunner! I love the Dillards post BG, 70’s progressive period, especially when Herb Pederson was in the band on banjo and vocals. Their breakthrough recording: WHEATSTRAW SUITE (1970) and their followup recording: COPPERFIELDS (1973) are absolutely wonderful! Good songs, outstanding vocals, angelic harmonies with cool vocal shifts (akin to the Osborne Bros.) and great playing make for some pure listening joy! These recordings sound as vibrant and fresh today as they did when they were first released. Rodney, Dean and Mitch moved on in this new direction without Rodney’s fine banjo pickin’ brother Doug, who had decided to join up with Gene Clark of the Byrds, to form Dillard & Clark. The brief all-star lineup of Clarence White, Peter Rowan, Richard Green, David Grisman and Bill Keith, collectively known as: MULESKINNER (1973) - musical companions of the Dillards, are another stellar progressive BG group from this period, along with the fabulous Osborne Brothers.


Watched this incredibly impressive and historical YT video with my brother, who'd already seen it. At the 45 second mark he paused it, and announced to me that they were going to go into a medley somewhere near the end, and then he asked me to play a game and guess which song they'd transition into? Choices: a Doobie Bros tune, a Lynyrd Skynyrd song, a Bob Dylan number, something by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, or...Banjo Signal. I cracked up at the last choice for about a minute straight, considering how unlikely that would be.

Ali Whitwell

Saw this Dillards line up when they came to Aberdeen Scotland in (I think) 1977 or 1978. Got back stage to meet them and had a jam with Rodney, Dean and Billy Ray. Was memorable!


One hell of a great song. Masterful lyrics. If you were a boy and grew up in a poor, country family, the lyrics should hit home.


This is amazing! That's for sharing..(a video with Jeff!!) I wish this was available!

Mountain Rock

These guys took bluegrass and did their own thing with it. Just what Bill Monroe said he hoped the generations would do with the style he and others came to play.

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