Filed Under:

Winter Songs: Tap-Dancing To 'Sixteen Tons' On The Hood

Play associated audio

For the past few months, All Things Considered has asked for your memories of music that reminds you of winter.

For listener Veronica Horton of Vermillion, S.D., "Tennessee" Ernie Ford's "Sixteen Tons" reminds her of dancing in the back of a barn in Minnesota.

"When I connected with that song, I was living in a little town called Forest Lake, Minn. We lived in the country," Horton says in an interview with All Things Considered host Melissa Block. "My mom and dad were hard-working people, and you made fun with what you had. Come a weekend, my mom would have the radio playing and she'd always be singing along with it. I remember us kids always snapping our fingers and going along with Ernie Ford.

"It takes me back to Thanksgiving weekend, 1963. The country was in turmoil and it had only been a week since the president had been assassinated. I can remember going outside and just feeling safe. My parents always made us feel safe at home.

"We had ponies. They were out in the field and they had their winter coats, you know, they're all fuzzy and woolly-looking. We had an old car that kinda bit the dust, and my dad parked it out back of the barn, and that's where it was laid to rest," Horton says, laughing. "I just remember being bundled up. We hadn't had any snow, yet, and it was so cold. It was almost like you could feel it trying to snow, but it just wouldn't.

"I went outside; I had my Western boots on, and I climbed up on the roof of that car and I tap-danced out 'Sixteen Tons.' [It was] totally uninhibited and it was wonderful and my horses looked at me like, 'What is she doing?' And, you know, nothing can beat the feeling of dancing on the hood of an old car. You can't get a video game that does that to you."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


Kentucky Boy Solves Rubik's Cube In Record Time

A 14-year-old boy from Lexington, Ky., has solved a Rubik's Cube in less than five seconds. As Guinness World Records declares this a record-breaker, we hear how NPR covered a Rubik's Cube competition in 1981.
WAMU 88.5

Recipes Get A Makeover With GIFs, Science, And Emojis

On Food Wednesday, we explore the new ways recipes are being presented, with everything from GIFs to scientific method.

WAMU 88.5

International Military Action In Syria

French President Hollande meets with President Obama in Washington to seek additional U.S. support in the fight against ISIS in Syria, and NATO holds an emergency meeting over the downed Russian fighter jet: An update on international military strategy in Syria.


Used Rocket Is A New Breakthrough For Blue Origin's Space Plan

Blue Origin, the space company founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, has sent a craft past the edge of space and then landed its rocket safely – and vertically — in Texas.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.