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The Mudcat Cafesj

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(David Mallett)

When the raspberries burst from the woodbine
And the summer lies close to the ground,
And the porch is a fit place for young boys to sleep,
And the brook in the hollow dies down;
Then with straw hats and wagons and horses
Like young Tim and tired old Dan,
We head for the fields to the creak of the wheels
With a pitchfork that blisters your hand.

CHO: "And you have to make hay when the sun shines."
That's what all of the hill people say:
"Keep your load wide.
Keep your eyes to the sky.
And make sure it's dry when you put it away."

I remember the chaff on the back of my neck
And the cool at the edge of the trees.
You rest for a time and you talk about the weather.
You drink from the spring getting mud on your knees.
Then it's back to the wagon and back to the mound,
Six loads in, and eight more to go.
There's biscuits and beans at the late supper meal,
And there's nothing like beans when you're working, you know. (Chorus)

Now it's the season of clover and killdeer,
And it's the time when the does the best
It's when all men are strong,
And the work days are long,
And you know when to rise and you know when to rest.
In the cool of the evening I perch on the load,
And let the wagon wind blow through my hair,
Count off the stars and talk to the moon,
Sing to myself in the sweet summer air,
Hang on at the corners and duck from the branches,
And sing to myself in the sweet summer air. (Chorus twice)

Copyright Dave Mallett
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