The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #46751   Message #1670243
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
16-Feb-06 - 04:57 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Gold Miners' Songs (American) 2
Subject: Lyr Add: POKER JIM
Tune- Raging Canal

Now I'll tell you of my history since eighteen forty seven,
When I lived in old Missouri, and my home was like a heaven;
I had a buxom little wife, as purty as could be,
She said as how she loved me well, and I'm certain I loved she.

But there came a lot of news along, I shall ne'er forget the day,
About there being lots of gold in Cal-i-for-nia:
I said "Good-bye" unto my wife, though my heart felt many pains,
But thought the road to fortune, sure, lay straight across the Plains.

The first place that I got into is now called Placerville,
In them days it was hangtown, but they thought that ungenteel:
I went to work right willingly, with shovel, pick, and pan,
And every chunk of gold saved for my Mary Ann.

In about two years, I made a pile, though things were awful dear,
And then I started home again, to fetch my wife out here;
I took passage by the steamer, just because it went so quick,
But I'll never travel so no more, for the damned thing made me sick.

I stayed at home for half a year, and then we left for good,
My wife and children all were well, I was in a merry mood:
I bought a right good ox-team, and a wagon for the trip,
And when we started, Mary Ann said, "Joshua, let 'em rip!"

We had a very pleasant time, and all got safely through,
I went to work quite willingly, and so did my wife, too:
To make my home a happy one, my Mary Ann did try,
But very shortly after that, began my mis-e-ry.

There was a noted gambalier a living in our camp,
They called him Poker Jim, and, oh! he was an awful scamp:
He used to come and talk to her, while I tried to make a strike,
And said she was a fool to love an ugly d----d d----d Pike.

One night I felt almighty tired, I'd been at work all day,
When I got home the neighbors said my wife had run away;
My heart was nearly bursting, and my head began to swim,
She'd left a letter saying as how she'd eloped with Poker Jim.

I tried to keep my dander up, but felt awful bad of course,
For the d----d d----d critter she commenced an action for divorce;
She got it and with Poker Jim she went off and got wed,
And the only ground she got it on, was because I snored in bed!

R. A. Dwyer and R. E. Lingenfelter, 1965, "The Songs of the Gold Rush," pp. 58-59, with music. From Johnson, J. E., 1858, "Johnson's Original Comic Songs," San Francisco, Presho & Appleton Co.