The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #7324   Message #3685236
Posted By: Joe Offer
12-Dec-14 - 07:34 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Great American Bum
Subject: ADD: The Bum's Song (Harry McClintock)
Here's my transcription of 1928 sheet music I found of "The Bum's Song," which claims words and music are by Harry McClintock

(Harry "Mac" McClintock)

1. Come all you jolly jokers And listen while I hum
A story I'll relate to you Of the great American Bum
From the East, the West, the North, the South Like a swarm of bees they come
We sleep in the dirt and wear a shirt That is dirty and full of crumbs.

2. Oh it's early in the morning And the dew is off the ground
The Bum arises from his nest and gazes all around
From the boxcar and the hay stack He gazes everywhere
He never turns back upon his track, until he gets a square.

3. I beat my way from Frisco Bay To the rock-bound coast of Maine
To Canada and Mexico, Then wandered back again
I've met town clowns and harness 'bulls' As tough as a cop could be
And I've been in every calaboose In this Land of Liberty.

4. I've topped the spruce and worked the sluice And taken a turn at the plow
I've searched for gold in the rain and cold And worked on a river scow
I've dug the clam and built the dam And packed the elusive prune
But my troubles fail when I hit the trail, A-paddlin' my own balloon.

5. Oh a-standin' in the railroad yard A waitin' for a train
A-waitin' for a West bound freight, But think it's all in vain
Going East they're loaded, Going west sealed tight
I think we'll have to get aboard The fast Express tonight.

6. Oh lady would you be kind enough to give me something to eat,
A piece of bread and butter And a ten foot slice of meat.
A piece of pie and custard To tickle my appetite,
For really I'm so hungry, I don't know where to sleep tonight.

7. Oh sleepin' against the station, Tra la la la la lation
Well that's our recommedation, Hurrah Hurree Hurrum
For we're three Bums, three jolly old Bums, we live like royal Turks
We have good luck a-bummin' our chuck, And never bother to work.

8. I met a man the other day, I'd never met before
He asked me if I wanted a job, A-shovlin' iron ore
I asked him what the wages were, And he said, "Ten cents a ton"
I said, "Old feller, go chase yourself, I'd rather be on the bum."

9. Oh sleepin' in the pogies, Ogie, Ogie, Ogies
A-smokin' snipes and stogies, Hurrah Hurree Hurrum
For we're three Bums, three jolly old Bums, we live like royal Turks
We have good luck a-bummin' our chuck, God bless the man that works.

Living in the Land of Prunes, I appreciate the line about the "elusive prune." Most of the U.S. prune crop is grown not far from here in Yuba City, California. The marketing people tried to rename them "California Dried Plums," but the onslaught of ridicule brought the word "Prune" back into favor.