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Lyr Add: Emigrant from Pike


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Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Aug 04 - 09:38 PM
Tannywheeler 07 Aug 04 - 02:05 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Aug 04 - 02:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Aug 04 - 02:48 PM
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From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Aug 04 - 09:38 PM

John A. Stone ('Put') 1855

I have just arrived across the plains,
Oh, didn't I have awful times!
It makes the blood run greasy through my veins.
I'm so disappointed in the mines.
When I go home with an empty sack,
I'll show them where the Indians shot me in the back,
And how my mules laid down and died,
And I near starved to death beside.

Hokey, pokey, winker wun,
We're all good fellows, we'll have some fun,
And all get married when we go home,
So what's the use of talking.

I was taken with the bilious cholera,
While I was traveling up the Platte;
All my friends they ran away and left me,
Then, to die contented, down I sat-

Cho. 2
Cramping, twisting, down I sat,
My inwards all tied up in a knot;
My old mule he began to bray,
I, scared to death, began to pray.

When I reached the desert, I was starvin',
Surely thought I'd never get across;
Then I thought of my big brother, Marvin,
Then the bacon and the mule I'd lost.

The times to reach the mines were past,
And I, poor devil, was about the last;
And when I thought of my big brother,
I bid farewell to my kind old mother.

I got the though at last, and went to mining,
Stole myself a shovel and pick,
But could not raise the color big and shining,
Swore I'd never strike another lick.

Then I went round among my friends
To see if I could raise some tens
To take me home, for I was scared,
My hair was all turning into beard.

If I get home, I bet my life I'll stay there,
California'll trouble me no more;
I've tried my luck at everything and everywhere,
And never have been half so poor before.

For I've nothing in the world but meat,
And that I really cannot eat;
Such times, I never saw the like,
Oh, Lord, I wish I was back in Pike!

Text: Stone, 1855, "Put's Original California Songster," pp. 41-42, Appleton and Co., San Francisco.
From Lingenfelter and Dwyer, 1968, "Songs of the American West, pp. 44-45, music edited by David Cohen. Sheet music with chords, using "Nellie Was a Lady;" first chorus from "Old Dan Tucker," second chorus "King of the Cannibal Islands."

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Subject: ADD: Joe Bowers
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 02:05 PM

It seems the Pike County, Missouri guys were S.O.L. (pardon my French) during the Gold Rush. On Jean Ritchie's first album her dad sings about Joe Bowers:


    1. My name is Joseph Bowers; I've got a brother, Ike.
       I come from Old Missouri -- all the way from Pike.
       I'll tell you how I got here, and how I chanced to roam,
       And leave my dear ol' mother -- so far away from home.

    2. I used to court a girl there; her name was Sally Black.
       I asked her would she marry me? She says it was a whack.
       She says to me, "Joe Bowers, before we hitch for life
       You've got to hunt a little home to take your little wife."

    3. "Oh, Sally, dearest Sally -- Oh Sally, for your sake
       I'll go to Californy and try to raise a stake."
       When I got to that country I hadn't nary a red.
       I had such wolfish feelins, I wished myself 'most dead.

    4. At length I went to minin' -- put in the biggest licks
       All down among the boulders just like a ton of bricks.
       I worked both late and early, in rain and sleet and snow.
       I'uz workin' for my Sally; 'twas all the same to Joe.

    5. At length I got a letter from my dear brother Ike.
       It came from old Missouri, all the way from Pike.
       It brought to me the damnedest news that ever you did hear--
       My heart is almost burstin', so pray excuse this tear.

    6. It said that Sal'd been false to me; her love from me had
       She'd married to a butcher and the butcher's hair was red!!!
       But, worse than that the letter said, enough to make you
          swear --
       That Sally'd had a baby and the baby had red hair!!!!

This last line was kind of a "punch line" to the Ritchies; there were quite a number of redheads in the family.

I don't believe there were any other verses, but I've been wrong before, so any interested parties do your own research.

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From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 02:41 PM

"Joe Bowers" was posted in thread 46751: Joe Bowers
A shorter version is in the DT.

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From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 02:48 PM

It should be mentioned that "Joe Bowers" first appeared in another of the song books published in Californina in the decade following the Rush of '49.
Turner, J. E., in "Johnson's Original Comic Songs," 1858, San Francisco, Presho and Appleton. This was followed by #2 in 1863 and #3 in 1864.

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