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Lyr Add: Sutter's Mill (Various)

DigiTrad:
LEADER OF THE BAND
SUTTER'S MILL


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Leader of the Band (Dan Fogelberg) (6)
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Tune Req: This Endris Night (Dan Fogelberg) (10)
Obit: Dan Fogelberg - 16 Dec 2007 (50)
Lyr Req: A Love Like This (Dan Fogelberg) (6)
Lyr/Chords Req: WANDERING SHEPHERD (10)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Sutter's Mill


ah827@rgfn.epcc.edu (Gene Graham) 10 Feb 97 - 12:36 AM
Gene 27 Aug 98 - 10:25 AM
Bev and Jerry 15 Jan 00 - 12:44 AM
Willie-O 15 Jan 00 - 08:58 AM
MandolinPaul 15 Jan 00 - 09:56 AM
Cap't Bob 15 Jan 00 - 07:13 PM
Genie 16 Jun 08 - 02:23 PM
Jim Dixon 04 Feb 22 - 06:41 PM
Joe Offer 05 Feb 22 - 02:40 AM
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Subject: SUTTER'S MILL
From: ah827@rgfn.epcc.edu (Gene Graham)
Date: 10 Feb 97 - 12:36 AM

You can find Sutter's Mill at: --http://www.roughstock.com/cowpie/songs/d/dan-fogelberg/sutters_mill


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Subject: Lyr Add: SUTTER'S MILL (Dan Fogelberg)
From: Gene
Date: 27 Aug 98 - 10:25 AM

SUTTER'S MILL
(Writer: Dan Fogelberg)

In the spring of forty-seven
So the story it is told
Old John Sutter went to the mill site
Found a piece of shining gold.

Well, he took it to the city
Where the word like wildfire spread
Old John Sutter soon came to wishin'
He'd left that stone in the river bed.

Oh, they came like herds of locusts
Every woman, child and man
In their lumbering Conestogas
They left their track upon the land.

REFRAIN:
Some would fail and some would prosper
Some would die and some would kill
Some would beg the Lord for their deliverance
Some would curse John Sutter's Mill.

Well, they came from New York City
And they came from Alabam'
With their dreams of finding fortune
In this wild unsettled land.

Well, some fell prey to hostile arrows
As they tried to cross the plains
And some were lost in the Rocky Mountains
With their hands froze to the reins.

REFRAIN

Some pushed on to California
Others stopped to take their rest
And by the spring of eighteen-sixty
They had opened up the West.

And then the railroad came behind them
And the land was plowed and tame
When old John Sutter went to meet his Maker
With not one penny to his name.

REFRAIN

TAG:
Some would curse John Sutter's Mill
Some men's thirsts are never filled.



SUTTER'S MILL
Singer: Dan Fogelberg
Writer: Dan Fogelberg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3EdGlG-eGg
    Note from Joe Offer (Feb 2022):On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold on the property of Johann A. Sutter near Coloma, California. A builder, Marshall was overseeing construction of a sawmill on the American River.

    But at least the lyrics jive with the recording.


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Subject: RE: Sutter's Mill
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 15 Jan 00 - 12:44 AM

Mr. Fogelberg took some liberties with historical fact when he wrote this one. The discovery of gold in California occurred on January 25, 1848, not in "the spring of forty sesven". John Sutter didn't do it anyway, it was James Marshall who found gold at Sutter's Mill. And neither of them "took it to the city" because Sutter was trying to establish a farming community and Sutter and Marshall attempted to keep the gold discovery a secret. A "lumberin' conestoga" was a large freight wagon totally unsuitable for travel to California which was accomplished by the much smaller prarie schooner. Virtually none of the prospectors "fell prey to hostile arrows". The main cause of death along the California Trail was cholera and accidents. Finally, no one was "lost in the Rocky Mountains with their hands froze to the reins" because the Rockies were easily traversed at South Pass which would have been encountered in the middle of summer by immigrants departing from Missouri in late April or May. They may have "froze" in the Sierra Nevadas which would have been encountered in the fall or early in winter.


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Subject: RE: Sutter's Mill
From: Willie-O
Date: 15 Jan 00 - 08:58 AM

Oh, thats a different sutters mill...for reasons I shan't divulge I was thinkin of the one the New Riders of the Purple Sage used to sing. Anyone know that un? I can't remember much words just "it's lyin on the ground there". I mostly remember the song for a nice little guitar hook intro.

Don't sue me I'm only...
Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Sutter's Mill
From: MandolinPaul
Date: 15 Jan 00 - 09:56 AM

How long do you plan to keep using that defense, Willie?


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Subject: Lyr Add: SUTTER'S MILL (unknown)
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 15 Jan 00 - 07:13 PM

I learned this version of Sutter's Mill quite a few years ago and forgot all about it until I saw this thread. I have no idea where I heard it, who wrote it, etc. Any information? (Not about where I heard it, of course).
Could it be the one you are looking for Willie-O?


SUTTER'S MILL

There was a man named Sutter and he owned a little mill
Way out in Californ-i-a where everything was swell.
One day he went a-walking beside a mountain stream,
Found some golden nuggets and thought it all a dream.

CHORUS:
Gold, Lord, and silver too
Old man Sutter didn't know what to do.
He tried to keep it secret, but the story got around
And thousands headed westward to find fortune in the ground.

Men left their wives and children to sail around Cape Horn.
Thousands died aboard their ships in sight of Californ'.
Others went by covered wagon to cross the prairies wide
To die by Indian arrows under starry western skies.

For every man that struck it rich found gold upon his claim
Ten thousand were unlucky and their hopes were all in vain.
And so it was in '49 in Californ-i-a
Though times have changed we still seek gold in our own foolish way.


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Subject: RE: Sutter's Mill (Dan Fogelberg)
From: Genie
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 02:23 PM

Bev and Jerry said, "Mr. Fogelberg took some liberties with historical fact when he wrote this one."
Now there's a first in folk music!   *g*

I do appreciate the history lesson, B & J, but it really doesn't make me like this song any less than I already did (which is a lot) or than I do other historically loose (or exaggerated) songs like Roddy McCorley, John Henry, Pretty Boy Floyd, etc.

For anyone interested, you can hear Dan's version of Sutter's Mill here.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SUTTER’S MILL (John Dawson / New Riders)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Feb 22 - 06:41 PM

A different song, but this is as good a place to post it as any.


SUTTER’S MILL
(John Dawson)
As recorded by the New Riders of the Purple Sage on “Gypsy Cowboy” (1972)

Going down to Sutter’s Mill, pan a little gold.
I’m going down to Sutter’s Mill and stay till I get old.

Going down to Sutter’s Mill; they got gold down there.
I’m going down to Sutter’s Mill, going to get my share.

Now the people they been comin’ down from all across the land,
They say you can find it anywhere; it’s lyin’ on the ground.

Going down to Sutter’s Mill; gonna sing my song.
I’m going down to Sutter’s Mill; would you like to come along?

Would you like come along? Would you like to come along?
I’m going down to Sutter’s Mill; would you like to come along?



Studio performance from Gypsy Cowboy (1971) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ahu6WWDwRI

Live performance-lyrics slightly different - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eE9LkrzskQ


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sutter's Mill (Various)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Feb 22 - 02:40 AM

Here in the Sacramento area, paying homage to John Sutter is out of vogue because he was kind of a tyrant. But we name schools and stuff after James Marshall, the guy who actually discovered the gold at Coloma on the South Fork American River (SOFAR) in 1848. There's a very nice park there where you can visit a replica of the sawmill, and there's a wonderfully treacherous one-lane bridge over the river. I'm on the North Fork, which is in a steep canyon that's 1200 feet deep. I think the North Fork is far more dramatic and beautiful, but the gold was first found on the South Fork. There's still gold found on all three forks of the American River.


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