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LYRICS - Trade Songs: American West

Songs:

1. Big Rock Candy Mountains

2. John Henry

3. Dying Cowboy

4. Chopo

5. Texas Rangers

6. Leaving Cheyenne

7. California

8. Colorado Trail

9. When the Work's All Done Next Fall

Big Rock Candy Mountains

By: Harry McClintock

One evening as the sun went down
And the jungle fires were burning,
Down the track came a hobo hiking,
And he said, "Boys, I'm not turning
I'm headed for a land that's far away
Beside the crystal fountains
So come with me, we'll go and see
The Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains, There's a land that's fair and bright,
Where the handouts grow on bushes And you sleep out every night.
Where the boxcars all are empty And the sun shines every day
And the birds and the bees And the cigarette trees
The lemonade springs Where the bluebird sings
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains All the cops have wooden legs
And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs
The farmers' trees are full of fruit And the barns are full of hay
Oh I'm bound to go Where there ain't no snow
Where the rain don't fall The winds don't blow
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains You never change your socks
And the little streams of alcohol Come trickling down the rocks
The brakemen have to tip their hats And the railway bulls are blind
There's a lake of stew And of whiskey too
You can paddle all around it In a big canoe
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains, The jails are made of tin.
And you can walk right out again, As soon as you are in.
There ain't no short-handled shovels, No axes, saws nor picks,
I'm bound to stay Where you sleep all day,
Where they hung the jerk That invented work
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.
I'll see you all this coming fall
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

John Henry

Traditional

When John Henry was a little baby boy
Sitting on his daddy’s knee
He picked up a hammer and a little piece of steel
He said hammer’s gonna be the death of me
This hammer’s Gonna be the death of me

John Henry says to see the captain
Said I’m just a Tennessee Man
But I can drive more steel in the limestone rock
Than a hundred men can drive into the sand
Than a hundred men can drive into the sand

Now, the Captain said to John Henry
"I'm gonna bring my steam drill around
Gonna take that steam drill out on the line
Gonna whop that steel on down, lord, lord
Whop that steel on down"

John Henry says to the Captain
“I may not be nothing but a man
But before I let some old steam drill beat me down
Gonna die with a hammer in my hand lord, lord
Gonna die with a hammer in my hand

John Henry said to his Shaker
"Shaker, you had better sing
cause I'm swinging fifty pounds from my hips on down
Listen to that cold steel ring lord lord
listen to that cold steel ring

The man who invented the steam drill
He thought that it was mighty fine
But John Henry drove all of 15 feet
While the steam drill only made nine lord, lord
The steam drill only made nine

John Henry drove through the mountain
When he broke on through the other side
He went to the captain he looked him in the eye
Then he laid down his hammer and he died
He laid down his hammer and he died

You can talk about John Henry as much as you please
Sing of him all that you can
but there never was born in these United States
Never such a steel driving man,
John Henry was a steel driving man

John Henry was a steel driving man lord, lord
John Henry was a steel driving man.

The Dying Cowboy

Traditional

"O bury me not on the lone prairie."
These words came low and mournfully
From the pallid lips of the youth who lay
On his dying bed at the close of day.

He had wailed in pain 'til o'er his brow
Death's shadows sure were gathering now
He thought of home and loved ones nigh,
As the cowboys gathered to see him die.

"O bury me not on the lone prairie
Where the coyotes howl and the wind blows free
In a shallow grave just six by three
O bury me not on the lone prairie"

"O bury me not..." And his voice failed there.
But they took no heed to his dying prayer.
In a narrow grave, just six by three
They buried him there on the lone prairie.

And the cowboys now as they roam the plain,
For they marked the spot where his bones were laid,
Fling a handful of roses over his grave
And the a pray to God his soul to save.

Oh bury me not on the lone prairie

Chopo

By: N. Howard "Jack" Thorp

Through rocky arroyos so dark and so deep
Down the side of the mountain so slippery and steep
You’ve good judgment, sure footed, wherever you go
You’re a safety conveyance my little Chopo

Chopo my pony, Chopo my pride
Chopo mi amigo, on Chopo I will ride
From Mexico’s border ‘cross Texas Llanos
To the salt Pecos River I ride you Chopo

Whether single or double or in the lead of a team
Over highways and byways or crossing a stream
You’re always in fix and willing to go
Whenever you’re called on my chico Chopo

Chorus

You’re a good roping horse. You were never jerked down
When tied to a steer, you will circle him round
Let him once cross the string, and over he’ll go
You sabe the business, my cowhorse Chopo

Chorus

One day on the Llano, a hail storm began
The herds were stampeded, the horses all ran
The lighting it glittered, a cyclone did blow
But you faced the sweet music my little Chopo

Chorus

Texas Rangers

Traditional

Through rocky arroyos so dark and so deep
Down the side of the mountain so slippery and steep
You’ve good judgment, sure footed, wherever you go
You’re a safety conveyance my little Chopo

Chopo my pony, Chopo my pride
Chopo mi amigo, on Chopo I will ride
From Mexico’s border ‘cross Texas Llanos
To the salt Pecos River I ride you Chopo

Whether single or double or in the lead of a team
Over highways and byways or crossing a stream
You’re always in fix and willing to go
Whenever you’re called on my chico Chopo

Chorus

You’re a good roping horse. You were never jerked down
When tied to a steer, you will circle him round
Let him once cross the string, and over he’ll go
You sabe the business, my cowhorse Chopo

Chorus

One day on the Llano, a hail storm began
The herds were stampeded, the horses all ran
The lighting it glittered, a cyclone did blow
But you faced the sweet music my little Chopo

Chorus

Leaving Cheyenne

By: Charley Willis

Come, all you Texas rangers, wherever you may be,
I’ll tell you of some troubles that happened unto me.
My name is nothing extra, so that I will not tell,
And here’s to all you rangers, I’m sure I wish you well.

Twas the age of seventeen I joined the jolly band,
We marched from San Antonio down to the Rio Grande.
Our captain he informed us, perhaps he thought it right,
“Before we reach the station, you’ll surely have to fight.”

And when the bugle sounded, our captain gave command.
“To arms, to arms,” he shouted, “and by your horses stand.”
I saw the smoke ascending, it seemed to reach the sky;
And then the thought it struck me first was, my time had come to die.

The enemy was coming, I heard them give the yell;
My feelings at that moment, no tongue can ever tell.
I heard the pounding hoof beats, the bullets round me flew,
And all my strength it left me, and all my courage too.

We fought for nine many hours before the strife was o’er.
The like of dead and wounded I never saw before.
And when the sun was rising, the enemy had fled,
So we loaded up our rifles and counted up our dead.

And all of us were wounded, our noble captain slain,
The sun was shining sadly across the bloody plain;
And seventeen brave rangers as ever roamed the West
Were buried by their comrades with bullets in their breast.

And now my song is ended; I guess I’ve sung enough;
The life of a ranger I’m sure is very tough.
If you're in this condition I know you'd like to roam
But I advise you by experience you'd better stay at home

California

Traditional

When we formed our band we were all well manned
To journey afar to the promised land
The golden ore is rich in store
On the banks of the Sacramento shore

Chorus

Go, boys, go
To California go
There's plenty of gold in the world, I'm told
On the banks of the Sacramento shore

As oft we roam o'er the dark sea's foam
We'll not forget kind friends at home
But memory kind still brings to mind
The love of friends we left behind

Chorus

We'll expect our share of the coarsest fare
And sometimes sleep in the open air
On the cold damp ground we'll all sleep sound
Except when the wolves go howling 'round

Chorus

As we explore to the distant shore
Filling our pockets with the shining ore
How it will sound as the shout goes 'round
Filling our pockets with a dozen pounds

The gold is there almost anywhere
We dig it out rich with an iron bar
But where it is thick, with spade or pick
We take out chunks as big as a brick

Chorus

Colorado Trail

By: Dr. T.L. Chapman

Eyes like the morning star
cheeks like the rose
Laura was a pretty girl
God Almighty knows
Weep, all ye little rains
Wail, winds, wail
All along, along, along
the Colorado Trail


Laura was a laughing girl
joyful in the day
Laura was my darling girl
Now she's gone away
Weep, all ye little rains
Wail, winds, wail
All along, along, along
the Colorado Trail


Sixteen years she graced the Earth
and all of life was good
Now my life lies buried
'neath a cross of wood
Weep, all ye little rains
Wail, winds, wail
All along, along, along
the Colorado Trail

When the Work's All Done Next Fall

By: D.J. O'Malley

A group of jolly cowboys discussing plans at ease
Says one I'll tell you something if you would listen please
I am an old cow-puncher I'm here all dressed in rags
I used to be a tough one and go on great big jags

I have got a home boys and a good one you all know
Although I haven't seen it since many long ago
I'm headed back to Dixie once more to see them all
I'm going to see my mother when the work's all done this fall

When I left my home, boys my mother for me cried
She begged me not to go boys for me she would have died
My mother's heart is breaking, breaking for me that's all
With God's help I'll see her when the work's all done this fall"

This very night this cowboy went out to stand his guard
The night was dark and cloudy 'twas storming very hard
The cattle they got frightened and rushed in wild stampede
The cowboys tried to head them while riding at full speed


While riding in the darkness so loudly he did shout
Trying his best to head them and turn the herd about
His saddle horse did stumble and on him it did fall
The boy'll not see his mother when the work's all done this fall

"Send my ma my wages boys, the wages I have earned
I am so afraid boys, the last steer I have turned
I'm going to a new range I hear my Master's call
I'll not see my mother when the work's all done this fall

George you take my saddle, Bill, you take my bed
Jack you take my pistol after I am dead
Think of me kindly when you look upon them all
For I'll not see my mother when the work's all done this fall"

Poor Charlie was buried at sunrise no tombstone for his head
Nothing but a little board, and this is what it said
"Charlie died at daybreak, he died from a fall
and will not see his mother when the work's all done this fall"

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