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American Ballads and Folk Songs
You have to stand a watch at night, to keep the Indians off, About sundown some heads will ache, and some begin to cough; To be deprived of health we know is always very hard, Though every night some one is sick, to get rid of standing guard.
Your canteens, they should be well filled, with poison alkali, So when you get tired of traveling, you can cramp all up and die; The best thing in the world to keep your bowels loose and free, Is fight and quarrel among yourselves, and seldom if ever agree.
There's not a log to make a seat, along the river Platte, So when you eat, you've got to stand, or sit down square and flat j It's fun to cook with buffalo wood, take some that's newly born, If I knew once what I know now, I'd 'a' gone around the Horn!
The desert's nearly death on corns, while walking in the sand,
And drive a jackass by the tail, it's damn this overland}
I'd rather ride a raft at sea, and then at once be lost.
Says Bill, "Let's leave this poor old mule, we can't get him across,"
The ladies have the hardest time, that emigrate by land, For when they cook with buffalo wood, they often burn a hand; And then they jaw their husbands round, get mad and spill the tea, Wish to the Lord they'd be taken down with a turn of the di-a-ree.
When you arrive at Placerville, or Sacramento City, You've nothing in the world to eat, no money—what a pity! Your striped pants are all worn out, which causes people to laugh, When they see you gaping round the town like a great big brindle calf.
You're lazy, poor, and all broke down, such hardships you endure; The post office at Sacramento all such men will cure; You'll find a line from ma and pa, and one from lovely Sal, If that don't physic you every mail, you never will get well.