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American Ballads and Folk Songs
We stopped at Valparaiso, where the women are so loose,
And all got drunk as usual, got shoved in the calaboose;
Our ragged, rotten sails were patched, the ship made ready for sea,
But every man, except the cook, was up town on a spree.
We sobered off, set sail again, on short allowance, of course, With water thick as castor-oil, and stinking beef much worse j We had the scurvy and the itch, and any amount of lice, The medidne chest went overboard, with blue mass, cards and dice.
We arrived at San Francisco, and all went to the mines, We left an agent back to sell our goods of various kinds; A friend wrote up to let us know our agent, Mr. Gates, Had sold the ship and cargo, sent the money to the States.
I'm a lonely bull-whacker On the Red-Cloud line, I can lick any son-of-a-gun That will yoke an ox of mine. And if I can catch him, You bet I will or try, I'll lick him with an oxbow— Root hog or die.
It's out on the road With a very heavy load, With a very awkward team And a very muddy road, You may whip and you may holler, But if you cuss it's on the sly; Then whack the cattle on, boys— Root hog or die.
•Text from Cctoboy Songs (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1910).