Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Know Ye the Land

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Know Ye the Land?

Know Ye the Land?

Know ye the land where the bare rocks and old pines
Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime?
Where the last hopes of thousands dissolved by the gold mines,
To many bring sorrow, drive others to crime?
'Tis the land of adventurers, gleaned from all nations,
English, French, Yankee, Italian and Jew,
Uncared for, all former distinctions and stations,
All find the same level, who seek Cariboo.

'Tis the land of the gambler, the thief and the debtor,
Of the storekeeper ruined through trusting to "jaw",
Where the sentence of Begbie loads those with a fetter
Whom he should hang in justice, but cannot by law.
'Tis the land of log cabins, bedrock, flumes and ditches,
Hydraulics and sluices, of tunnels and shafts,
Where in keen strike to accumulate riches,
All friends's forgotten, and hardened all hearts.

'Tis the land of false swearing, of cursing, blaspheming,
Where the sharper by poker or monte gain wealth,
Where he who is cute can live easy in scheming,
While the miner's soon bankrupt in pocket and health.
It is here that the almighty dollar is rated
A god in this Anglo-American land,
Where the greatest of blackguards, if lucky, is feted,
While the poor man, though honest, may starve and be damned.

Know ye the land where the bare rocks and old pines
Are emblems of deeds that are done in their clime,
Where the last hopes of thousands dissolved by the gold mines
To many bring sorrow, drive others to crime?
Oh, how happy I'll be when on board of the steamer!
How joyful I cannot find language to tell,
When wishing each miner and loafer and schemer,
Cariboo and its horrors a final farewell!

- words by J. Lawrence, in MS in BC Provincial
     Archives.  Tune adapted by PJ Thomas from a hymn
     tune first printed 1835. JB
JB
                                                 apr96
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