Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Sutters Mill

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Sutter's Mill

Sutter's Mill
(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 shinin' 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 lumberin' connestogas
They left their track upon the land.

cho: 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 dream of findin' 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.


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.


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

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