List all you California boys
And open wide your ears,
For now we start across the plains
With a herd of mules and steers.
Now, bear in mind before you start,
That you'll eat jerked beef, not ham,
And antelope steak, Oh cuss the stuff!
It often proves a sham.
You cannot find a stick of wood
On all this prairie wide;
Whene'er you eat you've got to stand
Or sit on some old bull hide.
It's fun to cook with buffalo chips
Or mesquite, green as corn,—
If I'd once known what I know now
I'd have gone around Cape Horn.
The women have the hardest time
Who emigrate by land;
For when they cook out in the wind
They're sure to burn their hand.
Then they scold their husbands round,
Get mad and spill the tea,—
I'd have thanked my stars if they'd not come out
Upon this bleak prairie.
Most every night we put out guards
To keep the Indians off.
When night comes round some heads will ache,
And some begin to cough.
To be deprived of help at night,
You know is mighty hard,
But every night there's someone sick
To keep from standing guard.
Then they're always talking of what they've got,
And what they're going to do;
Some will say they're content,
For I've got as much as you.
Others will say, "I'll buy or sell,
I'm damned if I care which."
Others will say, "Boys, buy him out,
For he doesn't own a stitch."
Old raw-hide shoes are hell on corns
While tramping through the sands,
And driving jackass by the tail,—
Damn the overland!
I would as leaf be on a raft at sea
And there at once be lost.
John, let's leave the poor old mule,
We'll never get him across!