Six Songs

Song Cycle by Francis Boott (1813 - 1904)

Word count: 1790

1. The heathen Chinee [sung text not yet checked]

I reside at Table Mountain, and my name is Truthful James; 
I am not up to small deceit, or any sinful games; 
And I'll tell in simple language what I know about the row 
That broke up our Society upon the Stanislow.

But first I would remark, that it is not a proper plan 
For any scientific gent to whale his fellow-man, 
And, if a member don't agree with his peculiar whim, 
To lay for that same member for to "put a head" on him.

Now nothing could be finer or more beautiful to see 
Than the first six months' proceedings of that same Society, 
Till Brown of Calaveras brought a lot of fossil bones 
That he found within a tunnel near the tenement of Jones.

Then Brown he read a paper, and he reconstructed there, 
From those same bones, an animal that was extremely rare; 
And Jones then asked the Chair for a suspension of the rules, 
Till he could prove that those same bones was one of his lost mules.

Then Brown he smiled a bitter smile, and said he was at fault, 
It seemed he had been trespassing on Jones's family vault; 
He was a most sarcastic man, this quiet Mr. Brown, 
And on several occasions he had cleaned out the town.

Now I hold it is not decent for a scientific gent 
To say another is an ass, - at least, to all intent; 
Nor should the individual who happens to be meant 
Reply by heaving rocks at him, to any great extent.

Then Abner Dean of Angel's raised a point of order, when 
A chunk of old red sandstone took him in the abdomen, 
And he smiled a kind of sickly smile, and curled up on the floor, 
And the subsequent proceedings interested him no more.

For, in less time than I write it, every member did engage 
In a warfare with the remnants of the palaeozoic age; 
And the way they heaved those fossils in their anger was a sin, 
Till the skull of an old mammoth caved the head of Thompson in.

And this is all I have to say of these improper games, 
For I live at Table Mountain, and my name is Truthful James; 
And I've told in simple language what I knew about the row 
That broke up our Society upon the Stanislow.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Chiquita [sung text not yet checked]

Beautiful! Sir, you may say so. Thar isn't her match in the county;
Is thar, old gal, -- Chiquita, my darling, my beauty?
Feel of that neck, sir, -- thar's velvet! Whoa! steady, -- ah, will you, you vixen!
Whoa! I say. Jack, trot her out; let the gentleman look at her paces.

Morgan! -- she ain't nothing else, and I've got the papers to prove it.
Sired by Chippewa Chief, and twelve hundred dollars won't buy her.
Briggs of Tuolumne owned her. Did you know Briggs of Tuolumne?
Busted hisself in White Pine, and blew out his brains down in 'Frisco?

Hedn't no savey, hed Briggs. Thar, Jack! that'll do, -- quit that foolin'!
Nothin' to what she kin do, when she's got her work cut out before her.
Hosses is hosses, you know, and likewise, too, jockeys is jockeys:
And 'tain't ev'ry man as can ride as knows what a hoss has got in him.

Know the old ford on the Fork, that nearly got Flanigan's leaders?
Nasty in daylight, you bet, and a mighty rough ford in low water!
Well, it ain't six weeks ago that me and the Jedge and his nevey
Struck for that ford in the night, in the rain, and the water all round us;

Up to our flanks in the gulch, and Rattlesnake Creek just a-bilin',
Not a plank left in the dam, and nary a bridge on the river.
I had the gray, and the Jedge had his roan, and his nevey, Chiquita;
And after us trundled the rocks jest loosed from the top of the canyon.

Lickity, lickity, switch, we came to the ford, and Chiquita
Buckled right down to her work, and, a fore I could yell to her rider,
Took water jest at the ford, and there was the Jedge and me standing,
And twelve hundred dollars of hoss-flesh afloat, and a-driftin' to thunder!

Would ye b'lieve it? That night, that hoss, that 'ar filly, Chiquita,
Walked herself into her stall, and stood there, all quiet and dripping:
Clean as a beaver or rat, with nary a buckle of harness,
Just as she swam the Fork, -- that hoss, that 'ar filly, Chiquita.

That's what I call a hoss! and --  What did you say? --  Oh, the nevey?
Drownded, I reckon, -- leastways, he never kem beck to deny it.
Ye see the derned fool had no seat, ye couldn't have made him a rider;
And then, ye know, boys will be boys, and hosses -- well, hosses is hosses!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Twenty years [sung text not yet checked]

Beg your pardon, old fellow! I think
I was dreaming just now when you spoke.
The fact is, the musical clink
Of the ice on your wine-goblet's brink
A chord of my memory woke.

And I stood in the pasture-field where
Twenty summers ago I had stood;
And I heard in that sound, I declare,
The clinking of bells in the air,
Of the cows coming home from the wood.

Then the apple-bloom shook on the hill;
And the mullein-stalks tilted each lance;
And the sun behind Rapalye's mill
Was my uttermost West, and could thrill
Like some fanciful land of romance.

Then my friend was a hero, and then
My girl was an angel. In fine,
I drank buttermilk; for at ten
Faith asks less to aid her than when
At thirty we doubt over wine.

Ah, well, it DOES seem that I must
Have been dreaming just now when you spoke,
Or lost, very like, in the dust
Of the years that slow fashioned the crust
On that bottle whose seal you last broke.

Twenty years was its age, did you say?
Twenty years? Ah, my friend, it is true!
All the dreams that have flown since that day,
All the hopes in that time passed away,
Old friend, I've been drinking with you!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Jim [sung text not yet checked]

Say there! P'r'aps
Some o' you chaps
    Might know Jim Wild?
Well, -- no offense:
Thar aint no sense
    In gittin' riled!

Jim was my chum
    Up on the Bar:
That's why I come
    Down from up yar,
Lookin' for Jim.
Thank ye, sir! You
Ain't o' that crew, --
    Blest if you are!

Money? Not much:
    That ain't my kind;
I ain't no such.
    Rum? I don't mind,
Seein' it's you.

Well, this yer Jim --
Did you know him?
Jes' 'bout your size;
Same kind of eyes; --
Well, that is strange:
    Why, it's two year
    Since he came here,
Sick, for a change.

Well, here's to us:
    Eh?
The h-- you say!
    Dead?
That little cuss?

What makes you star',
You over thar?
Can't a man drop
's glass in yer shop
But you must r'ar?
    It would n't take
    D--d much to break
You and yer bar.

    Dead!
Poor -- little -- Jim!
Why, thar was me,
Jones, and Bob Lee,
Harry and Ben, --
No account men:
Then to take him!

Well, thar -- Good-by --
No more, sir -- I --
    Eh?
What's that you say?
Why, dern it! -- sho! --
No? Yes! By Joe!
    Sold!

Sold! Why, you limb,
You ornery,
    Derned old
Long-legged Jim.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Flynn of Virginia [sung text not yet checked]

Didn't know Flynn, --
Flynn of Virginia, --
Long as he's been 'yar?
Look 'ee here, stranger,
Whar HEV you been?

Here in this tunnel
He was my pardner,
That same Tom Flynn, --
Working together,
In wind and weather,
Day out and in.

Didn't know Flynn!
Well, that IS queer;
Why, it's a sin
To think of Tom Flynn, --
Tom with his cheer,
Tom without fear, --
Stranger, look 'yar!

Thar in the drift,
Back to the wall,
He held the timbers
Ready to fall;
Then in the darkness
I heard him call:
"Run for your life, Jake!
Run for your wife's sake!
Don't wait for me."
And that was all
Heard in the din,
Heard of Tom Flynn, --
Flynn of Virginia.

That's all about
Flynn of Virginia.
That lets me out.
Here in the damp, --
Out of the sun, --
That 'ar derned lamp
Makes my eyes run.
Well, there, -- I'm done!

But, sir, when you'll
Hear the next fool
Asking of Flynn, --
Flynn of Virginia, --
Just you chip in,
Say you knew Flynn;
Say that you've been 'yar.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Upon the Stanislow [sung text not yet checked]

I reside at Table Mountain, and my name is Truthful James;
I am not up to small deceit or any sinful games;
And I'll tell in simple language what I know about the row
That broke up our Society upon the Stanislow.

But first I would remark, that it is not a proper plan
For any scientific gent to whale his fellow-man,
And, if a member don't agree with his peculiar whim,
To lay for that same member for to "put a head" on him.

Now nothing could be finer or more beautiful to see
Than the first six months' proceedings of that same Society,
Till Brown of Calaveras brought a lot of fossil bones
That he found within a tunnel near the tenement of Jones.

Then Brown he read a paper, and he reconstructed there,
From those same bones, an animal that was extremely rare;
And Jones then asked the Chair for a suspension of the rules,
Till he could prove that those same bones was one of his lost mules.

Then Brown he smiled a bitter smile, and said he was at fault,
It seemed he had been trespassing on Jones's family vault;
He was a most sarcastic man, this quiet Mr. Brown,
And on several occasions he had cleaned out the town.

Now I hold it is not decent for a scientific gent
To say another is an ass, -- at least, to all intent;
Nor should the individual who happens to be meant
Reply by heaving rocks at him, to any great extent.

Then Abner Dean of Angel's raised a point of order, when
A chunk of old red sandstone took him in the abdomen,
And he smiled a kind of sickly smile, and curled up on the floor,
And the subsequent proceedings interested him no more.

For, in less time than I write it, every member did engage
In a warfare with the remnants of a palaeozoic age;
And the way they heaved those fossils in their anger was a sin,
Till the skull of an old mammoth caved the head of Thompson in.

And this is all I have to say of these improper games,
For I live at Table Mountain, and my name is Truthful James;
And I've told in simple language what I know about the row
That broke up our Society upon the Stanislow.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]