Sunday, August 2, 2015

Acres of Clams

I’ve wandered all over this country
Prospecting and digging for gold
I’ve tunneled, hydraulicced and cradled
And I have been frequently sold.

For each man who grew rich by mining
I saw that a hundred grew poor
So I made up my mind to try farming
The only pursuit that is sure.

So rolling my grub in my blanket
I left all my tools on the ground
And started one morning to shank it
For the land that they call Puget Sound.

Arriving flat broke in midwinter
I found it enveloped in fog
And covered all over with timber
As thick as the hair on a dog.

When I looked on my prospects so gloomy
The tears trickled over my face
And I thought that my travels had brought me
To the end of the jumping-off place.

So I staked me a claim in the forest
And sat myself down to hard toil
For two years I chopped and I struggled
But I never got down to the soil.

I tried to get out of that country
But poverty forced me to stay
Until I became an old settler
Then nothing could drive me away.

And now that I'm used to the climate
I think that if a man ever found
A place to live and be happy
That Eden is on Puget Sound.

No longer the slave of ambition
I laugh at the world and its shams
As I think of my pleasant condition
Surrounded by acres of clams.
Never heard anybody sing this until I taught it myself. My lips move when I read music but eventually I puzzle it out. A couple verses here I hadn’t known before — still trying to work them in.