THE BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN

“The Big Rock Candy Mountain” was first recorded by Harry McClintock in 1928. Burl Ives recorded a popular version for children in 1949. It is a folk song about a tramp’s ideal home.

McClintock claimed to have written the song in 1895. His hobo name was  Haywire Mac. Some say the song was originally a song to lure children into the hobo way of life.

The words have changed over the years. An original verse is:

The punk rolled up his big blue eyes

And said to the jocker, “Sandy,

I’ve hiked and hiked and wandered too,

But I ain’t seen any candy.

I’ve hiked and hiked till my feet are sore

And I’ll be damned if I hike any more

To be buggered sore like a hobo’s whore

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

Big Rock Candy Mountain lyrics:

One evening as the sun went down and the jungle fire was burning

Down the track came a hobo hiking and he said boys I’m not turning

I’m headin for a land that’s far away beside the crystal fountains

So come with me we’ll go and see the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains there’s a land that’s fair and bright

Where the handouts grow on bushes and you sleep out every night

Where the boxcars are all empty and the sun shines every day

On the birds and the bees and the cigarette trees

Where the lemonade springs where the bluebird sings

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains all the cops have wooden legs

And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth and the hens lay soft boiled eggs

The farmer’s trees are full of fruit and the barns are full of hay

Oh, I’m bound to go where there ain’t no snow

Where the rain don’t fall and the wind don’t blow

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains you never change your socks

And the little streams of alcohol come a-trickling down the rocks

The brakemen have to tip their hats and the railroad bulls are blind

There’s a lake of stew and of whiskey too

You can paddle all around ’em in a big canoe

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains the jails are made of tin

And you can walk right out again as soon as you are in

There ain’t no short handled shovels, no axes saws or picks

I’m a goin to stay where you sleep all day

Where they hung the jerk that invented work

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

I’ll see you all this coming fall in the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

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