Digital Tradition Mirror

Big Combine

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Big Combine
(Jock Coleman)

Come all you rounders, if you want to hear,
The story of a bunch o' stiffs a-harvesting here,
The best bunch o' workers ever come down the line:
It's the harvesting crew on the big combine.

There's travelin' men from Sweden in this grand old crew,
Canada and Scotland and Oregon too.
I've listened to their twaddle for a month or more.
Never seen a bunch o' harvest stiffs like this before.

Cho: Oh, you ought to see this bunch o' harvest pippins.
     You ought to see. They're really something fine.
     You ought to see this bunch of harvest pippin,
     The bunch o' harvest pippins on the big combine.

Oscar, he's from Sweden, as stout as a mule.
He can jig and dance and peddle the bull.
He's an Independent (sic) Worker of the World as well.
Says he loves the independence but the work is hell!

Well, he hates millionaires, and he wants to see 'em
Blow up all the grafters in the land of liberty.
Says he's gonna leave this world of politics and strife,
Stay down in the jungle with a stew can all his life.

Cho: Casey Jones, he knew Oscar Nelson.
     Casey Jones, he knew Oscar fine.
     Casey Jones, he knew Oscar Nelson.
     He kicked him off the boxcars on the S. P. line.

The next one I'm to mention, the next in line,
The lad that punches horses on the big combine,
He's the man that tells the horses just what to do,
But the things he tells the horses, well, I can't tell you.

It's Limp and Dude and Dolly, you get out of the grain.
Get over there, Buster. You're over the chain.
Pat & Pete & Polly, you get in there and pull.
Get over there, Barney, you durned old fool.

Cho: You out to see, you ought to see our skinner.
     You ought to see our skinner. He's really something fine.
     You ought to see, you ought to see our skinner.
     You ought to see our skinner on the big combine.

Well, I'm the header-puncher. You can bet that's me.
I do more work than all the other three,
Workin' with my hands and my arms and my feet,
Pickin' up the barley and the golden wheat.

I gotta pull the lever and turn the old wheel.
Got to watch the sickle and the draper and the reel,
And if I hit a badger hill and pull up a rock,
They'll say, "Now he's done it, the damn fool jock!"

Cho: I'm that man. I'm the header puncher.
     I'm that man, though it isn't in my line.
     I'm that man. I'm the header puncher.
     I'm the header puncher on the big combine!

As printed in Charles Wellington Furlong's "Let Her Buck: The Passing of the Old
West," 1923. Recorded by Glenn Ohrlin on "The Hellbound Train" and by Art Thieme
on "That's The Ticket."
Words, Jock Coleman, 1919. Tune, "Casey Jones."


Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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