Digital Tradition Mirror

I'm Off to Boise City

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Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

I'm Off to Boise City

Come gather round me, miners, I got something for to tell
Make you bust your britches and cause your bosom to swell;
The white folks must be crazy, the news it just come out
The news from Boise City, and it's comin' from the south,
     Way, hey Jerusalem.

I have a wooden shovel and another made of tin,
And the way I scoop that gravel up, it surely is a sin.
If them city white folks ask us who we be,
Just tell 'em its the California Gold Mining Company
     Way, hey Jerusalem.

I'm goin' downtown, the telegraph to hire
And see if they need a colored man to greasen up the wire,
When I get down to Bannock I'll take a cargo train
And then on over to Centerville, and I'll telegraph again.
     Way, hey Jerusalem.

Old Dan Tucker needn't want for his supper anymore
'Cause Abe's gonna take him down to that old Virginia Shore
I said, "So long and goodbye, my little Mary Blummer
I'm off to Boise City, but I'll come back next summer."
     Way, hey Jerusalem.

The elephant ate his pot pie and danced around the crocodile
Oh, Jerusalem, I am bound to go for a while
I'm off to Boise City with a shovel and a hoe
Pack up all your shiny clothes and we'll be on the go.

note: The Idaho gold rush of the 1860s attracted prospectors from all over, incl
uding old hands from the Banks of the Sacramento, Boise itself thrived on whiske
y and gambling, with most financial transactions conducted in 'dust'. The saloon
s rang with music, incluing this takeoff of a blackface minstrel show number of
the 1850s, entitled 'I'm Off For California.' "

From Songs of the American People, Silverman


Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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