The Ballad of the California Gold Rush

 

One of my kids is studying US history in school this year, and decided to write and record a folk song about the California gold rush of 1849 for a school assignment. Of course I helped him with it. The actual assignment was to make something about the Westward Expansion, and it could have been a poster, drawing, a class presentation, or rewriting the lyrics to a song. He really went the extra mile on this one, and I hope he gets extra credit. The  song is based on The Ballad of Sally Anne, a Mark O’ Conner recording on the album The New Nashville Cats.

This was a 100% Linux production: Ardour, Dragonfly Reverb, Calf Studio Gear, AVL Drumkits, and x42 Plugins, on Linux Mint 19.3. I did the guitars, bass, and mandolin, and he did the vocals, drums, and piano synth programming. He also did most of the mixing and mastering, with a little coaching.

I’m super proud of my little geek boy!

Here are the lyrics:

450x600-IMG_6715Verse 1
They say, in California
There’s gold! I thought I’d warn ya.
A fortune waiting for a claim
To find their treasure was their aim.

When one had heard they went on west
Ahead them lay a greater test
To cross the Rocky Mountain’s snow
And beat the others, keen to go.

Chorus
Around the world was felt a thrill
Gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill
The thought of gold made their blood chill
Around the world they felt that thrill.

Verse 2
Hungry from the journey long

Verse 1
They say, in California
There’s gold! I thought I’d warn ya.
A fortune waiting for a claim
To find their treasure was their aim.

When one had heard they went on west
Ahead them lay a greater test
To cross the Rocky Mountain’s snow
And beat the others, keen to go.

Chorus
Around the world was felt a thrill
Gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill
The thought of gold made their blood chill
Around the world they felt that thrill.

Verse 2
Hungry from the journey long
How they harvested gold was downright wrong
They cut through hills with the water’s tongue
Expecting treasure by the ton

Repeat chorus

Bridge
Let’s get gold now, we’ll be rich!
Let’s get gold now, we’ll be rich!

Verse 3
When five years past, the gold was gone
But all the land had a new dawn
Francisco, once a tiny town
Had now a mighty golden crown.

Repeat chorus X2
How they harvested gold was downright wrong
They cut through hills with the water’s tongue
Expecting treasure by the ton

Repeat chorus

Bridge
Let’s get gold now, we’ll be rich!
Let’s get gold now, we’ll be rich!

Verse 3
When five years past, the gold was gone
But all the land had a new dawn
Francisco, once a tiny town
Had now a mighty golden crown.

Repeat chorus X2

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