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Starving To Death On A Government Claim

This song is by Sam Hinton and appears on the compilation American Folk Singers and Balladeers (1964).

Oh, Uncle Chris Boyd is my name, an old bachelor I am,
And I'm keepin' old "bach" on an elegant plan,
And you'll find me out West on a Colorado plain,
I'm starving to death on a government claim.

My house it is built of the "National Soil,"
The walls are erected according to Hoyle,
And the roof has no pitch but is level and plain,
And I always get wet if it happens to rain.

So hurrah! for Bent County, the land of the free,
The home of the bedbug, the louse and the flea.
There's nothing will make a man hard and profane
Like starving to death on a government claim.

How happy I am when I crawl into bed,
And the rattlesnake rattles his tail at my head,
And the gay little centipede void of all fear
Crawls over my pillow and into my ear.

And the nice little bedbug, so joyous and bright,
He keeps me a-laughing two-thirds of the night.
And the gay little flea with tacks on his toes
Plays "Why don't you catch me?" wherever he goes.

So hurrah! for Bent County, where blizzards arise,
Where the winds never cease and the flea never dies,
Where the sun is so hot if in it you remain,
It'll burn you quite crisp on your government claim.

How happy I am on my government claim,
I've nothing to lose and nothing to gain.
I have nothing to eat, nothing to wear,
And nothing from nothing is honest and square.

Here's a word to claim holders who plan for to stay,
You can chew your hardtack till you're toothless and gray.
But as for me, I'll no longer remain,
And starve like a dog on my government claim.

So good-bye to Bent County, good-bye to the West,
I'm going back home to the girl I love best.
And I'll stop in Missouri and get me a wife,
And live on corn dodger the rest of my life.

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