In the spring of forty-seven
So the story it is told
Old John Sutter went to the Mill site
Found a piece of shinin' gold.
Well, he took it to the city
Where the word like wildfire spread
Old John Sutter soon came to wishin'
He'd left that stone in the river bed.
Oh, they came like herds of locusts
Every wo-man, child and man
In their lumberin' connes-togas
They left their track upon the land.
Some would fail and some would prosper
Some would die and some would kill
Some would beg the Lord for their de-liverance
Some would curse John Sutter's Mill.
Well, they came from New York City
And they came from Ala-bam'
With their dream of findin' for-tune
In this wild unsettled land.
Well, some fell prey to hostile arrows
As they tried to cross the land
And some were lost in the Rocky Mountains
With their hands froze to the reins.
Some pushed on to Cali-fornia
Others stopped to take their rest
And by the spring of eighteen-sixty
They had opened up the west.
And then the railroad came be-hind them
And the land was plowed and tame
When old John Sutter went to meet his Maker
With not one penny to his name.
Some would curse John Sutter's Mill
Some men's thirsts are never filled.
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