Sophia found a book of folk songs at the piano in the home where we’re staying for the next several weeks. The book incudes “Big Rock Candy Mountain”, one of my favorites.
“Big Rock Candy Mountain”, first recorded by Harry McClintock in 1928, is a song about a hobo’s idea of paradise, a modern version of the medieval concept of Cockaigne. It is a place where “hens lay soft boiled eggs” and there are “cigarette trees.” McClintock claims to have written the song in 1895 based on tales from his misspent youth hoboing through the United States, but some believe the song, or at least aspects of it, have existed for far longer.
Considering our travels and our search for a next place to settle, it seems appropriate to post this video of Haywire Mac (McClintock’s “hobo” name) singing* the song. It’s the same version that appears in the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou?, another favorite.
*It’s unlikely that the video and the soundtrack actually match. I think someone just put the song to a soundless film of McClintock playing his guitar.