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The Bunk-House Orchestra

  Wrangle up your mouth-harps, drag your banjo out,
  Tune your old guitarra till she twangs right stout,
  For the snow is on the mountains and the wind is on the plain,
  But we'll cut the chimney's moanin' with a livelier refrain.

    _Shinin' 'dobe fireplace, shadows on the wall--_
    _(See old Shorty's friv'lous toes a-twitchin' at the call:)_
    _It's the best grand high that there is within the law_
    _When seven jolly punchers tackle "Turkey in the Straw."_

  Freezy was the day's ride, lengthy was the trail,
  Ev'ry steer was haughty with a high arched tail,
  But we held 'em and we shoved 'em, for our longin' hearts were tried
  By a yearnin' for tobacker and our dear fireside.

    _Swing 'er into stop-time, don't you let 'er droop!_
    _(You're about as tuneful as a coyote with the croup!)_
    _Ay, the cold wind bit when we drifted down the draw,_
    _But we drifted on to comfort and to "Turkey in the Straw."_

  Snarlin' when the rain whipped, cussin' at the ford--
  Ev'ry mile of twenty was a long discord,
  But the night is brimmin' music and its glory is complete
  When the eye is razzle-dazzled by the flip o' Shorty's feet!

    _Snappy for the dance, now, fill she up and shoots!_
    _(Don't he beat the devil's wife for jiggin' in 'is boots?)_
    _Shorty got throwed high and we laughed till he was raw,_
    _But tonight he's done forgot it prancin' "Turkey in the Straw."_

  Rainy dark or firelight, bacon rind or pie,
  Livin' is a luxury that don't come high;
  Oh, be happy and onruly while our years and luck allow,
  For we all must die or marry less than forty years from now!

    _Lively on the last turn! lope 'er to the death!_
    _(Reddy's soul is willin' but he's gettin' short o' breath.)_
    _Ay, the storm wind sings and old trouble sucks his paw_
    _When we have an hour of firelight set to "Turkey in the Straw!"_

Poem by Badger Clark
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