When I First Came to this Land


Lyrics

1. When I first came to this land, I was not a wealthy man.
Then I got myself a shack, I did what I could.
And I called my shack, “Break my back.”

Refrain
For the land was sweet and good, I did what I could.

2. When I first came to this land, I was not a wealthy man.
Then I got myself a cow, I did what I could.
And I called my cow, “No Milk Now,”
and I called my shack, “Break My Back” Refrain

3. When I first came to this land, I was not a wealthy man.
Then I got myself a duck, I did what I could.
And I called my duck, “Out of Luck,” and I called my cow…

4. When I first came to this land, I was not a wealthy man.
Then I got myself a wife, I did what I could.
And I called my wife, “Run for Your Life,” and I called my duck…

5. When I first came to this land, I was not a wealthy man.
Then I got myself a son, I did what I could.
And I called my son, “Your Work’s Done,” and I called my wife…


Extras for Plus Members

  • Song with chords in 2 keys (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen



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3 thoughts on “When I First Came to this Land”

  1. I’m so glad you posted this! I love this song and didn’t know it was out in a book. I was surprised to see it called a folk song because a series I had many years ago had this song attributed to Oscar Brand, who I knew had written music for Broadway. Evidently he was the translator of the lyrics into English from the Pennsylvania Dutch.

    I have really enjoyed your postings of cowboy songs and Goin’ Down to Cairo,too. With my shortened class time I don’t get to some of these old stand-bys that I love.

    1. Oscar Brand translated it in 1957 from a Pennsylvania Dutch folk song. I love these folk songs, too! I want to help keep them alive!

  2. I’m so glad you posted this! I love this song and didn’t know it was out in a book. I was surprised to see it called a folk song because a series I had many years ago had this song attributed to Oscar Brand, who I knew had written music for Broadway. Evidently he was the translator of the lyrics into English from the Pennsylvania Dutch.

    I have really enjoyed your postings of cowboy songs and Goin’ Down to Cairo,too. With my shortened class time I don’t get to some of these old stand-bys that I love.

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