Johnny Cash - The Cremation of Sam McGee lyrics

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Johnny Cash - The Cremation of Sam McGee lyrics

There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold The Northern Lights have seen queer sights but the queerest they ever did see Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge I cremated Sam McGee Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee where the cotton blooms and blows Why he left his home in the South to roam round the Pole God only knows He was always cold but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell Though he'd often say in his homely way that he'd sooner live in hell On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail Talk of your cold through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail If our eyes we'd close then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn't see It wasn't much fun but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee And that very night as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow And the dogs were fed and the stars o'er head were dancing heel and toe He turned to me and Cap says he I'll cash in this trip I guess And if I do I'm asking that you won't refuse my last request Well he seemed so low that I couldn't say no then he says with a sort of moan It's the cursed cold and it's got right hold till I'm chilled clean through to the bone Yet taint being dead it's my awful dread of the icy grave that pains So I want you to swear that foul or fair you'll cremate my last remains A pal's last need is a thing to heed so I swore I would not fail And we started on at the streak of dawn but God! he looked ghastly pale He crouched on the sleigh and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee There wasn't a breath in that land of d**h and I hurried horror-driven With a corpse half hid that I couldn't get rid because of a promise given It was lashed to the sleigh and it seemed to say you may tax your brawn and brains But you promised true and it's up to you to cremate those last remains Now a promise made is a debt unpaid and the trail has its own stern code In the days to come though my lips were dumb in my heart how I cursed that load In the long long night by the lone firelight while the huskies round in a ring Howled out their woes to the homeless snows oh God! how I loathed the thing And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow And on I went though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low The trail was bad and I felt half mad but I swore I would not give in And I'd often sing to the hateful thing and it hearkened with a grin Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge and a derelict there lay It was jammed in the ice but I saw in a trice it was called the Alice May And I looked at it and I thought a bit and I looked at my frozen chum Then Here said I with a sudden cry is my crematoreum Some planks I tore from the cabin floor and I lit the boiler fire Some coal I found that was lying around and I heaped the fuel higher The flames just soared and the furnace roared such a blaze you seldom see And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal and I stuffed in Sam McGee Then I made a hike for I didn't like to hear him sizzle so And the heavens scowled and the huskies howled and the wind began to blow It was icy cold but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks and I don't know why And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near I was sick with dread but I bravely said: I'll just take a peep inside I guess he's cooked and it's time I looked then the door I opened wide And there sat Sam looking cool and calm in the heart of the furnace roar And he wore a smile you could see a mile and he said please close that door It's fine in here but I greatly fear you'll let in the cold and storm Since I left Plumtree down in Tennessee it's the first time I've been warm There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold The Northern Lights have seen queer sights but the queerest they ever did see Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge I cremated Sam McGee