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Cremation Of Sam Mcgee Lyrics

Artist: Hank Snow
Album: Tales Of The Yukon

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 death 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
Comments/Interpretations
by Anon E. Mouse on 5/22/2008 4:22pm
These "lyrics" are actually a poem written by Robert W. Service, and should be credited as such.


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