nursery rhymes

The Arkansas Traveler

Oh once upon a time in Arkansas,
An old man sat in his little cabin door,
And fiddled at a tune that he liked to hear,
A jolly old tune that he played by ear.

It was raining hard but the fiddler didn't care;
He sawed away at the popular air.
Though his roof tree leaked like a water fall.
That didn't seem to bother that man at all!

A traveler was riding by that day,
And stopped to hear him a-practicing away.
The cabin was afloat and his feet were wet,
But still the old man didn't seem to fret.

So the stranger said: "Now the way it seems to me,
You'd better mend your roof," said he.
But the old man said, as he played away:
"I couldn't mend it now, as it's a rainy day."

The traveler replied: "That's all quite true,
But this, I think, is the thing for you to do:
Get busy on a day that is fair and bright,
Then pitch the old roof till it's good and tight!"

But the old man kept a-playing at his reel,
And tapped the ground with his leathery heel.
"Get along," said he, "for you give me a pain;
My cabin never leaks when it doesn't rain!">

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did you know?

"The Arkansas Traveler" was the state song of Arkansas from 1949 to 1963; it has been the state historical song since 1987.