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"The California Song," Lyrics, Text Format

Five note acsending tonic arpeggio entends the vocal range.


  • Grade: Fourth
  • Origin: USA – Folk Song
  • Key: F Major
  • Time: 2/2 counted in 4/4
  • Form: AB verse/refrain
  • Rhythm: beginners: | ta ta ti ti ti ti | ta ta ta ta |
    | ta ti ti ta ti ti | ta ta ta ti ti | ta ti ti ta ta |
    | ta/a ta/a | ta/a/a ta | ta/a/a ti ti | ti ti ta ta ti ti |
  • Pitches: intermediate: So Do Re Mi So La – pentatonic scale
  • Intervals: advanced: Mi/So, So\Mi/So, So\Re/So, Do\So, So/Do/Mi/So8/Do8 ascending tonic arpeggio, Do8\La, So/Do8, So8\Mi\Do\So descending tonic arpeggio, Do8\Mi
  • Musical Elements: notes: dotted half, half, quarter, eighth; pickup beat, ascending and descending arpeggios, 2/2 counted in 4/4, verse/refrain
  • Key Words: USA geography, Sacramento, CA, Sacramento River, USA gold rush, gold mining, journey, promised land, golden ore, shore, thar (there), whar (where), iron bar, spade, pick, lumps, brick, heave a sigh, bye and bye, shed, patiently, expect, coarsest, fare, wolves, howl, mountains, heigh, Frisco (San Francisco)

“The California Song”
1. We’ve formed our band and we are all well-named
To journey afar to the promised land,
Where the golden ore is thick in store
On the banks of the Sacramento shore.
Then ho, boys, ho! to California go,
For the mountains bold are covered with gold
On the banks of the Sacramento,
Heigh, ho away we go,
Digging up gold in Frisco.
Oh the gold in thar most anywhar,
They dig it out with an iron bar,
And where it’s thick with a spade and pick,
They’ve taken out lumps as big as a brick.
3. Oh don’t you cry or heave a sigh,
For we’ll come back again bye and bye,
Don’t have fear or shed a tear,
But patiently wait for about two year.
4. We expect our share of the coarsest fare,
And sometimes sleep in the open air,
Up on the cold ground we will sleep sound,
Except when the wolves come howling round.
Additional Formats (click to enlarge)
"The California Song," Music Format
Click to enlarge: "The California Song," Beats Format
Click to Enlarge: "The California Song," Rhythm Format
pitch numbers
Click to Enlarge: "The California Song," Pitch Number Format
Click to Enlarge: "The California Song," Solfeggio Format
letter names
Click to Enlarge: "" Letter Names Format