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Kids Rock Music

California or Bust

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Tami Mulcahy
Mulcahy/Santa Rita School


California 4th grade studies the Gold Rush.  It was great fun going to Coloma with the kids, learning for myself a bit more about this great state that I love.  When I moved from Texas to California, my friends wrote in shoe polish on the back window of my car, California or Bust!



Word spread like fire across the states

Hit New York City in 1848

There’s gold there in them hills

California or Bust


Stowed away on a boat around the tip of South America 

Six months of salt and sweat to reach the San Francisco Bay. 

Hitched a ride up past Sutter’s Fort

Then walked along the American 

Got to Coloma on dark cloudy day  


Oh the streets were bustling with bearded men

I felt the Fever rise up in me again  

I’d finally stake my claim California or Bust


Storm rolled in and I spent my first night in a tent of tarp and twine

Lonely as sin and feeling my strength weaken in the downpour

I woke to a cloudless sunny sky 

Took a deep breath and said Thank you God

Now go do what you came here for


I bartered for a long tom, shovel and pan

Started at the river and worked til my hands 

Were blistered, shriveled and weak


California or Bust


14 months I chased that dream 

A fool like the Fool’s gold I found 

I came to strike it rich or die going broke 

and that’s exactly what went down


I lost my will to go on 

Left Coloma much the way I came    

Like so many other 49er’s 

Nothing to my name

California or Bust - Kids Rock Project