From the recording Kids Rock Project

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

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