Winston Montgomery
Too Late in '49
Too Late in ?49
By W. Montgomery

Verse I
They call them ?49ers and their story?s oft been told
How they left their homes and families for California gold
Mill men and cowmen and plowmen joined the line
But they should have left in ?48
It was too late in ?49

Verse II
Around the globe the fever spread, there were fortunes to be found
From Budapest to Sydney they were New Helvetia bound
From Sitka to Santiago they came to pan or mine
But they should have come in ?48
It was too late in ?49

In ?48 it didn?t take a pry bar or pick
As streambeds shed the golden sand that made the seekers rich
All men worked in harmony, how to dig was all to know
Whether immigrant or native born
Chinese or Indian
Black man or Mexican
Or Californio

Verse III
Then the gold grew scarce and a paying claim was harder to find
They chased the veins up mountaintops and deep down into mines
They used giant water hoses to scour the earthy rind
The water was pure in ?48
But it was poison in ?49

Verse IV
From the eastern coast of the U.S.A. latecomers did arrive
?California for the Americans?, loudly rang the cry
They expelled the foreign miners, brought the Indians cruel decline
It was paradise in ?48
And genocide in ?49

Verse V
So all you hopeful pilgrims embarking for the West
Always keep your dreams alive ?cause life out here?s the best
Hold on to your faith and honor God?s design
But try to arrive in ?48 and not in ?49
But try to arrive in ?48 and not in ?49
Lyrics Credits: Winston Montgomery
Music Credits: Winston Montgomery
Performance Credits: Winston Montgomery
Song Length: 3:26
Primary Genre: Folk-Contemporary
Secondary Genre: -
Tempo: Medium Fast (131 - 150)
Lead Vocal: Male Vocal