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Al Read
 
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THE WIDE OPEN SPACES
by
Billy Bennett

You've heard of the Valley of Klondyke,
The cruellest and hardest of places,
Where all men are moiling and toiling for gold
Out there in the wide open spaces ;

Where strong men cry over an onion,
And only the nancies wear braces.
And the hobo's use tacks to keep up their slacks
And cover the wide open spaces!

Where they buffalo hunt in the morning,
Where they're tossing the steer at daylight,
In the evening they're lassooing earwigs,
And hunting the slipper at night;

Where you put your last bob on a gee-gee,
And you find at the end of the races
He hasn't come in with the others at all
He's still in the wide open spaces.

I arrived in the Valley one evening,
I walked to the bar straight away,
There were Dagos and Mexicans drinking,
And Scotsmen all threatening to pay!

They've a barmaid they call "Cock-eyed Clara,"
She squints and makes horrible faces,
And when she shed tears, they went in her ears
And washed out the wide open spaces.

"Here's a tenderfoot come to the camp, boys,"
Said a half-breed called Dare-Devil Dan,
He'd had garlic for supper and breakfast,
And Oh!... What a strong silent man.

They put me astride a broncho,
And said, "Come on, now, show us your paces,"
They wished me good luck, then the bronch gave one buck,
And I shot-through the wide open space's.

I'd to round up the cattle and milk 'em,
It gave me a bit of a shock,
So I said I'll start now, I got hold of a cow,
And said " Which do you turn for Oxo?"

But, alas, her poor brother, the bullock,
Stuck his horns in nine different places,
Tore my pants in the rear, and the crowd gave a cheer
When they spotted the wide open spaces.

There's a vamp in the Valley of Klondyke,
A woman you can't help admiring,
Her kiss is so hot, it'll singe your moustache,
And start your tonsils backfiring.

I'll admit that she's hard-boiled and cruel,
But, gosh, she'd the sweetest of faces,
And her teeth, well, they're just like a big string of pearls...
Except for the wide open spaces.

Every glance from that woman would thrill me,
My heart used to give frantic jumps,
One evening the darned thing jumped into my mouth,
And gave all my adenoids mumps.

I remember her washing her lingerie,
With the ribbons and beautiful laces,
Then she hung them to dry, and I'd stand there and cry,
As the wind caught-their wide open spaces.

But I married that woman in Klondyke,
And I built her a wonderful shack,
Each time I walked out at the front door,
Owen Nares would walk in at the back.

We used to play cards in the bedroom,
And one night when I had thirteen aces
She called me a squirt, and in my short shirt,
Pushed me out-in the wide open spaces.

You may think that this poem's by Kipling,
I'll admit that its like him in places,
But here's where it came from,
That's chockful of brains,
Except for the wide open spaces.
 
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