READIN' the scheme of this Lyman B. Gage,
To put our greenbacks in a stove or steel cage.
An’ stead of ‘em givin’ us bonds and bank notes,
Out in this neck o’ weeds kinder sticks in our throats.

They's a lot us cornhuskers don’t know on finance,
But we don't like to fiddle and pay for the dance,
An’ banks drawin’ interest on notes that they owe,
Looks like eatin’ their cake and a keepin’ their dough.

In the heads of folks filled with these finance idees
That rattle around like a pod of dry peas,
It may be a greenback ain’t hardly wuth smoke,
That banknotes is good when bankers go broke;
I cain’t get it in my ol’ battering ram
A banker is better’n our own Uncle Sam.

I remember the day when the paymaster paid
The greenbacks first to us—it was after the raid
With Stoneman—we cut throught the heart of the South
A swath like a prairie fire after a drouth;
It seems like a dream from some far distant shore—
Them nights in the saddle, them days in the roar,
Of cannon and rifles, farm boys from the plow
Chargin’ hell and high water. I think of it now;
It seems I can see that ol’ butternut line
Straight ahead of us now in that forest of pine,
Straight ahead in our road those rifles’ red breath
Mowin gaps in our ranks like the scythe-stroke of death;
But on with the cheers to the Union again
Where the Stars and Stripes wave and where plowboys is men,—
And money we pledged with our lives and our lands
Was waitin’ for us in the paymasters hands.

We fought for the greenbacks—we made 'em all good
As wheat, or as gold, with our nation’s best blood.
They’re good as gold yet: ‘f the bankers can’t stand
To let Uncle Sam issue notes in the land
There’ll be enough cranks ready soon with the votes
Fur to issue the banks as well as the notes.
Drive on with your banks and your bonds— there’s a halt
You’ll come to, we’re thinkin’, out in

Mortgage Corners, Little Salt Precinct, November 23, 1897.


Back to Legacy