Knockin' Around the Yard

Knockin' Around the Yard

This song I learned from Tim Rodgers, a folklorist at the University of Calgary, who collected it in that region. People across the prairies of western Canada and the northern plains of the United States understand it and get a kick out of it, because it recollects the common rural experience of killing flickertail gophers for contest prizes and bounty money. Lawrence Welk said he bought his first accordion with gopher tail bounty money. William Kurelek has done an animated painting of gopher hunting and included it, as I recall, in A Prairie Boy's Summer.

Knockin' Around the Yard
I am the flunky of the house, they call me flunky Jim,
You'll find me knockin' around the yard, me hat without a brim.
Me overalls are shabby, and I have no shirt at all,
But I'm goin' to get a new outfit with me gopher tails this fall.

Knockin' around the yard, boys, knockin' around the yard,
It isn't any easy job, don't fool yourself, me pard,
Me overalls are shabby, and I have no shirt at all,
But I'm goin' to get a new outfit with me gopher tails this fall.
At night, when Pa comes in from work, he calls for flunky Jim,
He pats me on me curly head, me hat without a brim.
Me overalls are shabby, and I have no shirt at all,
But I'm goin' to get a new outfit with me gopher tails this fall.

I've come to sell me gopher tails, I've almost got enough
To buy a hat, a fancy shirt, and pants what have a cuff,
And then I'll hand me old ones down, they really are too small,
And I'll look swell, when once I sell me gopher tails this fall.