Rhymes, Rants & Accolades from North Central BC

SNAKEY BILL AND THE BEER STRIKE OF ‘78

From out of the hills came Snakey Bill,
One hot day in July,
He was drenched with sweat, his clothes were wet,
His throat was parched and dry.

He’d searched for gold but the trail was cold,
His luck was bad this year,
The blazing heat almost had him beat,
And he’d run plumb out of beer.

The sign on the door of the liquor store,
Made Snakey’s blood run cold,
The sign proclaimed in language plain,
“The Beer Has All Been Sold”

A voice that spoke in a husky croak,
Said, “I hate to be a bore,
But if you want some suds,
You’ll have to trudge,
A thousand miles or more!”

‘Twas his old pal Dan, looking sad and wan,
“It’s awfully hot this year!
I hear there’s a drought in the hills about?”
Said Snakey, “The drought’s down here.”

He heard a shout and the news was out,
“They’re selling beer at nine!
A case apiece ‘til sales have ceased.”
And Snakey stood in the line.

He almost cried when the boxes he spied,
Were cases of twenty-four,
The money he’d saved for the beer he craved,
Was enough for a dozen, no more!

His thirst unslaked, he walked to the lake
Water was down below,
It had wet his tongue when he was young,
But that was years ago!

The bank was steep and the lake was deep,
He’d drink some if he could,
And I heard him yell just after he fell,
“Water tastes real good!”

I knew I’d drown if I jumped down,
To save poor Snakey Bill,
But I saw his smile – you could see it a mile,
When he finally drank his fill!

There’s a grave on the hill for Snakey Bill,
And they planted after the strike,
A case of beer, but I’m thinkin’ here,
‘Twas WATER he really liked!

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