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The Trek

West

J.D.T. McAllister

Journal Entry: Iowa City: 1856

The Handcart Song

Verse 1:
Ye saints who dwell on Europe's shore
Prepare yourselves for many more,
To leave behind your native land,
For sure God's judgments are at hand.
For you must cross the raging main
Before the promised land you gain,
And with the faithful make a start,
To cross the plains with your handcart

Chorus
For some must push and some must pull,
As we go marching up the hill;
So merrily on the way we go
Until we reach the Valley-o.

Verse 2:
As on the roads the carts are pulled
'Twould very much surprise the world
To see the old and feeble dame
Thus lend a hand to pull the same.
And maidens fair will dance and sing—
Young men more happy than a king,
And children too, will laugh and play
Their strength increasing day by day.

Verse 5:
And long before the Valley's gained,
We will be met upon the plains
With music sweet and friends so dear,
And fresh supplies our hearts to cheer.
And then with music and with song
How cheerfully we'll march along,
And thank the day we made a start,
To cross the plains with our handcart.

Chorus
For some must push and some must pull,
As we go marching up the hill;
So merrily on the way we go
Until we reach the Valley-o.

["The Handcart Song," Pioneer Songs (1940), 21]

Back to Iowa City: 1856