Big Rock Candy Mountain
When reading John Steinbecks Of Mice and Men you begin to understand the history of he great depression and the plight of the working man. Thousands of young men set out during this time period to find work because work was scarce. Roughly 1 out of 3 adults were out of work. Many young men left their families to find work in the wide world. Many people became homeless, a victim of hard times, wandering around searching for work. When found many times work was hard and payed little, with no hope to build much of a future, A key way to travel was to "ride the rails". That means stowing away on any train available.
Look at this song written during this time period. A song writers idea of heaven "Big Rock Candy Mountain",deals with the issues of the day. A world where tramps and hobos could lead an ideal life--without work or hardship.
3. In the Big Rock Candy
4. In the Big Rock Candy
5 In the Big Rock Candy Mountain,
6. On a summer day
They were on the run
To the hay field they were bounding
Said the bum to the son,
"Why don't you come
To that big rock candy mountain?"
So the very next day
They hiked away,
The mileposts they were counting
But they never arrived
At the lemonade tide
On the big rock candy mountain
Questions: Answer these questions to further think
about the song and its meaning.
1) Who do you think wrote this song? Where do you think it was sung?
2) What is this song about?
3) Why can’t the farmer and his son find Big Rock Candy Mountain?
4) What kind of things are found in Big Rock Candy Mountain?
5) Why in this paradise is there no bad weather?
6) What about those things that would hurt the homeless? What are they like in Big Rock Candy Moutain?
7) What kind of “heavenly society” does this song writer dream about?
Resources: Go to this site to hear "Big Rock Candy Mountain" from a recent movie soundtrack called "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
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