Original Document
Original Document
"I'm Off to Oleana," 1853.

I'm off to Oleana,
I'm turning from my doorway,
No chains for me, I'll say good-bye to slavery in Norway.
Ole-Ole-Ole-oh! Oleana!
Ole Dle-Ole-oh! Oleana!

They give you land for nothing in jolly Oleana,
And grain comes leaping from the ground in floods of golden manna.

The grain it does the threshing, it pours into the sack, Sir,
You make a quart of whiskey from each one without expense, Sir

The crops they are gigantic, potatoes are immense, Sir,
You make a quart of whiskey from each one without expense, Sir.

And ale as strong and sweet as the best you've ever tasted,
It's running in the foamy creek, where most of it is wasted

The salmon they are playing, and leaping in the brook, Sir,
They hop into your kettle, put the cover on, and cook, Sir.

And little roasted piggies, with manners quite demure, Sir,
They ask you, Will you have some ham? And then you say, Why, sure, Sir!

The cows are most obliging, their milk they put in pails, Sir,
They make your cheese and butter with a skill that never fails, Sir.

The bull he is the master, his calves he likes to boss, Sir,
He beats them when they loaf about, he's never at a loss, Sir.

The calves are very helpful, themselves they skin and kill, Sir,
They turn into a tasty roast before you drink your fill, Sir.

The hens lay eggscolossal, so big and round and fine, Sir,
The roosters act like eight-day clocks, they always tell the time, Sir.

And cakes come raining down, Sir. with chocolate frosting coated,
They're nice and rich and sweet, good Lord, you eat them till you're bloated

And all night long the sun shines, it always keeps a-glowing,
It gives you eyes just like a cat's, to see where you are going

The moon is also beaming, it's always full, I vow, Sir,
A bottle for a telescope, I'm looking at it now, Sir.

Two dollars for carousing they give each day, and more, Sir,
For if you're good and lazy, they will even give you four, Sir.

Support your wife and kids? Why, the county pays for that, Sir,
You'd slap officials down and out if they should leave you flat, Sir.

And if you've any bastards, you're freed of their support, Sir,
As you can guess since I am spinning verses for your sport, Sir.

You walk about in velvet, with silver buttons bright, Sir,

You puff away at meerschaum pipes, your women pack them right, Sir.

The dear old ladies struggle, and sweat for us, and labor,
And if they're cross, they spank themselves, they do it as a favor.

And so we play the fiddle, and all of us are glad, Sir,
We dance a merry polka, boys, and that is not so bad, Sir.

I'm off to Oleana, to lead a life of pleasure,
A beggar here, a count out there, with riches full in measure.

I'm coming, Oleana, I've left my native doorway,
I've made my choice, I've said good-by to slavery in Norway.
Ole-Ole-Ole-oh! Oleana!
Ole-Ole-Ole-oh! Oleana.

Credit: Paul W. Heimel, Oleana: The Ole Bull Colony (Coudersport, PA: Knox Books, 2002), 108-110.
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