Rock Island Song Lyrics

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Rock Island by Meredith Willson

1st Salesman
Cash for the merchandise, cash for the button hooks
3rd Salesman
Cash for the cotton goods, cash for the hard goods
1st Salesman
Cash for the fancy goods
2nd Salesman
Cash for the noggins and the piggins and the frikins
3rd Salesman
Cash for the hogshead, cask and demijohn.
Cash for the crackers and the pickles and the flypaper.
4th Salesman
Look whatayatalk, whatayatalk, whatayatalk, whatayatalk, whatayatalk?
5th Salesman
Wheredayagitit?
4th Salesman
Whatayatalk?
1st Salesman
Ya can talk, ya can talk, ya can bicker, ya can talk,
Ya can bicker, bicker, bicker, ya can talk, ya can talk,
Ya can talk, talk, talk, talk, bicker, bicker, bicker,
Ya can talk all ya want but is different than it was.
Charlie
No it ain’t, no it ain’t, but you gotta know the territory
Rail Car
Shh shh shh shh shh shh shh
3rd Salesman
Why it’s the Model T Ford made the trouble,
Made the people wanna go, wanna get, wanna get,
Wanna get up and go seven, eight, nine, ten, twelve,
Fourteen, twenty-two, twenty-three miles to the county seat
1st Salesman
Yes sir, yes sir
3rd Salesman
Who’s gonna patronize a little bitty two by four kinda store anymore?
4th Salesman
Whaddaya talk, whaddaya talk,
5th Salesman
Where do you get it?
3rd Salesman
Gone, gone
Gone with the hogshead cask and demijohn,
Gone with the sugar barrel pickle barrel, milk pan,
Gone with the tub and the pail and the tierce
2nd Salesman
Ever meet a fellow by the name of Hill?
1st Salesman
Hill?
Charlie
Hill?
3rd Salesman
Hill?
4th Salesman
Hill?
1st Newspaper
Hill?
2nd Newspaper
Hill?
5th Salesman
Hill?
2nd Salesman
Hill!
All But Charlie & 2nd Salesman
No!
Charlie
Just a minute, just a minute, just a minute
4th Salesman
Never heard of any salesman Hill
2nd Salesman
Now he doesn’t know the territory
1st Salesman
Doesn’t know the territory?!?
3rd Salesman
What’s the fellow’s line?
2nd Salesman
Never worries ’bout his line
1st Salesman
Never worries ’bout his line?!?
2nd Salesman
Or a doggone thing, He’s just a bang beat, bell ringing,
Big haul, great go, neck-or-nothing, rip roarin’,
Every time a bull’s eye salesman,
That’s Professor Harold Hill, Harold Hill
3rd Salesman
What’s the fellow’s line?
5th Salesman
What’s his line?
Charlie
He’s a fake, and he doesn’t know the territory!
Look, whaddaya talk, whaddaya talk, whaddaya talk, whaddaya talk?
2nd Salesman
He’s a music man
He’s a what?
3rd Salesman
He’s a what?
2nd Salesman
He’s a music man and he sells clarinets
To the kids in the town with the big trombones
And the rat-a-tat drums, big brass bass, big brass bass,
And the piccolo, the piccolo with uniforms, too
With a shiny gold braid on the coat and a big red stripe runnin’…
1st Salesman
Well, I don’t know much about bands but I do know
You can’t make a living selling big trombones, no sir.
Mandolin picks, perhaps and here and there a Jew’s harp…
2nd Salesman
No, the fellow sells bands, Boys’ bands.
I don’t know how he does it but he lives like a king
And he dallies and he gathers and he plucks and he shines,
And when the man dances certainly, boys, what else?
The piper pays him! Yes sir, yes sir, yes sir, yes sir,
When the man dances, certainly, boys, what else?
The piper pays him! Yessssir, Yessssir
Charlie
But he doesn’t know the territory!

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