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Learn English with music: The present simple

The Big Rock Candy Mountain

Level: A1 (Elementary) - American English


Practise the present simple with this Harry McClintock song.

Fill in all the gaps with a verb in the present simple, then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if you don't know the word.
One evening as the sun went down
And the jungle fire was burning,
Down the track came a hobo hiking,
And he said, "Boys, I'm not turning
I'm headed for a land that's far away
Besides the crystal fountains
So with me, we'll go and see
The Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
There's a land that's fair and bright,
Where the handouts on bushes
And you out every night.
Where the boxcars all empty
And the sun every day
On the birds and the bees
And the cigarette trees
The lemonade springs
Where the bluebird
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
All the cops wooden legs
And the bulldogs all rubber teeth
And the hens soft-boiled eggs
The farmers' trees full of fruit
And the barns full of hay
Oh I'm bound to go
Where there ain't no snow
Where the rain don't
The wind don't
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
You never your socks
And the little streams of alcohol
trickling down the rocks
The brakemen have to their hats
And the railway bulls blind
There's a lake of stew
And of whisky too
You can all around it
In a big canoe
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
The jails made of tin.
And you can right out again,
As soon as you in.
There ain't no short-handled shovels,
No axes, saws or picks,
I'm going to stay
Where you all day,
Where they hung the jerk
That invented work
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.
I'll see you all this coming fall
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains


hobo: a person who travels around looking for work and does not have a permanent home
headed for: going to

handout: something given to the poor for free, for example money, food or clothes

boxcar: railroad car used to carry goods

cops: slang term for police officers
there ain't no snow: this is gramatically incorrect because it is a double negative. We should say there isn't any snow. Also, ain't is American slang which is used as the negative of the verb to have and, as in this case, the verb to be.
the rain don't: this is grammatically incorrect. We should say the rain doesn't. It is relatively common American slang and often heard in songs

brakeman: the train worker responsible for braking the train and also for making sure nobody was riding the train without paying

railway bull: a railroad policeman

short-handled shovels: shovel used for digging which, because the handle was short, caused much back pain to those using it

jerk: slang term for a stupid person

fall: American English term for autumn