From the recording Another Season's Promise
"The Arkansas Traveler" was the state song of Arkansas from 1949 to 1963; it has been the state historical song since 1987. The music was composed in the 19th century by Colonel Sandford C. Faulkner (1803–1874); the current official lyrics were written by a committee in 1947 in preparation for its naming as the state song.
Norm sings the Peter Pan Records version, a record label specializing in children's music. The label was introduced to the public in March 1948. The label was owned by the Synthetic Plastics Company of Newark, New Jersey until the 1970s.
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Oh, once upon a time in Arkansas,
An old man sat in his little cabin door
And fiddled at a tune that he liked to hear,
A jolly old tune that he played by ear.
It was raining hard, but the fiddler didn't care,
He sawed away at the popular air,
Tho' his roof-tree leaked like a waterfall,
That didn't seem to bother the man at all.
A traveler was riding by that day,
And stopped to hear him a-practicin’ away;
The cabin was a-float and his feet were wet,
But still the old man didn't seem to fret.
So the stranger said "Now the way it seems to me,"
You'd better mend your roof," said he.
But the old man said as he played away,
"I couldn't mend it now, it's a rainy day."
The traveler replied, "That's all quite true,
But this, I think, is the thing to do;
Get busy on a day that’s fair and bright,
Then patch the old roof till it's good and tight."
But the old man kept on a-playin’ at his reel,
And tapped the ground with his leathery heel.
"Get along," said he, "for you give me a pain;
My cabin never leaks when it doesn't rain."