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The People Are Scratching

Words: Ernie Marrs & Harold Martin, 1963

Come fill up your glasses and set yourself down
I'll tell you a story of somebody's town
It isn't too near and it's not far away
It's not a place where I'd want to stay

The people are scratching all over the street
Because the rabbits had nothing to eat

Winter came in with a cold icy blast
It killed off the flowers and killed off the grass
Rabbits were starving because of the freeze
They started to eat the bark on the trees

The farmers said, "This sort of thing won't do
Our trees will be dead when the rabbits get through
We'll have to poison the rabbits it's clear
Or we'll have no crops to harvest next year

So they bought the poison: spread it around
And soon dead rabbits began to be found
Dogs ate the rabbits but the farmers just said
"We'll poison those rabbits till the last dog is dead"

Up in the sky there were meat-eating fowls
The dead rabbits poisoned the hawks and the owls
All the field mice the hawks used to chase
Started multiplying all over the place

The fields and the meadows were barren and brown
The mice got hungry and moved into town
City folks took the farmers' advice
And all of them started to poison the mice

There were dead mice in all the apartments and flats
Cats ate the mice and the mice killed the cats
The smell was awful and I'm sure glad to say
I wasn't the man hired to haul them away

All through the country and all through the town
There wasn't a dog or a cat to be found
The fleas asked each other, "Now where can we stay?"
They've been on the people from then till this day

All you small creatures who live in this land
Stay clear of the man with the poisonous hand
A few bales of hay might keep you alive
But he'll pay more to kill you than to let you survive

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