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The Climber's Song


 

by Dick Best

December 29, 2001

Best at the IOCA Songfest in 1952
(to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic)

Will it go around the chockstone, called the belayer looking up;
Our hero feebly answered yes, and slowly inched on up;
He was trying to drive a piton, when his foothold crumbled out;
Oh he ain't gonna climb no more.

Chorus:
Gory, gory, what a helluva way to die;
Gory, gory, it's a sport I'll never try;
Gory, gory, what a helluva way to die!
Oh they ain't gonna climb no more!

The belayer felt the rope pull taut and tried to let it run;
But it jerked him from position, and he knew his time had come;
He left the ledge behind him as it shot up toward the sun.
Oh they ain't gonna climb no more.

chorus

They slithered over the friction pitch, and passed the southern call;
They had such a good exposure that it made a glorious fall;
They tumbled through the chimney, and sped on down the wall;
Oh they ain't gonna climb no more.

chorus

The days they lived and loved and laughed went running through their minds;
They thought about the girls back home, the ones they left behind;
They thought about the the ranger, too, and wondered what he'd find;
Oh they ain't gonna climb no more.

chorus

One had the rope around his neck, and pitons through his spleen;
An ice axe in his rucksack had split the other's bean;
The trails of red marked their descent as they neared the slopes of green;
Oh they ain't gonna climb no more.

chorus

They hit the ground, the sound was splat, the blood went spurting high;
Their comrades were heard to say what a colorful way to die;
As they lay there rolling in the welter of their gore;
Oh they ain't gonna climb no more.

chorus

There was blood upon the rucksack, there were brains upon the rope;
Intestines were intwined across the green and grassy slope;
We picked them up in a lunchpale after salvaging the rope!
Oh they ain't gonna climb no more!
chorus



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