A list by Jonathan "Boxcar" Morris

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
There's a land that's fair and bright,

    • I suppose I should clarify that I am actually talking about living in the "land that's fair and bright" within the Big Rock Candy Mountain, rather than just the general experience of living on Big Rock Candy Mountain itself. It's very likely that there are additional mountain towns within th confines of Big Rock Candy Mountain, in addition to the one described as above, some of which may be equally fair and bright, if not moreso than the land being described. Several thousand acres are probably also reserved as a national park. My analysis is not directed at these regions.

Where the handouts grow on bushes

    • Although overall a political liberal, particularly on the vast majority of social issues, I am progressively liberal which, in my viewpoint, embraces a fiscally conservative and preventative approach to social welfare. Put bluntly, although I do not begrudge the impoverished occasional condition-free financial assistance and in general support welfare programs in theory - particularly in the terms of providing job training, accelerated educational programs and family relief where possible - I am opposed to the use of handouts as the primary source of financial support. Had I been a resident of Rock Candy Mountain when this "free hand-outs on bushes" proposition was announced, I would have campaigned strongly against it.

And you sleep out every night.

    • This would be unadvisable in inclement weather. Options should be made available.

Where the boxcars all are empty

    • Services and goods made available to a mountain town through which a railroad passes would almost certainly be delivered by train. That the boxcars - which should be brimming with food, staples, necessities, medical supplies and construction material - are empty indicates a critical failure in the infrastructure and bodes very ill for the town's economy. I am disturbed that the City Council has not investigated alternative importation solutions.

And the sun shines every day

    • This goes without saying. The sun always shines. It is a nuclear furnace some 1,391,000 kilometers wide and burning at its surface at a temperature of 5800 degrees Kelvin, emitting radiative energies at a constant rate and particles at 50 parts per cubic centimeter. This song fails to make note of these facts.

And the birds and the bees
And the cigarette trees

    • This town has very lax protections in place to curb youth smoking.

The lemonade springs
Where the bluebird sings
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
All the cops have wooden legs

    • This speaks poorly, both to the quality of the health care available to the police force and also to the brutality of criminals in the Big Rock Candy region. First off, modern-day prosthetics include a number of metal and high-impact plastic and/or rubber parts which have improved the practical functionality of the replacement to a level near imitating the lost limb. That the police officers in question are neither provided these nor given sufficient insurance coverage to afford them on their own expenses worries me. Perhaps a bond election should be held.

      Secondly, ALL the cops have wooden legs. It seems to me this does not speak well to their ability to protect, never mind what it says of the quality of criminal, assuming the injuries in question were acquired while on the clock. What if I need a police officer? What if I am attacked on the street and, calling for help, am required to wait additional, critical minutes while they hobble to my aid? And how will they assist me (or others) in physical confrontation, being as they are left without an important tool of leverage.

      I am also left to wonder if the fire department and emergency medical personnel are similarly handicapped, and what that means for my safety as a citizen.

And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth

    • I just find this image disturbing. I would consciously avoid the kennel club.

And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs

    • Researching the issue with the USDA guide to poultry illnesses, soft-shell eggs may be a sign of critical calcium deficiency, infectious bronchitis or coccidiosis. The soft-boiling may be caused by chickens suffering paratyphoid disease, and huddling too close to heat sources, or possibly fever brought on by lymphoid leukosis and/or Newcastle Disease. Whatever the case, this is a sign for concern.

The farmers' trees are full of fruit
And the barns are full of hay

    • These are the first positive signs of a healthy community so far.

Oh I'm bound to go
Where there ain't no snow
Where the rain don't fall
The winds don't blow
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

    • It sounds stuffy.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
You never change your socks

    • It is not made clear in the song as to whether the absence of freshly-changed socks is due to the absence of a need to change one's socks, or simply the refusal to do so. Since I cannot perceive of a situation where the former is a possibility, it is most likely the latter reason, and that being said seems particularly unhygienic and unsanitary. Fungal infection must be a rampant issue around Big Rock Candy Mountain, not to mention the excesses of lingering foot odor. Please recall that "the wind don't blow" in this region, meaning the foot funk from even one resident could linger offensively in the air for days.

And the little streams of alcohol
Come trickling down the rocks

    • This seems unnatural, and the source of the streams should be identified by local health authorities.

The brakemen have to tip their hats
And the railway bulls are blind

    • Whereas I support the return to a standard of manners (although respectfully suggest that application of a strict code of behavior solely to the members of a single occupation within a society necessarily leads to categorization and, unfortunately, derogation of that social class), I express concern with the follow-up sentiment that the railroad "bulls" (security officers) are blind. The railroad is a dangerous place, there are machine parts and uneven ground, not to mention the danger of moving trains. I would find myself very concerned for the safety of the railroad bulls.

There's a lake of stew
And of whiskey too
You can paddle all around it
In a big canoe

    • None of this sounds pleasant.

      In the matter of a lake of stew, I am concerned with the notion of paddling around it in a canoe. First off, even the simmering heat of a stew set on low flame would be sufficient to cause most individuals to pass out, if access to cool air were no available. And if the stew were cold, it would probably congeal, making "paddling around it" impossible. Furthermore, I believe that both the wood in a canoe and the human body itself has the same relative density as stew itself, and therefore the heat of the lake - assuming it is heated, and must be if it's possible to navigate through it in a vessel - would either conduct or convect to the person in the canoe, essentially cooking him or her.

      Additionally, a lake of stew would accumulate free-floating particles of sand and grit from the shore, making it essentially inedibly, and rendering it a useless attraction of the area.

      As for the lake of alcohol, assuming it didn't simply evaporate over the course of a few weeks, would be equally dangerous to sportsmen who take the to water. The fumes would almost certainly make any individual even a few feet away from the shore pass out. However, swimming in the lake may resolve fungal infection concerns raised by the refusal to change socks.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
The jails are made of tin.
And you can walk right out again,
As soon as you are in.

    • Again, police protection in this region seems woefully inadequate. It's also possible that the 'tin prison' is metaphorical, indicating rather than a physically deficient prison system a corrupt and circumventable legal system. Obviously, in either case, a drastic reevaluation of the local authorities is desperately needed.

There ain't no short-handled shovels,
No axes, saws nor picks,

    • This is a serious detriment to homeowners with an interest in landscaping their own property, as well as to carpenters and lumberjacks. Given that many mountain towns maintain an active forestry industry, it is likely that chainsaws are made available in lieu of axes.

I'm bound to stay
Where you sleep all day,
Where they hung the jerk
That invented work

    • I'm opposed to the death penalty.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

I'll see you all this coming fall
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

    • I'm sorry, I'm afraid I simply won't be coming. I clearly would not enjoy living on Big Rock Candy Mountain

Calamity Jon Morris is a man who writes and draws fun comics. His work may be found at ape-law.com