The Ballad of Barnum Brown

from by The Amoeba People

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T’was a cold December morning back in 1898.
A brave young fossil hunter was a’ pondering his fate,
When he heard there was a ship that was about to leave the dock.
There was room for him if he could somehow beat the clock.

A scientific expedition was about the raise it’s sail
And this young fossil hunter knew he couldn’t drag his tail.
It was bound for Patagonia, a place without renown,
But the fossils that were rumored seemed to call to Barnum Brown.

Patagonia proved brutal and his spirits quickly fell
And the outcome of the journey not a single soul could tell.
The digs were hard, there seemed to be no fossils to be found
But Barnum was convinced somewhere they’d find that hallowed ground.

He felt if he could take a boat just up the coast a bit
He’d find those fossils with determination and some grit.
The others in the expedition countered with a scoff.
“You’d be a fool to sail away alone and venture off!”

Early that next morning Barnum struck out his own
But his tiny boat soon crashed and he was weary and alone.
Somehow he made it through and found his way back to his mates.
They were not too pleased that he had tampered with the fates.

They called to him across the waves and helped him to the shore.
And found that in his boat he carried fossils by the score!
A bold and daring lad he was which soon brought him renown.
And soon all fossil hunters knew the name of Barnum Brown.

It was only two years later that he blew everyone’s minds
The world by then was quite abuzz with ancient fossil finds
In the Badlands of Wyoming lurked a hidden fossil trove
Buried like a treasure deep within a pirate’s cove

Barnum wiped his brow as his crew looked on in shock.
They found frightful skeleton embedded in the rock.
It’s massive teeth and giant head were fearful to behold
Barnum felt a shiver as the wind blew hard and cold.

He lifted up a knife-like tooth and held it in his hand.
To think this deadly creature once had roamed across the land.
In ancient time this monster terrorized its helpless pray
But its fossils were the only thing that Barnum found that day.

It’s name became synonymous with nature pure and raw.
Tyrannosaurus rex the name that still inspires awe.
But there’s another name that deserves it’s own renown
The greatest of all fossil hunters—that was Barnum Brown.


from The Fossil Record, released May 10, 2019
trumpets: paul justice
drums: dustin jordan
bass, whistling, vocals: ryan mosley
guitars, vocals: ray hedgpeth

words and music by ray hedgpeth
2019 Improbable Futon Music ASCAP


all rights reserved



The Amoeba People Lakewood, California

The Amoeba People are musical ambassadors from the Planet Crouton, here to learn about our world, to unravel the wonders of its natural history, to study the life which inhabits it and to parse the mysteries of the human species by learning its dance moves. The band consists of Mr. Hedgpeth (captain), Mr. Jordan (navigator), and Mr. Mosley (engineer and technician). ... more

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