They have traveled from near, they have come from afar.
They have traveled in wooden wagons, boats, and train cars.
They have traveled for different reasons; to get rich, to be free.
They came to California, land of opportunity.
Some came seeking fortune and the gold mines awaited,
The glitter of gold much anticipated.
Some came to be farmers seeking its rich, dark soil.
Abundant crops would befall after backbreaking toil.
Some came to escape from famine or war.
The travel was never easy, now that is for sure.
It was wearisome for the rich, as well as the poor.
And California had more people than ever before.
By wagon they crossed deserts, mountains, and streams.
In crowded boats they sailed with nothing more than their dreams.
The people came from all over, no one was refused.
Each group brought its own traditions, cultures, values.
There were groups of Italians, Armenians, Latinos.
Chinese, Japanese, French, Filipinos.
African Americans, German, and Spanish.
Native Americans, Mexicans, and Irish.
These weary travelers came a long way.
What they brought with them is still here today.
It’s the food that we eat, it’s the songs that we sing,
We can see their influence in almost everything.
The beliefs that we hold, the clothes that we wear.