THE DREAM OF THE MINER'S CHILD

(copyrighted to Andrew Jenkins, "arranged by Irene Spain")


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"Don't Go Down In The Mines, Dad," as it was first known, originated in England as a late Victorian parlor ballad.... Though it was not particularly popular among British miners, it took firm hold in mining communities of the U. S. The text was published in the United Mine Workers Journal (February 9, 1911), the entire piece was copyrighted by Blind Andy Jenkins, the singing newspaper vendor from Atlanta, Georgia, in 1926, and finally Vernon Dalhart crooned the newly copyrighted version into thousands of homes (including the Watson's) on a Victor record.

RALPH RINZLER, liner notes for Doc Watson & Son" (1965)


Doc Watson's likely source: Vernon Dalhart, Victor 19821 (33587) (Oct 20, 1925)
Another variant of the same song was recorded by Blind Alfred Reed on 19 Dec 1927 (as "Explosion in the Fairmount Mines")


Lyrics as performed by Doc Watson on "Doc Watson & Son," transcribed by Manfred Helfert, 1997


A miner was leaving his home for his work
When he heard his little child scream.
He went to the side of the little girl's bed;
She said, "Daddy, I've had such a dream!"

"Please, daddy, don't go to the mines today,
For dreams have so often come true.
My daddy, my daddy, please don't go away,
For I never could live without you."

Then smiling and stroking the little girl's face,
He was turning away from her side.
But she threw her small arms around daddy's neck;
She gave him a kiss and then cried:

"Oh, I dreamed that the mines were all flaming with fire,
And the men all fought for their lives.
Just then the scene changed, and the mouth of the mines
Was covered with sweethearts and wives."

"Oh, daddy, don't go to the mines today,
For dreams have so often come true.
My daddy, my daddy, please don't go away,
For I never could live without you."

"Go down to the village and tell your dear friends
That as sure as the bright stars do shine,
There is something that's going to happen today;
Please, daddy, don't go to the mines."

"Oh, daddy, don't work in the mines today,
For dreams have so often come true.
My daddy, my daddy, please don't go away,
For I never could live without you."


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