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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,MAG at work Lyr Req: Gold Miners' Songs (American) (59* d) Lyr Add: SOURDOUGH/MINER'S SONG (Bill Staines) 19 Apr 02


I'll see if I can remember all the words to the Bill Staines song mentioned way above. I like it a lot and am always hitting "replay" on my tape. I highly recommend it; the picking is impeccable, and the fiddle solo adds just the right note of melancholy.

SOURDOUGH/MINER'S SONG
(Bill Staines)

When first unto this country a stranger I came,
Pick and shovel on my back, no money to my name,
O, no money to my name.

I landed in old Juneau, Seattle down the line;
I boated 'cross the channel for to work the Treadwell mine,
O, to work the Treadwell mine.

Well, it was hard times in the old tin pit, 18 hundred down.
One day you'd make 2 dollars and the next you're glory bound,
O, the next you're glory bound.

So we dodged the rocks and the sudden slides and we swam out of the flood.
In the rain and cold, we dug for gold through the water and the mud,
O, the water and the mud.

Well, there's color in the eagle's eye, and in the sun at the break of day,
But there ain't no color I can find to keep me on that pay,
O, to keep me on that pay.

So it was straightway through the wilderness (only line I can't remember...)
Then down the frozen Yukon in the year of '99,
O, the year of '99.

God help the snow-blind traveller and help him on his way,
And bless the drunken fiddler when he finds the time to play,
And hear the words of the dyin' man left frozen in the cold,
And pity the weary miner who never found his gold,
O, who never found his gold.

There's 50 thousand of us here out on the beach at Nome,
And there ain't but 1 in 50 who can pay his way back home,
O, can pay his way back home.

Please pardon the inconsistencies. It's a great song.


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