The Miner’s Song

The Miner’s Song

(Printed as a fugitive ballad in Grandon of Sierra, by Charles E. Winter)

In a rusty, worn-out cabin sat a broken-hearted leaser
His signlejack was resting on his knee
His old buggy in the corner told the same old plaintive tale
He ore had left in all his poverty
He lifted his old singlejack, gazed on its battered face
And said: Old boy, I know we’re not to blame
Our gold has us forsaken, some other path it’s taken
But I still believe we’ll strike it just the same.

We’ll strike it, yes, we’ll strike it just the same
Although it’s gone into some other’s claim
My dear old boy don’t mind it, we won’t starve if we don’t find it
And we’ll drill and shoot and find it just the same.

For forty years I’ve hammered steel and tried to make a strike
I’ve burned twice the powder Custer ever saw
I’ve made just coin enough to keep poorer than a snake
My jack’s ate all my book on mining law
I’ve worn gunny-sacks for overalls, and California socks
I’ve burned candles that would reach from here to Maine
I’ve lived on powder, smoke, and bacon, that’s no like boy, I’m not fakin’
But I still believe we’ll strike it just the same.

Last night as I lay sleeping in the midst of all my dream
My assay ran six ounces clear in gold
And the silver it ran clean sixteen ounces to the seam
And the poor old miner’s joy could scarce be told
I lay there, boy, I could not sleep, I had a feverish brow
Got up, went back, and put in six holes more
And then, boy, I was chokin’ just to see the ground I’d broken
But alas! Alas! The miner’s dream was o’er.

We’ll strike it, yes, we’ll strike it just the same
Although it’s gone into some other’s claim
My dear old boy, don’t mind it, we won’t starve if we don’t find it
And I still believe I’ll strike it just the same.