Iron Mountain Baby, The
DESCRIPTION: "I have a song I would like to sing, It's awful, and it's true, About a babe thrown from a train By a mother, I know not who." The injured child is found by Bill Helm, and cared for. The singer warns people to beware of judgment
AUTHOR: J. T. Barton
EARLIEST DATE: 1909 (Belden); probably written 1902
KEYWORDS: train abandonment orphan
Aug 14, 1902 - Discovery of the baby later to be known as William Moses Gould Helm
FOUND IN: US(MW,So)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Belden, pp. 419-420, "The Iron Mountain Baby" (1 text)
Cohen-AFS1, pp. 379-380, "The Iron Mountain Baby" (1 text)
Johnny Iron, "Iron Mountain Baby Song" (Local Artists RC6-1B, n.d., prob. early 1950s)
cf. "The Dying Preacher (Hick's Farewell)" (tune)
NOTES: Belden reports that J. T. Barton wrote this song to help support the infant it commemorates. One can but hope the parents were better at caring for children than was Barton at crafting lyrics.
Barton said that this piece was printed and sold, so there may be a broadsheet copy somewhere, but no one seems to have found one. It really is a lousy piece of poetry, as well as being obnoxiously moralizing; one suspects that it was preserved only by people who personally remembered the story or the sales pitch.
This is item dH43 in Laws's Appendix II. - RBW
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