Sweet Jane [Laws B22]
DESCRIPTION: Willie bids his Jane farewell and sets off across the sea. Three years later, having gained success as a gold miner (and suffered much hardship), he returns to his southern home and marries Jane
EARLIEST DATE: 1914 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: separation marriage gold mining
FOUND IN: US(Ap,SE)
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Laws B22, "Sweet Jane"
BrownII 259, "Sweet Jane" (1 text plus mention of 1 more)
BrownSchinhanIV 259, "Sweet Jane" (1 excerpt, 1 tune)
Combs/Wilgus 51, pp. 177-178, "Sweet Jane" (1 text)
Rosenbaum, p. 67, "Sweet Jane" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT 726, SWTJANE
Come Sweet Jane
Adieu, Sweet Lovely Jane
NOTES: This is a relatively rare song, and is not at all specific in its details. Where does the singer go to seek gold? We have no clue. Since he apparently goes overseas, it can hardly be the San Francisco or Klondike gold rushes (yes, a prospector might well go to those places by sea -- but it is not *overseas*). That leaves perhaps South Africa or Australia.
The singer claims also to have "lived on bread and salty (meat/lard), and never lost my health." Such a diet, if followed for long, would assuredly result in scurvy -- and, if pursued for three years, would certainly result in death. Clearly he got more vegetable matter than he let on.
If there is more to be said about this song, it must be hidden in a version I have not seen. - RBW
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