Dying Hobo, The [Laws H3]

DESCRIPTION: An old hobo lies dying as winter approaches. He speaks of the "better land... where handouts grow on bushes" that he is destined for, sends a message to his girlfriend, and dies. His partner "swiped his (coat and hat) and caught an eastbound train"
AUTHOR: unknown (attributed to John Kern in the 1912 Railroad Trainman)
EARLIEST DATE: 1912 (The Railroad Trainman)
KEYWORDS: railroading train death friend robbery
REFERENCES (16 citations):
Laws H3, "The Dying Hobo"
Gray-SongsAndBalladsOfTheMaineLumberjacks, pp. 102-103, "The Dying Hobo" (1 text)
Cohen-LongSteelRail, pp. 367-372, "The Dying Hobo" (1 text plus a large collection of alternate verses, 1 tune)
Randolph 837, "The Dying Hobo" (1 text)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 360, "The Dying Hobo" (2 texts plus mention of 1 more)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 360, "The Dying Hobo" (1 tune plus a text excerpt)
Hudson-FolksongsOfMississippi 112, pp. 251-252, "The Dying Hobo"; 113, p. 252, "The Hobo's Death" (2 texts)
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #163, "The Dying Hobo" (1 text)
Finger-FrontierBallads, pp. 106-107, "The Dying Hobo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 219, "Around a Western Water Tank" (1 text, 1 tune)
Spaeth-WeepSomeMoreMyLady, p. 131, "The Dying Hobo" (1 text)
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 56, "The Dying Hobo" (1 text)
Shay-BarroomBallads/PiousFriendsDrunkenCompanions, p. 30, "The Dying Hobo" (1 text)
cf. Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan, p. 478, "The Dying Hobo" (source notes only)
ADDITIONAL: The Railroad Trainman, Vol. 29, No. 5, (Cleveland: Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, May, 1912, available on Google Books), page 411, "The Hobo's Lament" (1 text)

Roud #1937
[Richard] Burnett & [Leonard] Rutherford, "Little Stream of Whiskey" (Columbia 15133-D, 1927; rec. 1926; on BurnRuth01, on KMM)
Travis B. Hale & E. J. Derry, Jr., "The Dying Hobo" (Victor 20796, 1927)
Kelly Harrell, "The Dying Hobo" (Victor 20527, 1926; on KHarrell01 -- a rather strange version combining the first verse of "The Dying Hobo" with a story, taken from "George Collins," of a girl mourning her dead lover)
Dick Justice, "One Cold December Day" (Brunswick 367, 1929 -- like the Harrell recording, this starts with a "Dying Hobo" verse, then parallels "George Collins")
George Lay, "The Dying Hobo" (AFS 12,050 A19, 1959; on LC61)
McMichen's Melody Makers, "The Dying Hobo" (Columbia 15464-D, 1929; rec. 1928)

cf. "The Big Rock Candy Mountain" (lyrics)
cf. "The Hobo's Last Ride" (plot)
cf. "Beside the Brewery at St. Mihiel" (lyrics, theme)
NOTES [40 words]: Several sources list this as a parody of "Bingen on the Rhine." Laws, however, does not mention the connection; perhaps he knew versions with different tunes?
Thanks to Jim Dixon for pointing out the version in The Railroad Trainman. - JD, RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
File: LH03

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