Drunkard's Lone Child, The

DESCRIPTION: "Out in the gloomy night sadly I roam, No one to love me, no friends and no home, Nobody cares for me, no one would cry Even if poor little Bessie should die." Bessie is alone: "Father's a drunkard and mother is dead." She hopes father will sober up
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1921 (Brown)
KEYWORDS: drink orphan children mother father death
REFERENCES (12 citations):
Randolph 309, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (4 texts plus an excerpt, 3 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 257-259, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 309A)
High-OldOldFolkSongs, p. 27, "It's Spring Time on Earth" (1 text, with many key lines and the name of the child lost)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 25, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (1 text plus a fragment and mention of 1 more)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 25, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (1 tune plus an excerpt of text)
Stout-FolkloreFromIowa 97, pp. 122-123, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (1 text plus a fragment); 98, pp. 123-124, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (2 texts)
Neely/Spargo-TalesAndSongsOfSouthernIllinois, pp. 259-260, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hubbard-BalladsAndSongsFromUtah, #105, "The Drunkard's Child" (1 text, 1 tune); #106, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (1 text, which is clearly not this song but which does not have enough sufficient information to identify, so we file it here based on the title until it can be identified)
Spaeth-WeepSomeMoreMyLady, pp. 191-192, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, #534, p. 36, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (1 references
cf. Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan, p. 477, "Bessie, the Drunkard's Lone Child" (source notes only)

Roud #723
Dock Boggs, "Drunkard's Lone Child" (on Boggs1, BoggsCD1)
Walter Coon, "Father's a Drunkard and Mother is Dead" (Conqueror 7271, 1929)
Arthur Fields, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (Grey Gull 4200/Radiex 4200, 1928)

cf. "The Little Beggar Boy" (lyrics)
cf. "The Drunkard's Child (I)" (plot)
cf. "Father, Dear Father, Come Home with Me Now" (theme) and references there
Song Ballet of a Drunkard's Child
NOTES [100 words]: Cohen, in his edition of Randolph, has extensive notes on thie origin of this song; they boil down to, "Something is fishy here."
Although the earliest firm date I can give for this is Brown's, Edwin Wolf 2nd, American Song Sheets, Slip Ballads, and Political Broadsides 1850-1870, Library Company of Philadelphia, 1963, p. 36, lists a broadside of this by De Marsan, which dates it firmly in the nineteenth century.
Stout-FolkloreFromIowa lists his four texts as belonging to two different songs, and he may well be right, but the plots are identical; it would be very hard to disentangle them. - RBW
Last updated in version 5.0
File: R309

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