Nobody's Darling on Earth

DESCRIPTION: "I'm out in this bleak world alone, Walking about in the streets... Begging for something to eat." The orphan lost mother at a very young age. Now "I'm nobody's darling on earth; Heaven have mercy on me, For I'm nobody's darling, Nobody cares for me."
AUTHOR: Will S. Hays
EARLIEST DATE: 1870 (sheet music published by J. L Peters of New York)
KEYWORDS: orphan poverty hardtimes begging
FOUND IN: US(MW,So)
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Randolph 723, "I'm Nobody's Darling on Earth" (3 texts, 2 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 471-472, "I'm Nobody's Darling on Earth" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 723A)
Stout 54, pp. 73-74, "Nobody's Darling" (1 text)
Neely, pp. 252-253, "Nobody's Darling" (1 text)
Fife-Cowboy/West 56, "Red River Valley" (3 texts, 1 tune, the "B" text belonging here)
Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 21-23, "Nobody's Darling" (1 text, 1 tune, plus the sequel "They Say I Am Nobody's Darling")

Roud #4338
RECORDINGS:
Cumberland Ridge Runners, "Nobody's Darling" (Conqueror 8162, 1933)
Grayson & Whitter, "Nobody's Darling" (Gennett 6304/Champion 15395 [as by Greysen Thomas & Will Lotty ], 1928)
Kelly Harrell, "Nobody's Darling on Earth" (Victor 20657, 1927; on KHarrell02)
J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers, "Nobody's Darling on Earth" (Bluebird B-6460, 1936)
Wade Mainer & Zeke Morris, "Nobody's Darling on Earth" (Bluebird B-6423 [as "Nobody's Darling but Mine"]/Montgomery Ward 5028, 1936)
North Carolina Ridge Runners, "Nobody's Darling" (Columbia 15650-D, 1931; rec. 1928; on LostProv1)

SAME TUNE:
Gene Autry, "The Answer to Nobody's Darling" (ARC 6-08-51/Conqueror 8685/OKeh 03101/Vocalion 03101, 1936)
Gene Auutry, "That's Why I'm Nobody's Darling" (ARC 7-05-73/Conqueror 8808/OKeh 03229/Vocalion 03229, 1937)
Patsy Montana & the Prairie Ramblers, "Woman's Answer to Nobody's Darling" (Perfect 6-08-52/Conqueror 8655 [as Salty Holmes w. the Prairie Ramblers], 1936)
Tex Ritter, "Answer to Nobody's Darling But Mine" (Champion 45197, 1935)
NOTES: Note that the Autry and Montana recordings [in the "Same Tune" field] have successive catalog numbers, and both were "answer" songs to the main entry. The record company was clearly milking this song for all it was worth -- and getting fresh copyrights, to boot. - PJS
The Fifes consider their "Little Darling" text ("Come sit by my side, little darling, Come lay your cool hand on my brow, And promise me that you will never Be nobody's darling but Mine") to be a Red River Valley variant. As, however, the chorus does not fit the "Red River Valley" tune, and the rest of the words go with this piece, I classify it here.
Spaeth (in Weep Some More, pp. 40-41) has another piece, "Driven from Home," which has the same theme and some of the same words, but no chorus; I can't tell if it's the same or not, or if it's traditional. - RBW
I suspect, without having heard the recordings, that "Nobody's Darling But Mine" is a Same Tune variant. - PJS
Last updated in version 3.6
File: R723

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