Oh, Once I Had a Fortune

DESCRIPTION: The singer describes how drink has cost him money and sweetheart: "Oh, once I had a fortune, All locked up in a trunk. I lost it all in a gambling hall One night when I got drunk. I'll never get drunk any more...."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1847 (Journal of William Histed of the Cortes)
KEYWORDS: drink poverty gambling travel
FOUND IN: US(So) Australia
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Randolph 316, "Oh, Once I Had a Fortune" (1 text, 1 tune)
Huntington-SongsTheWhalemenSang, pp. 203-205, "I Had a Handsome Fortune" (1 text)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 36, "I'll Never Get Drunk Any More" (4 texts, all mixed, but the "D" text is mostly this piece, and "C" probably originated with this also)
Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, #1010, p. 69, "I'll Never Get Drunk Again" (1 reference)
Scott-ACollectorsNotebook-31TraditionalSongs, p. 28, "I Got Drunk Again" (1 text, tune referenced)

Roud #7792, 1993, 22611
Ernest V. Stoneman and the Dixie Mountaineers, "Once I Had a Fortune" (Edison 51935, 1927) (CYL: Edison [BA] 5357, 1927); Ernest V. Stoneman and His Blue Ridge Cornshuckers, "One I Had a Fortune" (Victor, unissued, 1928)
NOTES [53 words]: The Roud Index seems to split this into all sorts of separate numbers. It's easy to see why it would be hard to remember all the versions -- after all, there are many, many songs about drinking, gambling, and then promising to straighten out! But the reference to a "handsome fortune" seems pretty characteristic. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.5
File: R316

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.