“Come All You Poor Men of the North”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1904 (Belden)
Keywords: travel nonballad gold
Found in: US(So)


"Come all you poor men of the north... There is easier ways of gaining wealth... Go and dig the gold that lies in California." The singer describes California's wondrous climate and asks why poor can't have gold as well as rich


Belden's informant claimed that California miners sang this piece. I find this close to unbelievable. (Of course, that might explain why no one else has recorded the piece in tradition: It bears no relationship to reality.) I'm almost tempted to suggest that it was written by a land speculator eager to latch onto stupid people's property by inducing them to head west. - RBW


  1. Belden, pp. 348-349, "Come All You Poor Men of the North" (1 text)
  2. Roud #7772
  3. BI, Beld348