“Dark as a Dungeon”

Author: Merle Travis
Earliest date: 1946 (recorded by author)
Keywords: work hardtimes poverty mining death warning
Found in: US


"Come all you young fellows so young and so fine, And seek not your fortune in a dark dreary mine." The singer describes how a miner's life slowly kills a man, twisting his soul and turning his blood black. He hopes to turn to coal when he dies



  1. Lomax-FSNA 155, "Dark as a Dungeon" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Botkin-SoFolklr, p. 729, "Dark as a Dungeon" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Greenway-AFP, p. 172, "Dark as a Dungeon" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Green-Miner, pp. 279-281, "Two by Travis": p. 284, "Dark as a Dungeon" (1 text, 1 tune); additional verse on p. 290
  6. Roud #6392
  7. BI, LoF155