“Floyd Collins”

Author: Andrew Jenkins
Earliest date: 1925 (copyright)
Keywords: disaster dream death family
Found in: US(Ap,MW,Ro,SE)


Floyd Collins is trapped in a cave from which a rescue party cannot free him. He tells his parents that he had dreamt this would happen. At last, still trapped, he dies


As the dates of the recordings show, this is really a popular song. But the number of versions collected show that it did become a folk song.

There are various claims about the authorship of this song. Brown quotes Thomas to the effect that it was written by one Adam Crisp. Laws, following Wilgus, accepts the attribution to Andrew Jenkins, who wrote other songs which became traditional. The attribution to Jenkins seems certain, however. Paul Stamler cites the statement of OKeh records A&R man Polk Brockman, who commissioned the song from Jenkins. - RBW

Historical references



  1. Laws G22, "Floyd Collins"
  2. BrownII 212, "Floyd Collins" (1 text plus 2 excerpts)
  3. Gardner/Chickering 125, "Floyd Collins" (2 texts)
  4. MHenry-Appalachians, pp. 82-83, "Floyd Collins" (1 text)
  5. Thomas-Makin', pp. 110-111, "The Doom of Floyd Collins" (1 text)
  6. Darling-NAS, pp. 223-224, "Floyd Collins" (1 text)
  7. DT 769, FLOYDCOL
  8. Roud #1940
  9. BI, LG22