“The Dream of the Miner's Child”

Author: Andrew Jenkins?
Earliest date: 1922 (Randolph); for "Don't Go Down in the Mine, Dad" the earliest date is 1910 (sheet music)
Keywords: father work mining children dream disaster death
Found in: US(So) Australia


"A miner was leaving his home for his work When he heard his little child scream." She had dreamt of his death in the mines, and begs him not to go to work that day. But he must go to work. (In some versions the song ends with a mining disaster)


How solid is the 1922 date from Randolph? The Vernon Dalhart recording, which became near-canonical, credited Andrew Jenkins as author, and it certainly has his style. Could he have taken bits from, "Don't Go Down in the Mine, Dad" and perhaps elsewhere, then built a new song from them? - PJS

An interesting question. Randolph's text is certainly much like the standard version. The book assuredly prints a date of 1922. What's more, Randolph had two other pieces from the same informant, and both were dated 1922 also. So I cannot resolve the question. - RBW

Cross references



  1. Green-Miner, p. 113-115, "Dream of the Miner's Child" (2 texts, 1 tune, plus a text of "Don't Go Down in the Mine, Dad")
  2. Randolph 859, "The Dream of the Miner's Child" (1 text)
  3. Shellans, pp. 64-65, "The Miner Child's Dream" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 141-142, "The Dream of the Miner's Child" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Paterson/Fahey/Seal, pp. 131-134, "The Miner" (1 text, collected as a conflation of "The Miner" and "The Dream of the Miner's Child")
  7. Roud #2334
  8. BI, R859