“My Last Gold Dollar”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1927 (American Mountain Songs)
Keywords: poverty hardtimes prison courting drink
Found in: US(Ap,SE,So)


"My last (gold/ole) dollar is gone (x2), My whiskey bill is due an' my board bill too...." "Oh darling, I'm crazy about you... and another girl too..." "Oh darling, won't you go my bail?..." "Oh darling, six months ain't too long...."


We might note that the line "last gold dollar" had a slightly different meaning in the nineteenth century. During the Civil War, the Union government issued both gold-backed and unbacked ("greenback") dollars. The greenbacks were, not surprisingly, treated with less respect and discounted. A man who spend his last gold dollar might still have money -- but only the less valuable greenbacks.

Of course, since the song is often sung "My last OLD dollar," that may be just a bit of excessive historical analysis. - RBW

Cross references



  1. Randolph 671, "My Last Gold Dollar" (1 text plus a fragment, 1 tune)
  2. Randolph/Cohen, pp. 381-382, "My Last Gold Dollar" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 671A)
  3. MHenry-Appalachians, p. 112, "My Last Gold Dollar" (1 single-stanza fragment)
  4. Lomax-FSNA 149, "My Last Ole Dollar" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 130-131, "My Last Old Dollar" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Roud #4310
  8. BI, R671