“Dark as a Dungeon”


"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


  • Charlie Gore, "Dark as a Dungeon" (King 4879, c. 1957)
  • Grandpa Jones, "Dark as a Dungeon" (King 896, 1950)
  • Maddox Bros. & Rose, "Dark as a Dungeon" (4-Star 1540, 1956)
  • Pete Seeger w. Robert DeCormier, "Dark as a Dungeon" (on HootenannyTonight)
  • Merle Travis, "Dark as a Dungeon" (Capitol 48001, 1947; on 78 album "Folk Songs of the Hills", Capitol AD 50; rec. 1946)


  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


Author: Merle Travis
Earliest date: 1946 (recorded by author)
Found in: US