“Life in California”


Singer leaves his family in Maine to seek California gold; he loses his money at cards and catches the "fever-n-ager." He asks for food, drink, lodging. Cho: "I'm a used-up man, a perfect used-up man/And if ever I get home again, I'll stay there if I can"


Fever and ague: Malaria. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1848 - gold found in Sutter's Mill, California.
  • 1849 - multitudes of easterners emigrate west, hoping to "make their pile"

Cross references

  • cf. "Used-Up Man" (tune)


  • Logan English, "Life in California" (on LEnglish02)


Author: unknown
Earliest date: c. 1853 (California Songster)
Found in: US(SW)