“Seeing the Elephant (When I Left the States for Gold)”


"When I left the states for gold, Everything I had I sold." The singer encounters various troubles (and Mormons) on the way west, and warns, "Leave, you miners leave... Take my advice, kill off your lice...." (To the tune of "De Boatman Dance")


The history of this is a bit obscure. It was David "Doc" Robinson who founded the "Seeing the Elephant" show in San Francisco in 1850. But this song, to the tune of "De Boatman Dance," appeared in _Put's Original California Songster_. I can't tell whether Put worked on something Robinson wrote, or just commemorated his performances. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Belden, p. 347, "When I Left the States for Gold" (1 text)
  2. Roud #7773
  3. BI, Beld347


Author: Words: David Robinson? John A. Stone?/Music: Daniel Decatur Emmett
Earliest date: 1912 (Belden)
Found in: US(So)