“The Drunkard's Doom (I)”


The singer sees a man at a bar. His son begs his to come home; his wife is ill and his children starving. The drunkard instead takes another drink. A year later, the singer learns the drunkard is dead

Supplemental text

Drunkard's Doom (I), The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Carl Sandburg, The American Songbag, pp. 104-105.

At dawn of day I saw a man
Stand by a grog saloon:
His eyes were sunk, his lips were parched,
O that's the drunkard's doom.

His little son stood by his side,
And to his father said,
"Father, mother lies sick at home
And sister cries for bread."

(Stanzas 1-2 of 7)


The Warner texts are rather complicated, not fitting exactly with any of the various drunkard songs, and not matching each other either. It may be that the second has become mixed. I file them here because they fit best and they probably aren't worth separate entries; there is too much cross-influence. - RBW


  • [G. B.] Grayson & [Henry] Whitter, "I Saw a Man at the Close of Day" (Victor V-40324, 1929; on GraysonWhitter01)
  • Oliver Moore, "The Drunkard's Doom" (Challenge 422, 1928)
  • Doc Watson & Fred Price, "I Saw a Man at the Close of Day" (on WatsonAshley01)


  1. Belden, pp. 468-469, "The Drunkard's Doom" (1 text)
  2. Randolph 306, "The Drunkard" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Eddy 142, "Temperance Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. BrownIII 21, "The Drunkard's Doom" (1 text)
  5. Warner 82, "Drunkard's Doom"; 83, "A Drunkard's Warning" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  6. Sandburg, pp. 104-105, "The Drunkard's Doom" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 174-175, "The Drunkard's Doom" (1 text, 1 tune)
  8. JHCox 131, "Temperance Song" (1 text)
  9. JHCoxIIB, #31A-B, pp. 203-206, "Temperance Song," "The Drunkard" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  10. Darling-NAS, pp. 357-358, "The Drunkard's Doom" (1 text)
  11. Silber-FSWB, p. 265, "The Drunkard's Doom" (1 text)
  12. cf. Gardner/Chickering, p. 478, "The Drunkard's Doom" (source notes only)
  13. ST R306 (Partial)
  14. Roud #3113
  15. BI, R306


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1905 (Belden)
Keywords: drink death funeral
Found in: US(Ap,MW,SE,So,SW)