“The Drunkard's Lone Child”


"Out in the gloomy night sadly I roam, No one to love me, no friends and no home, Nobody cares for me, no one would cry Even if poor little Bessie should die." Bessie is alone: "Father's a drunkard and mother is dead." She hopes father will sober up


Cohen, in his edition of Randolph, has extensive notes on thie origin of this song; they boil down to, "Something is fishy here." - RBW

Cross references


  • Dock Boggs, "Drunkard's Lone Child" (on Boggs1, BoggsCD1)
  • Walter Coon, "Father's a Drunkard and Mother is Dead" (Conqueror 7271, 1929)
  • Arthur Fields, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (Grey Gull 4200, 1928)


  1. Randolph 309, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (4 texts plus an excerpt, 3 tunes)
  2. Randolph/Cohen, pp. 257-259, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 309A)
  3. BrownIII 25, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (1 text plus a fragment and mention of 1 more)
  4. Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 191-192, "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. cf. Gardner/Chickering, p. 477, "Bessie, the Drunkard's Lone Child" (source notes only)
  7. Roud #723
  8. BI, R309


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1921 (Brown)
Keywords: drink orphan children
Found in: US(Ap,SE,So)