“The Dying Californian (I)”


The singer tells a comrade he is dying. He confesses to a firm belief in God. He sends messages to his father and mother. He wishes his wife to know that he thought of her while dying, and bids her care for his children


This appears, under its own name, in the Sacred Harp, credited to "Ball and Drinkard 1859." - RBW

Broadside LOCSheet sm1855 580660 has the cover sheet attribution "Poetry from the New England Diadem Music by A.L. Lee"

Broadside LOCSinging sb10096b: J. Andrews dating per _Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song_ by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site.

Broadside LOCSheet, sm1857 620570, "Prayer of the Dying Californian," Oliver Ditson (Boston), 1857 (tune) shares lines with "The Dying Californian." The cover sheet attribution is "Arranged from the Spanish of Marechio by E. Williams Denison." - BS

Same tune

  • The Dying Fifer (File: BrII227) (per broadside Bodleian Harding B 31(29))

Cross references


  • LOCSheet, sm1855 580660, "Dying Californian" or "The Brother's Request" ("Lie up nearer, brother, nearer"), Oliver Ditson (Boston), 1855 (tune)
  • LOCSinging, sb10096b, "The Dying Californian" ("Lay up nearer, brother, nearer, for my limbs are growing cold"), J. Andrews (New York), 1853-1859; also as103250, as10325a, "The Dying Californian"


  1. Belden, pp. 350-351, "The Dying Californian" (1 text)
  2. Randolph 183, "The Dying Californian" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Randolph/Cohen, pp. 179-182, "The Dying Californian" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 183)
  4. Eddy 126, "The Dying Californian" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Hudson 92, pp. 221-222, "The Dying Californian" (1 text)
  6. Greenleaf/Mansfield 177, "Californian Brothers" (1 text)
  7. FSCatskills 86, "The Dying Californian" (1 text, 1 tune)
  8. Scott-BoA, pp. 187-189, "The Dying Californian" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Fife-Cowboy/West 15, "The California Brothers" (1 text, 1 tune)
  10. LPound-ABS, 90, pp. 191-193, "The Dying Californian" (1 text)
  11. JHCox 49, "The Dying Californian" (1 text)
  12. cf. Gardner/Chickering, p. 478, "The Dying Californian" (source notes only)
  14. Roud #2283
  15. BI, R183


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1850
Found in: US(Ap,MA,MW,Ro,So) Canada(Mar,Newf)