“The Miner's Doom”


Although a miner's life may be happy, the risks are great. This miner is riding back to the surface when the elevator rope breaks. His death causes his wife to die of grief, leaving their three children orphans


Laws lists this as an old Welsh song, and Korson claims to have picked it up from a Welshman in 1925. But I wonder. There seem to be only two known traditional versions: Korson's, which he claims to have heard in 1925 but who did not record it until 1946, and Lloyd's. Thus, apart from Korson's unverifiable claim of a 1925 date, there is no evidence of this song being in circulation prior to Vernon Dalhart's recording. One has to suspect that Dalhart at least contributed to its (bare) survival. - RBW

Cross references

  • cf. "The Orphan Girl" (the subtext "The Coal Miner's Child" has a plot very like this)


  • Vernon Dalhart, "The Miner's Doom" (Brunswick 139, 1927; Supertone S-2014, 1930)


  1. Laws Q36, "The Miner's Doom"
  2. DT 544, MINRDOOM*
  3. Roud #1015
  4. BI, LQ36


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1927 (recording, Vernon Dalhart)
Keywords: mining death orphan
Found in: US(MA) Britain(Wales)