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A Moving Video: The Dying Californian

DigiTrad:
THE DYING CALIFORNIAN


Lonesome EJ 05 Jan 09 - 12:52 AM
VirginiaTam 05 Jan 09 - 04:39 PM
VirginiaTam 08 Jan 09 - 02:38 AM
Joe Offer 08 Jan 09 - 03:33 AM
Jim Dixon 26 Mar 13 - 12:32 AM
Jim Dixon 26 Mar 13 - 01:32 AM
michaelr 26 Mar 13 - 01:33 AM
Jim Dixon 26 Mar 13 - 09:16 AM
Jack Campin 26 Mar 13 - 10:06 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Mar 13 - 03:12 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Mar 13 - 12:39 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Mar 13 - 02:17 PM
open mike 28 Mar 13 - 04:27 AM
open mike 29 Mar 13 - 01:55 PM
Artful Codger 29 Mar 13 - 02:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Mar 13 - 03:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 May 14 - 03:57 PM
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Subject: A Moving Video: The Dying Californian
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 12:52 AM

This
has the eery impact of something that was composed and filmed in the 19th century.


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Subject: RE: A Moving Video: The Dying Californian
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 05 Jan 09 - 04:39 PM

wow... that was powerful. thanks for sharing


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Subject: RE: A Moving Video: The Dying Californian
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 02:38 AM

refresh.... because this is worth it.

Peeps have a look.


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Subject: RE: A Moving Video: The Dying Californian
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 03:33 AM

This is an interesting song - reminds me of Peter Emberly in a way, except the dying person doesn't seem as dysfunctional as Emberly. There hasn't been anything posted on it, so I think we need to get to work on it. The lyrics in the Digital Tradition are quite different from those on the Tim Eriksen recording. The Traditional Ballad Index has two entries on this song:

Dying Californian (I), The

DESCRIPTION: 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
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1850
KEYWORDS: dying farewell religious
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,MW,Ro,So) Canada(Mar,Newf)
REFERENCES (13 citations):
Belden, pp. 350-351, "The Dying Californian" (1 text)
Randolph 183, "The Dying Californian" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 179-182, "The Dying Californian" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 183)
Eddy 126, "The Dying Californian" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hudson 92, pp. 221-222, "The Dying Californian" (1 text)
Greenleaf/Mansfield 177, "Californian Brothers" (1 text)
FSCatskills 86, "The Dying Californian" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scott-BoA, pp. 187-189, "The Dying Californian" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fife-Cowboy/West 15, "The California Brothers" (1 text, 1 tune)
LPound-ABS, 90, pp. 191-193, "The Dying Californian" (1 text)
JHCox 49, "The Dying Californian" (1 text)
cf. Gardner/Chickering, p. 478, "The Dying Californian" (source notes only)
DT, DYINGCAL

Roud #2283
BROADSIDES:
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"

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Dying Mine Brakeman (The True and Trembling Brakeman)" [Laws G11] (lyrics)
cf. "The Dying Californian (II)" (theme)
SAME TUNE:
The Dying Fifer (File: BrII227) (per broadside Bodleian Harding B 31(29))
Notes: 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
File: R183

Dying Californian (II), The

DESCRIPTION: "Comrades come gather round me for I am dying now." He has messages for father and mother. He sends his ring back to Mary but keeps "a token, she gave it me, from which I cannot part ... I must slumber here alone on San Francisco shore"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1960 (Creighton-SNewBrunswick)
KEYWORDS: dying request father mother wife separation
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Creighton-SNewBrunswick 58, "The Dying Californian" (1 text, 1 tune)
Roud #2283
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Dying Californian (I)" (theme)
Notes: Roud does not distinguish this song (which seems to have been known only in Canada) from the much more popular "Dying Californian (I)." - RBW
File: CrSNB058

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Bibiography
Go to the Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2007 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE DYING CALIFORNIAN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 12:32 AM

From The Knickerbocker: Or, New-York Monthly Magazine (New York: Samuel Hueston, Oct., 1852), page 335.


THE DYING CALIFORNIAN.

On the shores of the Pacific, in a wild sequestered vale,
Lay a miner, faint and weary, with a visage wan and pale;
The deep blue vault of heaven alone was o'er him spread,
The green turf of the valley was the dying sufferer's bed.

At his feet, a mountain river over golden sands was rolled,
For a thousand eager miners washing out the glittering gold:
Men had left a fellow-mortal, far from friends, to die alone,
For the love of gold had hardened human sympathies to stone.

The sufferer, pale and languid, turned his dull and glazing eye
To the fleecy clouds of whiteness that flecked the western sky.
The scene was passing lovely: Nevada's peaks of snow
Reflecting the rich sun-light on the sleeping vales below:

The mountains in the distance flung aloft their summits bleak,
In calm and silent grandeur, peak rising over peak,
Until their shadowy outlines were lost unto the view,
And the splintered, snow-capped pinnacles were bathed in heavenly blue.

But that wan and pallid sufferer, as restlessly he lay,
Marked not those scenes of beauty, for his thoughts were far away;
Far away to loved New-England, where a happy, joyous band
Had welcomed him in gladness to his rugged mountain strand.

He dies, that youthful dreamer; but his wild and fevered brain
Was roving in the pleasant scenes of his early home again:
A mother's face bent o'er him as he drew his latest breath,
And a smile played o'er his features when his eye grew dim in death.

As the sun was slowly sinking 'neath the broad Pacific's wave,
The heartless hands of strangers laid the dreamer in his grave.
No prayer was breathed, no tear was shed, no shroud enclosed his breast,
But with cold, unfeeling mockery they laid him to his rest

Hoarsely broke the solemn surges on Atlantic's rock-bound shore;
Their deep tones were the requiem of him whose life was o'er:
And a wail came from New-England, a wail for the departed,
From a father, brother, sister, and a mother broken-hearted.

To that western El Dorado, that gorgeous land of gold,
The tide of emigration its mighty waves hath rolled;
And thousands that were toiling for the gold which millions crave
Have died alone and friendless, and found a stranger's grave.

In Nevada's mountain gorges, in every golden glen
In Sacramento's valley, repose New-England men:
Along each gliding rivulet, with music in its flow,
Full many a hopeful dreamer is sleeping lone and low.

California hath her treasures, whose value is untold,
But her soil holds treasures dearer, more priceless far than gold:
For many noble spirits in her bosom are at rest,
And the gold sands of her valleys shroud many a manly breast.

Pittsfield, (N. H.)                                                    J. S.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE DYING CALIFORNIAN / BROTHER'S REQUEST
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 01:32 AM

From the sheet music at Duke University:


THE DYING CALIFORNIAN, OR THE BROTHER'S REQUEST
Poetry from The New England Diadem; music by A. L. Lee.
Boston: Oliver Ditson, 1855.

1. Lie up nearer, brother, nearer,
For my limbs are growing cold,
And thy presence seemeth dearer
When thy arms around me fold.
I am dying, brother, dying.
Soon you'll miss me in your berth,
For my form will soon be lying
'Neath the ocean's briny surf.

2. Hearken to me, brother; hearken:
I have something I would say
Ere the vale my vision darken
And I go from home away.
I am going, surely going,
But my hope in God is strong.
I am willing, brother, knowing
That He doeth nothing wrong.

3. Tell my father when you greet him
That in death I prayed for him,
Prayed that I may one day meet him
In a world that's free from sin.
Tell my mother (God assist her,
Now that she is growing old),
Tell her child would glad have kissed her
When his lips grew pale and cold.

4. Listen, brother; catch each whisper.
'Tis my wife I'd speak of now.
Tell, oh, tell her how I missed her
When the fever burned my brow.
Tell her, brother—closely listen;
Don't forget a single word—
That in death my eyes did glisten
When the tears her mem'ry stirred.

5. Tell her she must kiss my children
Like the kiss I last impressed.
Hold them as when last I held them
Folded closely to my breast.
Give them early to their Maker,
Putting all her trust in God,
And He never will forsake her,
For He said so in His word.

6. O my children, Heaven bless them.
They recall my life to me.
Would I could once more caress them
Ere I sink beneath the sea!
'Twas for them I crossed the ocean.
What my hopes were I'll not tell,
But I've gained an orphan's portion,
Yet He doeth all things well.

7. Tell my sister I remember
Ev'ry kindly parting word,
And my heart has been kept tender
By the thoughts their mem'ry stirred.
Tell I never reached the haven
Where I sought the precious dust,
But I have gained a port called Heaven
Where the gold will never rust.

8. Urge them to secure an entrance
For they'll find their brother there.
Faith in Jesus and repentance
Will secure for each a share.
Hark! I hear my Savior speaking.
'Tis His voice I know so well.
When I'm gone, oh, don't be weeping.
Brother, here's my last farewell.


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Subject: RE: A Moving Video: The Dying Californian
From: michaelr
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 01:33 AM

Jeez - talk about turgid...


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Subject: RE: A Moving Video: The Dying Californian
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 09:16 AM

The New England Diadem and Rhode-Island Temperance Pledge was a periodical published in Providence 1848-1851?.


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Subject: RE: A Moving Video: The Dying Californian
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 10:06 AM

Meanwhile the original video has been removed for copyright infringement.


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Subject: RE: A Moving Video: The Dying Californian
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Mar 13 - 03:12 PM

Seems like this ballad wss very popular. American Memory has three song sheets, The first line in all three has "Lay up nearer" rather than "Lie ...."

A version from Beadle's Dime Song Books, 1859 differs slightly in a few lines:
Verse 4
Hearken to me, catch each whisper,
'Tis my wife I speak of now,
Tell, oh tell her how I missed her
When the fever burned my brow.

(Reproduced in Fife and Fife, "Cowboy and Western Songs," with the title "The California Brothers.")
The melody given in Fife and Fife is from the singing of Effie Carmack, Fife Mormon Collection.

The piece was first printed without music, 1850, see Greenleaf and Mansfield, pp. 359-260.
Greenleaf, E. B., Mansfield, Grace Y., "Ballads and Sea Songs of Newfoundland." Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1933.

Two short versions, differing from the original, were printed in
Lester A. Hubbard, 1961, Ballads and Songs from Utah, pp. 217-219.


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Subject: RE: A Moving Video: The Dying Californian
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 12:39 PM

Lyric Add: Dying California
(sic)

Heark and listen, brothers, listen,
Don't forget a single word,
How in death my eyes did glisten
With the thoughts that memory stirred.
2
Oh, my children, heaven bless them,
They are all my life to me;
Would I could once more caress them,
Hold them fondly on my knee.
'Twas for them I crossed the ocean.
What my hopes were I'll not tell,
But they've gained an orphan's portion
In the courts where all is well.
3
Oh, my mother, heaven bless her
Now that she is growing old;
Tell her how I longed to kiss her
When my lips were growing cold.
Tell her to caress my children,
As I did when last did see,
Tell her fondly to embrace them,
Hold them fondly on her knee.
4
Hark and listen, brothers, listen,
'Tis my wife I speak of now;
Tell her how I longed to kiss her
When the fever burnt my brow.
Tell her I'll meet her in heaven,
Putting all in God her trust,
And we'll gain the port called heaven,
Where the gold will never rust.
5
Hark, I hear my Jesus speaking,
'Tis his voice I love so well.
I am dying, brother, dying,
Brother, that's my last farewell.

Sung by Mrs. Salley A Hubbard, Salt Lake City, Utah, musical score provided.

Lester A. Hubbard, Ed., 1961, "Ballads and Songs from Utah," The University of Utah Press. No. 117, pp. 217-218.


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Subject: RE: A Moving Video: The Dying Californian
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Mar 13 - 02:17 PM

Lyr. Add: The Dying Californian

1
Come, brothers, gather round my bed, for I am dying now.
The last bright gleam of hope has fled and calm, calm is my brow.
While reason yet retains her throne, come list to what I say
And bear this message to my home, my home, far, far away.
2
Go tell my father not to blame his wayward, daring child,
But kindly speak of his poor name on which in youth he smiled.
Go tell my mother, poor but fair, that my last act shall be
To breathe that well remembered prayer I heard beside her knee.
3
When I am dead take off this ring and bear it to that shore;
Tell Mary it is an offering of one who wakes no more.
Go tell her in the courts above I'll think on that blest hour
When first to me she pledged her love 'neath that dear shady bower.
4
Brothers, you soon must close my eyes and make my last cold bed,
For ere tomorrow's sun does rise I shall be cold and dead.
Brothers, farewell. Dear, happy home, I ne'er shall see you more,
For I must slumber here alone on San Francisco's shore.

No. 118, p. 219. No musical score.
"Sung by James Jepson of Hurricane, [Utah].... He learned it in Virgin City from Andrew J. Workman, a soldier who had been in the Mormon Battalion and who had brought it from California. Mrs. Susie S. Barlow of Salt Lake City sang, with few textual differences,
another version entitled "The Dying Cowboy," which she learned in Richville."

Lester a. Hubbard, ed., 1961, "Ballads and Songs from Utah," University of Utah Press.

The most distinctive of several versions of the song that I have seen.


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Subject: RE: A Moving Video: The Dying Californian
From: open mike
Date: 28 Mar 13 - 04:27 AM

when following the link posted above, I got this message
unfortunately the video has been taken down...is there any
other place to find this song online??

"Tim Eriksen / Cordelia's Da..." The YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement.


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Subject: RE: A Moving Video: The Dying Californian
From: open mike
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 01:55 PM

o.k. found one of Time Eriksen playing fiddle and singing this by the golden gate bridge...he was there to perform at the Freight and Salvage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DiHM8c37sk

and here is a clip of some folks jamming after that performance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qX0DJYsAEg

and here is the Northern Roots Music Collective singing the Dying Californian from the Sacred Harp at a Wesleyan Contra Dance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uupgm3eCGso

one of the comments on you tube says this about the song..
#410 in the Sacred Harp, words by Kate Harris, tune by Ball & Drinkard


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Subject: RE: A Moving Video: The Dying Californian
From: Artful Codger
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 02:03 PM

A simple YouTube search on the song title turns the video up again here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DiHM8c37sk
Posted by Tim's YouTube account (batfancy), so I trust this clip will remain unburdened by infringement claims.

(It strains credulity that other stalwarts above didn't think of this simple expedient. Must be something in the water today.)


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Subject: RE: A Moving Video: The Dying Californian
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Mar 13 - 03:04 PM

Poem by Kate Harris, 1850, of Pascoag, RI, in "New England Diadem and Rhode Island Temperance Pledge."
"Suggested on hearing read an extract of a letter from Captain Chase, containing the dying words of Brown Owen, who recently died on his passage to California."

www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~mudws/texts/DyingCalifornian.txt

The music by Ball and Drinkard, see open mike, above.


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Subject: RE: A Moving Video: The Dying Californian
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 May 14 - 03:57 PM

In the website of texasfasola.org

Lyr. Add: The Dying Californian 398b
Tune: R. f. Ball and Drinkard, 1859
Alto: Wilson Marion Cooper, 1902
Lyrics: Kate Harris, 1850
Meter: 8s, 7s (8,7,8,7)

Lay up nearer, brother, neared,
For my limbs are growing cold,
And my presence seemeth nearer
When thine arms around me fold.

I am dying, brother, dying,
Soon you'll miss me in your berth,
For my form will soon be lying
'Neath the ocean's briny surf.

I am going, surely going,
But my hope in God is strong;
I am willing, brother, knowing
That He doeth nothing wrong.

Supposedly inspired by the story of Brown Owen, who died on his passage to California, as told by the captain of the ship.

http://texasfasola.org/resources/index/poetry/398b.html


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