Dream of the Miner’s Child

Paul and Pap

Pap and Paul – Picking on a Sunday evening under the trees

I always enjoyed hearing Pap and Paul’s music when I was growing up, well other than when I was trying to watch my favorite tv show and Paul was playing Foggy Mountain Breakdown for the millionth time 🙂

I’ve always been a lover of sad songs, but a few that Pap and Paul used to do made me get teary-eyed every time.

Way back Pap used to sing a sad song about losing his little pal. Every time he sat on the couch and sang it I ran to my room and squawled because I thought he was singing about losing Paul.

Another song that always made me cry was “Dream of a Miner’s Child.” I think it tore at my heart because it was about a little girl begging her daddy not to go to work for she dreamed the mine caved in and she could never live without him. That’s exactly how I felt about Pap, that I couldn’t live without him.

The old miners song is said to have originated in England. Once it was introduced in the US it was adopted by our own mining culture and immediately became a folk song that is still going strong today.

Wayne Erbesen offers this additional information about the song in his book “Rural Roots of Bluegrass.”

“With the first recording on October 9, 1925, Vernon Dalhart recorded “Dream of the Miner’s Child” nine times! The song may have been inspired by the stories of a small boy who dreamed of a mine explosion. True or not, there was in fact, a major mining accident in South Wales in 1907, where over 100 miners perished. In 1910 these events, inspired Robert Donnelly and Will Geddes to write “Don’t Go Down in the Mines, Dad,” it was later “recomposed” by the blind Atlanta evangelist, Rev. Andrew Jenkins, in 1925. For a full account of the history of this song see, Archie Green’s book, Only a Miner.”

I hope you enjoyed the song and I hope you have a great Sunday!


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  • Reply
    lynn legge
    August 27, 2018 at 3:58 am

    tipper iv never heard this before..i bet id be just like you…as I cry at the most simple things..even commercials around
    again thank you for the beautiful story and music
    big ladybug hugs

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    August 26, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    So sad and beautiful. I hadn’t ever heard it before.

  • Reply
    betty stephenson
    August 26, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    always been one of my favourites and a great version thanks for the memories

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 26, 2018 at 11:29 am

    I knew 2 boys from my area that got killed in the mines of Michigan. They were a few years older than me, Jimmy Reighard and Frog Curtiss was drilling and hit a gas pocket, blowing them both down the tunnel about 3 or 400 yards. They hadn’t been out of High School very long.

    When I got out of High School, I went up to West Virginia to work in a shaft. My father-in-law already worked there, and I took one look at that hole in the ground and decided that wasn’t for me. My daddy-in-law said “after you get about 1/2 mile down, it opens up and is like a city.” He had nerves of steel. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 26, 2018 at 10:40 am

    With all the looking through Youtube for BlindPig videos I’ve done, I failed to unearth this one. I do remember the song mentioned by a DJ on one of Pap and Ray’s recordings of a live radio broadcast. I think that was before Paul partnered with Pap. Did Pap and Ray also perform that one too?
    I love the song but I do have one complaint. The guitars are drowning out the voices in places. I realize it is difficult to control that in a home recording but I can wish can’t I? One day though, before we know it, Pap and Paul will redo it with the instruments turned down a little. I’m gonna be there for that!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2018 at 9:17 am

    Daddy was a coal miner all his adult life, He started working the back breaking and dangerous job when he was just a little boy, about 12 years old. Mining was a way of life, the only way to make a living where I grew up. I wonder what Daddy would have done if one of his little girls had asked him not to go in the mines on a work day. I never did, as I didn’t know then what I know now. I just started reading “They Died In The Darkness”, a book written about the mining disasters in West Virginia. Both the song and the book are so sad, but make me appreciate one of the most wonderful dads to ever live even more.

  • Reply
    Jay A Clark
    August 26, 2018 at 8:55 am

    A year before this song was released by Vernon Dalhart, my mother lost her daddy to the coal mine where he worked. He had fallen down a two-hundred foot shaft. She too, had had a premonition that he would not return from work on that awful day in 1924. It haunted her the rest of her life (she lived to be 85). She listened to this song as a girl because it helped her feel close to her daddy, in spite of the sadness. I still tear up if I hear it, or worse yet, try to sing it. Or even now as I type this…

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 26, 2018 at 8:08 am

    I wish my Dad had not gone to the mines that October night in 1974. A lot of things would have been different if he hadn’t. He didn’t want to go to work in them but there was very little else. He said later he had a bad feeling all that day.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2018 at 7:36 am

    Don’t believe I’ve ever heard this one, but nicely done as always.

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