Despite the words, this song was not a gold rush song. It didn’t appear in print until 1863 — 14 years after the California Gold rush.
I also expect this song is probably one of the most popular and well-known of the songs in the 19th century book I am going through. I remember a Disney clip of this song with Donald and his nephews. Do they still teach this song in elementary music classes?
Here it is:
In a cabin, in a canon, an excavation for a mine;
Dwelt a miner, a Forty-niner, And his daughter Clementine.
Oh my darling, Oh my darling, Oh my darling Clementine,
You are lost and gone forever, Drefful sorry, Clementine.
She drove her ducklets, To the river, Ev’ry morning just at nine;
She stubb’d her toe, against a sliver, And fell into the foaming brine
I saw her lips above the water, Blowing bubbles soft and fine; alas for me, I was no swimmer, And so I lost my Clementine.
(P.S. — the typo in the first verse isn’t mine, but comes from the original sheet music. Canon is a religious term — I am sure they meant Canyon, which is what I remember singing — not Canon or Cannon.)