You’ve probably heard the song, “Oh My Darling, Clementine”—perhaps you’ve even sung it in the car on the way to summer camp at Rawhide Ranch! “Clementine” fits right in with our Old West theme here at Rawhide, because it’s actually an American western folk ballad.
The 19th-century song is about a miner in the 1849 California Gold Rush who loses his love, Clementine, in a drowning accident. It’s not the happiest of stories, but it’s proven its staying power with singability and memorable lyrics. “Clementine” has been covered and made popular again by several modern-day recording artists, including Westlife.
Just for fun, here are the lyrics to “Clementine.” (Remember to sing the chorus after each verse.) Who knows, you might need them during our next cowboy sing-along!
“Oh My Darling Clementine”
In a canyon, in a cavern, excavating for a mine,
lived a miner, forty niner and his daughter Clementine.
Oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’ oh my darlin, Clementine,
you are lost and gone forever, dreadful sorry Clementine.
Light she was, just like a fairy and her shoes were number nine,
herring boxes without topses, sandals were for Clementine.
Led her ducklings to the water every morning just at nine,
Hit her foot upon a splinter, fell into the foaming brine.
Ruby lips above the water blowing bubbles soft and fine,
But alas I was no swimmer and I lost my Clementine.