Jon calls this,“Another Bellamy tour-de-force from Songs An’ Rummy Conjurin’ Tricks. I can’t match Bellamy for power, but hopefully people will check out his version too.” This gold rush song that seems to have any number of verses and you’ll find a fairly extensive Mudcat thread giving you plenty of information here. As well as Bellamy, Dylan recorded and released it on his Self Portrait album and his version certainly follows the same tune, adding lyrical variations. The song of course refers to the California gold rush of 1849 and may be contemporary, but probably actually dates from the 1870s being collected and published around this time. Somewhere in there I’ve read that this broadside would probably have made more money for its publishers than many made in prospecting. The real money was always made by the bar keepers, grocers, entertainers and so forth that set up to supply the miners. In this tale Old Tom Moore remains the survivor, as most of the salty crew it describes meet premature ends in desperate circumstances. It would likely have proved popular in any frontier situation. I believe the Bellamy album that Jon refers to above was recorded live by Fellside’s Paul Adams at the Cockermouth folk club and can now be found as part of a double CD. This Mainly Norfolk link gives you the details.
The buy links should now work properly. We had some problems with a duplicate track and everything needed to be updated, but I’ve just tested them and they are now OK!
You can buy the digital album now from the following stores: