For Auld Lang Syne and the Days of ’49

My mother, being of Scottish heritage, was fond of the song “Auld Lang Syne” and we would gather round and sing it every New Year’s Eve. Since this blog is about “auld lang syne” or the days long past, I got to thinking of another old song about long-gone days, in this case, “The Days of Forty-Nine.” Here is the first verse, as collected by Alan Lomax in Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads:

 We are gazing now on old Tom Moore,
A relic of bygone days;
'Tis a bummer too, they call me now,
But what cares I for praise?
It's oft, says I, for the days gone by,
It's oft I do repine
For the days of old when we dug out the gold
In those days of Forty-Nine.

Another, more familiar version of the first verse goes:

I'm old Tom Moore from the bummer's shore 
in the good old golden days
They call me a bummer and a gin sot too, 
but what cares I for praise ?
I wander around from town to town 
just like a roving sign
And all the people say, "There goes Tom Moore, from the days of '49."

In the days of old, the days of gold
How oft'times I repine,
 for the days of old
When we dug up the gold, 
in the days of '49

You can sing along with Sourdough Slim, a Northern California native and the “Last of the Vaudeville Cowboys,” in this clip

Welcome to 2023! I hope this year will be a golden year, with happiness, prosperity, and everything you could wish for.

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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