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Oh My Darling Clementine - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

Written in the 1880s, Oh My Darling Clementine is a song with an incredibly simple chord structure, a memorable tune and genuinely funny lyrics.  Clementine is (apparently) a miner's daughter - a forty-niner was somebody who took part in the Californian gold rush of 1849.  She dies in comi-tragic circumstances, killed - indirectly one supposes - by a splinter in her oversized feet, whilst the singer finds solace in her little sister (who perhaps had smaller feet?).  Poor old Clementine!

Chords

Capo at 1st Fret

Chorus

C

Oh my darling, oh my darling,

C                                   G7
Oh my darling, Clementine!

G7                                      C
You are lost and gone forever

                    G7              C
Dreadful sorry, Clementine




Verse

C
In a cavern, in a canyon,

C                         G7
Excavating for a mine

G7                               C
Dwelt a miner, forty-niner,

                G7                       C
And his daughter, Clementine.

Lyrics

Chorus
Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
You are lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

In a cavern, in a canyon,
Excavating for a mine
Dwelt a miner, forty-niner,
And his daughter, Clementine.

Repeat Chorus

Light she was and like a fairy,
And her shoes were number nine
Herring boxes, without topses,
Sandals were for Clementine.

Repeat Chorus

Drove she ducklings to the water
Ev'ry morning just at nine,
Hit her foot against a splinter,
Fell into the foaming brine.

Repeat Chorus

Ruby lips above the water,
Blowing bubbles, soft and fine,
But, alas, I was no swimmer,
So I lost my Clementine.

Repeat Chorus

How I missed her! How I missed her,
How I missed my Clementine,
But I kissed her little sister,
I forgot my Clementine.

Repeat Chorus

 

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