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In a cavern in a canyon,

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 and like a fairy,

And her shoes were number nine:

Herring boxes without topses,

Sandals were for Clementine.

Drove she ducklings to the water,

Every morning just at nine.

Stubbed her toe against a splinter;

Fell into the foaming brine.

Ruby lips above the water

Blowin' bubbles soft and fine.

But, alas, I was no swimmer,

So I lost my Clementine.

How I missed her,  how I missed her,

How I missed my Clementine,

Until I kissed her little sister,

And forgot my Clementine!

forty-niner = miner from the California Gold Rush of 1849

Sing Out Loud Traditional Songs

For English Language Teachers Around the World

American English, United States Department of State.

Lyrics, MP3 and PDF download files for many songs available.

What is the meaning of the song?

Clementine drowns because the man cannot swim.

Can you invent your own words for extra verses?

Successful verses that fit the tune can be sent to

this website as a ‘footprint message’!

Here is an example with the suggestion that boys, girls and grown-ups

should all learn to swim and master life saving skills!

Now you children, there’s a moral

To this little tale of mine.

Artificial respiration,

Would have saved my Clementine.

Questions and activities for music class:


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public domain and may be copied and distributed without permission. Citation of the

U.S. State Department as source of the information is appreciated.”

Clementine by theodorejperk