From scoutsongs.com Oh, My Darling Clementine

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

Chorus: Oh my darling, Oh my darling, Oh my darling Clementine, You are lost and gone forever, Dreadful sorry 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, Every 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

When the miner forty-niner, Soon began to peak and pine, Thought he oughter "jine" his daughter, Now he's with his clementine.

Repeat chorus

In a corner of the churchyard, Where the myrtle boughs entwine, Grow the roses in their poses, Fertilized by Clementine.

Repeat chorus

In my dreams she still doth haunt me, Robed in garments soaked in brine. Though in life I used to hug her, Now she's dead, I'll draw the line.

Repeat chorus

How I missed her, how I missed her How I missed my Clementine. So I kissed her little sister, And forgot my Clementine.

Repeat chorus

Now you Boy Scouts, there's a moral To this little tale of mine. Artificial respiration, Would have saved my Clementine.

Repeat chorus

What is meant by "peak and pine"? I know some versions of the song that end after the verse "Now he's with his clementine.", the version that continues on seems strange as the lyrics seem to suggest the miner committed suicide to be with Clementine but at the end he "kissed her little sister" which shows he's not dead.

  • 2
    The miner (father of Clementine) is not the balladeer. The singer is Clementine's sweetheart, who moved on to her sister following his loss. – Andrew Leach Nov 13 '14 at 10:37
  • Presumably peak just means feeling ill. As in "I feel a bit peaky today". – z7sg Ѫ Nov 13 '14 at 10:39
  • Those wouldn't be the two words I would ask about. I wonder what he means to jine his daughter. That sounds pretty dirty to me. – Jason Hutchinson Nov 13 '14 at 21:05
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    @JasonHutchinson I assumed "jine" was a particular pronunciation of "join" so that it rhymed with pine. – Celeritas Nov 14 '14 at 1:57

'Peak' means 'decline in health and spirits, waste away' -http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/peak#peak-2;
'Pine' means 'become ill or feeble through worry or longing' - http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/pine

The 'I' of the chorus is Clementine's lover. It is not her father.

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  • The lover's not the miner. The miner is her father, the lover is the one telling the story to the boy scouts. – skymningen Nov 13 '14 at 10:44
  • @skymninge. Right. I have corrected that slip. – tunny Nov 13 '14 at 10:48

This blogpost explains the connections of peaked to sickly.

From a german translation of the song I once read somewhere, peak and pine stands for languish or waste away

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  • 4
    Links can rot, and when they do, they become obsolete and worthless. Could you provide a brief summary? – Mari-Lou A Nov 13 '14 at 10:47

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