Many returning miners feared that they would be seen as failures, especially if they did not return with a vast fortune. The following song speaks both to these fears and to the sense of inner worth which many miners developed during the rush. The Ragged Coat Oh, what a world of flummery—there’s nothing but deceit in it— So you’ll find, if you’ll mind, as through this life you travel on; Old and young, rich and poor, every one you meet in it, All judge you by appearances, and I’ll prove it in my song. Eight years ago I left New York—I hadn’t nary red, sirs; My folks were rich, but wouldn’t lend a single dollar note; So I started off across the plains, and really almost dead, sirs— I had no hat, no shirt, no boots, and this very ragged coat. But being in the land of gold, my spirits soon got lighter— I got a pick and shovel, and I started off to work; I made a very lucky strike—my prospects soon got brighter— I made a handsome fortune, though I worked like any Turk. And then I thought that I’d return, and see my friends at home, sirs; So I bought a first class passage on board of a steamboat. I had a heap more cash then than when I ‘gan to roam sirs, But to fathom out deception I kept my ragged coat. The boat was very crowded, but I got a first rate berth, sirs, And tried to make myself at home with the passengers on board; But their behavior oftentimes it caused me lots of mirth, sirs— I’d commence a conversation, but they wouldn’t say a word. When I heard a silly puppy say, though lowly he did breathe it, “It’s a shame to let a ragged man in this part of the boat”; Said I, “You foppish rascal, there’s a good heart beats beneath it— So don’t despise a man because he wears a ragged coat.” My journey being ended, I put my foot on shore, sirs, Glad enough, indeed, I was of them to get relief. I walked up to my cousin’s and straight knocked at the door, sirs, But he banged it in my face again, as though I was a thief. I told him plainly who I was—my face he didn’t know, sirs. I told him I had made a pile—he quickly chang’d his note; He wanted to borrow, but, I said, “Oh, dear me, no, sirs, For you despised the man because he wore a ragged coat.”