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Henry Clay Work (1832-1884)

"Come Home, Father!"


'Tis The
SONG OF LITTLE MARY,
Standing at the bar-room door
While the shameful midnight revel
Rages wildly as before.

              1Father, dear father, come home with me now!
              2The clock in the steeple strikes one;
              3You said you were coming right home from the shop,
              4As soon as your day's work was done.
              5Our fire has gone out our house is all dark
              6And mother's been watching since tea, --
              7With poor brother Benny so sick in her arms,
              8And no one to help her but me. --
              9Come home! come home! come home! --
            10Please, father, dear father, come home. --

            11[Chorus] Hear the sweet voice of the child
            12Which the night winds repeat as they roam!
            13Oh who could resist this most plaintive of prayers?
            14"Please, father, dear father, come home."

            15[Solo] Father, dear father, come home with me now!
            16The clock in the steeple strikes two;
            17The night has grown colder, and Benny is worse
            18But he has been calling for you.
            19Indeed he is worse Ma says he will die,
            20Perhaps before morning shall dawn; --
            21And this is the message she sent me to bring
            22"Come quickly, or he will be gone." --
            23Come home! come home! come home! --
            24Please, father, dear father, come home. --

            25[Chorus] Hear the sweet voice of the child
            26Which the night winds repeat as they roam!
            27Oh who could resist this most plaintive of prayers?
            28"Please, father, dear father, come home."

            29[Solo] Father, dear father, come home with me now!
            30The clock in the steeple strikes three;
            31The house is so lonely the hours are so long
            32For poor weeping mother and me.
            33Yes, we are alone poor Benny is dead,
            34And gone with the angels of light; --
            35And these were the very last words that he said
            36"I want to kiss Papa good night." --
            37Come home! come home! come home! --
            38Please, father, dear father, come home. --

            39[Chorus] Hear the sweet voice of the child
            40Which the night winds repeat as they roam!
            41Oh who could resist this most plaintive of prayers?
            42"Please, father, dear father, come home."

Notes

1] This temperance song was for years sung in the melodrama Ten Nights in a Barroom (1864-).


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Compositions of Henry C. Work (Cleveland: S. Brainard's Sons, 1864), in Songs of Henry Clay Work, compiled by Bertram G. Work (New York: J. J. Little and Ives, ca. 1884). Facsimile in Henry Clay Work, Songs, Earlier American Music 19 (New York: Da Capo Press, 1974): 53-56. Toronto Metro Public Reference Library. M780.82 E13 no. 19.
First publication date: 1864
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/14

Composition date: 1864
Rhyme: abcbdefegg


Other poems by Henry Clay Work