American Old Time Song Lyrics: 02 Death Of President Garfield
Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 2
Death of President Garfield
Composed by J. F. McDermott. Tune-"Cumberland's Crew."
Good people, no matter of what creed or nation,
Come list to the story I now will relate,
Concerning the shooting of President Garfield,
His heroic struggle for life, and his fate:
On the second of July, about nine in the morning,
While at the depot awaiting a train.
He was approached from behind and shot down without warning,
By a coward so base, I will not speak his name.
Then sped the news swiftly all over the country
(And deep was the grief of the people I'm sure),
To his dear wife at Long Branch, just then convalescing,
And his poor aged mother-how did they endure?
Oh! bravely his wife puts aside her own illness,
On a lightning express hurries to his bedside;
And all through the struggle, and in the dark crisis,
Tis she who has kept him afloat on life's tide.
On the seventh of September 'twas thought best to remove him
To a cottage at Elberon by the seashore,
In hopes that the vigorous breath of old ocean
Would revive his worn spirits, and health soon restore;
And well did he relish the change in his quarters.
And expressed himself gratified when in his chair,
But chills and the fever setting in shortly after,
His friends and the nation began to despair.
Oh! vain was the hope that we here could detain him.
Quietly, yet painfully, breathed he his last;
On September the nineteenth, an hour before midnight.
Away with the ebb-tide his spirit had passed.
For eighty long days he had braved the grim reaper-
For eighty long nights since the mad deed was done-
And but once, in his agony, asked he the question:
Oh! is it worth while to struggle thus on?
Now in the clay of his own State they've laid him,
Where Erie's soft zephyrs his last home will fan;
And whoever shall point out the spot that he rests in,
Will tell you-there lies the remains of a Man.
As for the assassin, let justice be done him,
He must have every right that the law to him gives,
And then can we say, with our loved chief departed,
God reigns! and the Government at Washington still live!