American Old Time Song Lyrics: 07 The Old Turnkey

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 7

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THE OLD TURNKEY.

I am the old turnkey, yon see, I do my duty well.
For many years, with sobs and tears, I've locked them In their cell;
I've seen the strongest hearts break down, but what is that to mef
'Tis the law, 'tis the law. 'tis the duty of the old turnkey.
I've seen the mother kiss her child and say, farewell, farewell!
I've seen the gray-haired father weep-his grief no tongue could tell;
I've heard them sob all through the night, and pray to God that all be right;
I've heard them call names once dear.in trembling voice, all chok'd with tears

Chorus.
I am the old turnkey, you see, I do my duty well.
For many years, with sobs And tears, I've locked them in their cell;
I've seen the strongest hearts break down, but what is that to me?
'Tis the law, 'tis the law, 'tis the duty of the old turnkey.

I've turned that key on the rich and poor-to me they're all the same-
My duty ends when I enforce the law for crime and shame;
I've often had to turn my head for fear my tears they'd see ;
'Tis the law, 'tis the law, 'tis the duty at the old turnkey.
I've seen them drag the poor outcast, no friends, alas: the poor outcast!
His starving children plead, alas t for him, the poor outcast 1
Oh, God i they'd say. you little know the pangs of hunger, shame and woe;
I've heard them call our Father's name in pleading tones chok'd with shame.
I am the old turnkey, you see, I do my duty, &c.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III