American Old Time Song Lyrics: 26 Playmates

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 26

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Copyright, 1889, by Geo. M. Klenk & Co.
Words and Music by Harry Dacre.

Thro' the storms of life I've battled, I have seen its saddest side.
Fortune has not deigned to hear me, tho' my level best I've tried;
Some but get the milk and water, others get the richest cream,
Oft the mem'ry of my boyhood comes back to me as a dream.
All the trouble of those schooldays centered in the master's rule,
All we had to think or care for were our lessons and the school;
Ofttimes I meet those playmates who once made my heart rejoice.
Some are smiling glad and hearty, others sing with broken voice

Playmates were we, little we thought it then,
How we should change when we should both be men;
Sweet boyhood's days, free from all care and pain,
Playmates, playmates, I wish we were boys again.

Very well I can remember one young lad named Henry Dare,
Brightly gladsome were his features, brightly golden was his hair;
He was everybody's idol, softened e'er the master's heart.
When young Harry got in mischief everybody took his part.
Some few months ago I met him, all his hair was ghastly gray,
When he saw me, with a shudder, turned and went the other way;
Years ago he'd robbed employers, been in prison as a thief.
Sought in drink and dissipation, what he ne'er could find, relief!-Chorus.

Sometimes I have grown a-weary of the world and all its strife,
out of work and out of money, black and dismal seemed this life;
One day by strange chance I wandered past a mansion in the West,
Dr. Jasper on the door-plate, on the step I sat to rest.
Presently the door flies open, could it be the Jack of yore?
Johnny Jasper, my old playmate, don't you know me Look once more!
I am starving, cold and homeless, help me, hear my piteous tale!
No! said he. I pay my taxes, seek the poorhouse or the jail.-Chorus.

This is but few months ago, boys, yet remembrance will not die,
Neither in the jail or poorhouse have I yet been forced to lie;
But I've been inside a poorhouse, I wasteful for yesterday,
Some one dying wished to see me, and I went without delay.
When I reached that wretched bedside, there lay gasping for his breath,
Johnny Jasper, Dr. Jasper, almost at the gate of death;
Tom, he whispered, I have fallen from my wealth and grand estates.
For my cruelty forgive me, don't say no, we once were mates!-Chorus.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III