American Old Time Song Lyrics: 30 Don't Abuse The Old Folks

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 30

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Copyright, 1891, by Frank Harding.
Words and Music by Will H. Fox.

One day while walking through the streets I saw a touching sight,
A man and woman bent with age, and hair turned snowy white;
I ventured then to speak to them, and asked in kindly tone,
"If I could lend them any aid in reaching their own home;"
The woman's eyes were filled with tears, my words had touched her heart;
The old man tried to soothe her with kind words he did impart;
He said their son had turned them out of the homestead they once owned,
Yet the mother tried to shield her boy, while the old man sadly moaned:

Don't abuse the old folks, don't neglect your parents,
You'll miss them when they leave you here behind;
When doors are closed upon you, and every friend does shun you,
Why your old folks are the best friends you will find.

The old man said he'd labored hard from morning until night
To bring the boy who turned them out up in life's pathway right;
He'd saved a little money, too, and this he gave to Jim,
For knowing that they were getting old, in business put him in;
The mother said he was our pride, we'd pray for him in bed;
But lately he has cursed us both, And wished that we were dead;
I offered them assistance then, saying for them I'd provide,
They both refused and started off, while the mother sadly cried:

Don't abuse your father, never slur your mother.
Remember how they toiled for you since birth;
In trouble they are by you, they never will belie you,
For your parents are the truest friends on earth.

I bought the newspapers next day, and in sorrow there I read,
A man and woman side by side in the river were found dead,
Their hardships they had ended, with life's trials they were through;
I offered up a pray'r for them, and now I ask of you,
Where is the boy who has not loved his old folks during life?
Then why not help them battle through this weary world of strife;
Adversity may reach us all e'er death puts in its claim.
So think well of my motto now while I sing you this refrain:

Don't abuse the old folks, don't turn against your mother,
You'll know their value when you're left behind;
Should every one forsake you and sickness overtake you,
Then your parents are the best friends you can find.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III