American Old Time Song Lyrics: 33 The Road To Ruin

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 33

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Written by Fredrick Bowyer. Composed by Geo. Le Brunn.

Life is all a game of chance, some are losers, some are winners,
Fate and force of circumstance mould us all to saints or sinners;
There are some whom fortune dowers with her gifts of wealth And name,
Honor, talent, splendid powers, yet somehow they lose the game.

See the day is slowly breaking o'er a college old and gray.
There within a student's chamber gamblers stake their gold away;
Some already cleaned completely, yawning, watch the reckless game;
Ghastly look the youthful faces 'neath the lamp's expiring flame.
Mark the fair-haired host, whose losses far exceed his power to pay;
"One last flutter-lost by jingo!" thus he falls an easy prey
To the snares of the road to ruin.

'Tis a glorious summer day and the scene is Ascot Races;
Fashion's brilliant leaders gay in the paddock take their places;
There amid that tide of fashion, grown to manhood see him now.
Gambling his deep-rooted passion, deeply lined his anxious brow.

"If the favorite should be beaten-I have backed it for the cup
For four figures, at long odds, too-I shall fairly be 'done up';
it's my last chance, but I've staked it-surely luck must turn for me.
"Ten to one against!" "I'll take you-ah! they're off at last I see!
What! the favorite's beaten! curse it! how shall I face settling day?
I shall have to borrow money-debts of honor I must pay-
For games on the road to ruin."

'Tis the same sad story old, down he plunges ever faster;
Squandered Is his father's gold, ruin stares him and disaster;
see the storm upon him breaking, while his children play around;
Wife appalled, with heart-sore aching, listens trembling at each sound.

"I must see your master, flunky, see I've got a warrant here.
Taint no use to say he's out now." "Let him in. It's all right, dear!"
"Very sorry, ma'am, but duty must be done-don't be afeared;
I ain't going to 'arm the Guv'nor, but these papers must be squared."
Frightened, see his children gather closely at their mother's knee.
"Beg your parding, sir, but you, sir, 'ave got to go along o' me!"
Still down the road to ruin.

Alien on a foreign shore, creditors to be escaping;
Wealth and rank are his no more; he his anxious thoughts is shaping
In a comedy, but with paltry pittance by his pen,
Dreaming yet 'twill fame be bringing, fame and fortune-ah! but when?,

Hark! a knock-a woman enters: "M'sieur he must pay ze bill;
Five week he arranged to settle und he keep me vaiting still;
I so sorry am for madam and ze leetle children, too,
But zey must quit ze apartment if I do not get my due.
Ah! ze lovely angel sleeping in ze pretty cot-ah, moi!
Till to-morrow I will give you-zen we say adieu-ma foi."
How bitter's the road to ruin.

Dawn is stealing chill and gray through an attic window dreary.
Ushering in a wintry day, and the wind moans wild and eerie;
All alone within that attic, see a wild, despairing man,
On the floor his work dramatic failed his last resource and plan.

Wife and children-all have left him, he will never see them more,
With a desperate glance around him he secures the chamber-door;

On the table lies a pistol, on the floor a broken toy;
"God have mercy And forgive me! bless my wife and baby boy!
I-I cannot face the future- see my dear ones starve and die":
When they found him he lay silent, face turned to the gray, gloomed sky,
At the end of the road to ruin.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III