American Old Time Song Lyrics: 43 After Twenty Years

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 43

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Copyright, 1894, by T. B. Harms & Co.
Written and Composed by Harry Dacre.

The prodigal son is returning, 'tis the sad story of old;
Leaving his parents in anger, now coming back to the fold;
Twenty long years have gone over, loveless and joyless to him,
Even tho' fortune has kindly filled up his cup to the brim;
Now he stands shrouded in night's gloomy pall,
'Neath the deep shade of the ivory-clad wall.

After twenty years, years of toil and pain,
Standing near the threshold of his home again:
Thro' the open window, mother's voice he bears;
Surely she'll forgive her boy, after twenty years.

It sounds like the music of angels, wedded to dreams of the past,
'Tis the sweet voice of his mother, longed for and blessed with at last;
What are the words she is saying? kneeling and clasping her hands;
What are the words she is saying? closer, yet closer he stands.
Then, as he listens, his vision grows dim;
Yes, he is weeping, she's praying for him.-Refrain.

He hears his mother pray, he hears her softly say,
"Our Father, who art in heaven, protect my wand'ring son;
And teach me, from my heart, to say, 'Thy will be done!'
Forgive him, as I have done, and, if it may be,
Bring back my boy, my erring boy to me!"
The wanderer, the prodigal now kneels beside her chair
And whispers, "Mother, I am here in answer to your prayer!"

After twenty years, years of toil and pain,
Welcome to the blessing of his home again:
Through a mist of teardrops, mother's face appears,
Surely she forgives her boy, after twenty years.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III