American Old Time Song Lyrics: 43 Sunshine And Shadow

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

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Copyright, 1894, by T. B. Harms & Co.
Words by Alfred J. Morris. Music by Geo. Le Brunn.

This world is all checker'd with pleasures and pain;
Though our hopes are in brightness arrayed,
Our summer is spoilt by a downpour of rain,
And our life has less sunshine than shade.
See the youth, in the happy excitement of love,
As he whispers the old, old tale;
And the maid answers "Yes" like the sigh of a dove,
Then she dreams of her bridal veil.

And the first year of marriage runs smoothly and well,
Till their dear little baby is born;
Then the money won't last, and the wife has to tell
How the wedding ring went to the pawn.
And to keep out of debt, how the poor fellow tries;
But, the troubles increase, and the tears in their eyes,
Till the climax Is reached when their little one dies-
What a picture of sunshine and shadow.

"Stand back!" cry the police, "Clear the road, here they come!"
Then the crowd cheer and shout till they're sore;
How inspiring the music, the beat of the drum.
It's the soldiers en route to the war.
How the face of each man beams with pleasure and pride,
As he thinks of promotion and fame;
And he yearns for the time when his pluck will be tried,
And his country shall hear of his name.

What a change on the day they return from the fight;
There's the same eager crowd as before.
But the men that are left-good God, what a sight!
Is it this that's the glory of war?
See the poor, dying wretches, the limping, the lame-
What a ghastly reward for their search after fame;
When they die in the workhouse, we'll hear of their names
What a contrast of sunshine And shadow!

The public delight in a case of divorce,
What amusement it seems to afford;
The judge will, p'rhaps, venture a joke rather coarse,
When the densely packed court will applaud.
How they laugh as the letters are read-who'd have thought
Such a story of folly to tell;
And when it transpired how the wife was first caught,
How the crowd is convulsed with a yell.

But there's one piteous wretch, with her head bowed in shame,
Who inwardly prays she might die;
Perhaps, after all, she's not wholly to blame,
She was led And deceived by a lie.
But now it is hopeless the verdict to gain;
All her life is exposed, ev'ry blemish and stain.
To a world whose chief pleasure is some wretch's pain­That's a picture of sunshine And shadow.

'Tis Christmas; with laughter the theatre resounds,
Smiles light e'en the face of the sage;
With jests, quips and smiles, and a few lively bounds,
Our old friend, the clown, takes the stage.
now the children delight at his comical face,
And their elders applaud each queer sign;

Ah, light-hearted jester, thou king of grimace,
What life could be happier than thine?

Now the theatre is empty, and out in the night
Comes the clown at a quick, hurried pace;
Pray-God, I'm in time, and the glare of a light
Shows his pitiful, haggard, while face.
Home at last; up the stairs, with a slow, frighten'd tread,
He tremblingly creeps to his poor child's sick-bed;
But, too late! on his knees then he sobs by the dead-
What a picture of sunshine And shadow!
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III