American Old Time Song Lyrics: 45 The Workhouse Door

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 45

Home Songster main V01 V02 V03 V04 V05 V06 V07 V08 V09 V10 V11 V12 V13 V14 V15 V16 V17 V18 V19 V20 V21 V22 V23 V24 V25 V26 V27 V28 V29 V30 V31 V32 V33 V34 V35 V36 V37 V38 V39 V40 V41 V42 V43 V44 V45 V46 V47 V48 V49 V50 V51 V52 V53 V54 V55 V56 V57 V58 V59 V60 V61 Support Search

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Copyright, 1892, by Frank Tousey.
Words and Music by Felix McGlennon.

Dimly the lights of the city are gleaming,
Drear is the night and so cold:
Grimly the walls of the workhouse are frowning,
Frowning on mis'ry untold.
Close to Its portals a crowd's eager waiting,
Hungry and shiv'ring and pale;
Hark to the cry of the homeless and starving,
Hark to the old soldier's tale:

"I was strong and sturdy in the days gone by,
When the call 'to arms' came, to the front did fly;
For my country fought, nor asked the reason why,
Many a brave heart sank to rise no more.
Man to man we faced them as they stood at bay,
Carried all before us with a loud 'Hurray!'
How does it reward us when we're old and gray?
Sends us to the workhouse door."

Gaze on that urchin, he's houseless and homeless,
Scarcely a rag on his form,
Trembling and crouching against the grim doorway,
Murmurs "I wish I were warm.
What is the use of a poor little kiddy
Trying to earn just a bite?
Bah, I'll turn thief, for I can't die with hunger,
Here goes that man's watch, see, he's tight."

Stealthily he's creeping, see his outstretched hand,
"I shall have that watch now-doesn't It look grand?"
Hark! an angel voice la whispering to him, "Stand!
Would you be a thief, whom all abhor?"
'Tis his mother's voice comes whisp'ring from the grave.
"Never be a thief, Tom, never be a knave."
"Forgive met mother, I was tempted; I'll be brave,
Tho' going to the workhouse door."

See that old couple, so gray and so feeble,
Clinging in life's sad decay,
Soothing each other in sorrow and troubles
'Till death shall call them away.
Once he was strong, ah. but age overtook him;
He'd worked like a slave night and day.
"Why did he not save?" with a sneer asks a passer.
"What! save on a laborer's pay?"

See, the wife is clinging by her husband's side;
"Four brave sons we've reared, they were our hope and pride;
Our country wanted soldiers; in her cause they died-
They were gallant heroes to the core.
Dreams of glory fired them and they joined the fray,
Left as broken hearted, left us here to pray.
They for their country died, yet we must wend our way
Together to the workhouse door."
Download music lyrics PDF file For Printing with (no ads)
Download music lyrics in RTF file For editing / printing with Word and other editing software.
Download music lyrics as PNG Graphic file For inclusion in DTP etc.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III