He Was an Old Friend of the Family.
Copyright, MDCCCXCVI, by Henry J. Wehman.
Words by Charles A. Taylor. Music by John Harding.
You ask me why I'm friendless, one day a poor tramp said;
I don't believe in friendship, in me all love is dead
'Twas a man I called my best friend that brought me this disgrace;
I'll tell you why a drunken sot I tramp from place to place;
I and a wife as pure as gold and a little baby boy-
Alas! for faith in friendship, it robbed me of my joy:
I loved him with a brother's love, but he stole my wife away,
That is why you and me, sir, a friendless tramp to-day.
He was an old friend of the family. I'd known him for many a year;
We had been schoolboys together, his friendship I cherished most dear:
I knew that his life had been lonely, so my home he was welcome to share,
But, alas, he has robbed it of sunshine and filled my poor heart with despair.
I was good to my dear Nellie, she made a loving wife;
God sent our darling baby to cheer us on through life.
Our home, though nothing grand, had plenty there to share
With the friend I'd known in boyhood, he was always welcome there;
He bit the hand that gave him food, and betrayed a sacred trust.
Then stole the flower I worshipped And trailed it in the dust.
My baby boy they left behind, and 'twas ad that saved the life
of the man who called me friend, yet stole away my wife.- Chorus.
I can't forget my sorrow, or how my heart did yearn,
As I tried to tell the baby when his mother would return.
For he grew so sick and restless, and sometime" in his sleep,
When he'd sigh and call for mamma, I would turn away And weep;
The autumn passed and winter came, yet it brought no truant wife;
As I watched my failing baby, all hope fled from my life:
It's buried 'neath that little mound, where the babe was laid to rest,
And that la why there's not a spark of friendship in my breast. Chorus.