The Boys in Blue

Cat. #0306 (MFH #466) - As sung by Nancy Philley, Fayettville, Arkansas on December 17, 1958

VERSE 1
T'was on an autumn evening
An old man bent with age
He landed at th portals
From off a distance stage
Is this th express office, sir
I've come to meet my son
They told me that th plane was due
At this place at half-past-one

VERSE 2
You've made a great mistake, sir
I'd like for you to know
This is the express office
And not th town depot
You do not understand me, sir
With trembling lips, he said
He's not coming as a passenger
But he's coming to me dead

VERSE 3
Jest then, a whistle pierced the air
The express, someone cried
And with th feeble, trembling step
The old man passed outside
Jest then, a casket in a box
Was lowered to th ground
T'was then an eager anxious crowd
That quickly gathered 'round

VERSE 4
Don't handle him so roughly boys
For that's our darling Jack
He left us just as you are now
Look how he's coming back
He's broken his dear Mothers heart
And brought th warning true
She told him, he would come back dead
If he joined those boys, in blue

VERSE 5
He joined th boys in blue, a lad
And went off to th war
Away from his dear Mother
Away from home, so far
He's broken his dear Mothers heart
And mine is broken too
We told him, he would come back dead
If he joined th boys in blue

VERSE 6
He's coming home, to Mother
He's coming home today
He's coming in a casket
No more to go astray
How often did we write to him
And beg him to come back
I tell you it is lonely there
Without our darling Jack

Variants