MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
You'll Never Know What Time Will Bring
Ann(ie) Whalen NFLD 1 Tape 6 Track 2
Cape Broyle Audio:
Ballad / ungrateful child

A poor old man of seventy and his wife of sixty-three
One day in winter as the snow was falling fast
They were making for the workhouse for they were too old to toil
Yet they knew their span of life was closing fast

Some loving words were uttered by the poor old weary lass
As her eyes that moment drifted on their son
Who thought for to avoid them and pass on the other side
But the old man spoke these words ere he was gone

"You quite forget your father now he's feeble, old and poor
You quite forget your dear old mother too
You think yourself above us now you're worth a lot of gold
But you'll never know what time will bring to you

"You quite forget the time my lad you were so dear to us
When the other five by death was torn away
When we spent all our wealth on you our only living child
Just to make you what you're in this world today

"We pinched and saved for you my lad and tendered thee for years."
'Til at last the old man bent beneath the strain
And the mother too with bended head while shedding bitter tears
And in saddened tones I heard these words again

"You quite forget your father now he's feeble old and grey
You quite forget your dear old mother too
You think yourself above us now you're worth a lot of gold
But you'll never know what time will bring to you."

Their son stood listening for a time then uttered with a curse
"I cannot keep you now," he said, "I have no time to stay
I told you what I meant so don't bother me no more."
And with these words he went along his way

The man and wife drew closer and then taking hand in hand
They trudged along with head and heart bowed down
And as the workhouse door was closed upon that old-aged pair
I think I heard the breeze bring back the song

You quite forget your father now he's feeble old and grey
You quite forget your dear old mother too
You think yourself above us now you're worth a lot of gold
But you'll never know what time will bring to you

Female voice (speaks): That's a lovely song, lovely.


Notes

Sources:

History:

Text notes: A song confines his parents to the poorhouse and suffers their sad criticism.

Tune notes: Sung freely with a 4/4 metric basis, the tune's form is "abab."

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