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The Mother
(Roud 9709)
Tom Lenihan
Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay
Recorded in singer's home

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Tom Lenihan

The mother sat still with snow-white hair, so feeble and worn with care.
The son at her side in manhood's pride was bonny, tall and fair.
So ready at hand, so fleet in foot that his heart was in her mind
That he all forgot the tender care that was still to his mother's right.

For the loveless wrong and the cruel word was easy to do and say,
Till sorely wounded with blushing cheeks she answered him thus one day:
‘If only the past could speak, my son, you never would do me wrong,
How I carried thee in those trembling arms and pined for thee all day long.

Loving and guiding and watching thee till the years had made thee strong.
If only thou would remember this, you never would do me wrong.
But now I'm cast upon your love, I'm feeble, old and grey.
Oh son that I nursed long years ago, remember my love today.’

He dropped at her knee as in olden days for pardon and love to see.
Her grey head bowed with loving care and the tears ran down his cheeks.
And ever since her part he took in his strong arms did rest
For he never forgot that once he lay an infant upon her breast.

Oh men in your strength and hope and pride, oh maids in your youth and charm.
Remember that when an infant once you lay on your mother's arms.
Remember she then was fair and young and you'll grow old and grey,
And the wrong and the right you'll do to her will fall back on yourself some day.



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