Well girls, I have been out calling,
I called on Grandmother Lee.
She lives in that old-fashioned dwelling,
And is as loving and kind as can be.
She always tells me nice stories.
Sometimes she ends them in tears,
That is, when she tells me what happened
When she was young, and in years
Which to her seemed like being in heaven.
But now she is aged and worn.
She often tells me the story
Of her wedding and when John was born.
John was her boy, and she told me
How handsome he was and how bright.
But I think she is like all other mothers,
In her own she took most delight.
She told me today of her sorrow,
And why she lives there all alone;
Whoever could listen to her without tears
Must have a heart harder than stone.
She said, "When I was young
I was as happy as a bird,
And always tried to do some good,
In action, thought, and word.
When I was eighteen years of age,
I married Thomas Lee,
And the first few years of married life
Were as happy as could be.
We had been married just one year,
When our baby boy had come.
And then we both were happier,
This made heaven of home.
A few short years, and then my Tom,
Whom I had loved so true,
Began a wild and reckless life
By taking a glass or two.
I always looked for better things;
I thought the time would come
When he would see his folly,
And then would stay at home,
But what a change, the Tom I loved,
Became a drunken sot.
I could not give him up for lost,
I thought he would surely stop.
If not for me, for our dear boy,
Who was learning more each day.
It was a bad example
To put in Johnny's way;
But when a man is going down,
He has lots of help, you know,
But if he tries to go up hill,
He goes alone and slow.
Well, Tom kept on until one night
He was killed in a drunken brawl.
And so you see my hopes were crushed,
And yet that wasn't all.
Johnny then was all I had;
He now had turned sixteen.
He was tall and handsome,
And his wits were very keen.
I knew he felt this sad disgrace,
And a lesson it might be,
To him, to shun those dens of vice,
And be a joy to me.
But dear, I cannot tell it all.
It almost broke my heart.
Where is he now: God only knows,
I thought we could not part.
But years have flown since my dear boy
Has seen his mother's face.
I often think that he will come:
He can't forget the place,
Where he left his aged mother,
In sorrow and in tears.
But I trust in God to guide him,
And why should I have fears.
Soon I shall lay down all life's cares,
But ere that time shall be,
I hope that God will answer prayers,
And send my John to me.
Now girls, you have her story,
As near as it can be.
But I do hope that John will come
Back home to Grandma Lee.