"Father, Dear Father, Come Home With Me Now"
Context: Henry Clay Work, an inventor and popular song writer, was born in Connecticut. Achieving distinction with his Civil War songs, "Kingdom Coming," "Marching Through Georgia," and "Babylon is Fallen," he also produced a number of temperance songs, the most famous of which is "Come Home, Father." The ballad, consisting of four stanzas with a chorus, relates in tearful manner the story of a wayward father whose family awaits his return. A child pleads with the father to hurry home, for "brother Benny" is sick. When the clock strikes two, "Benny is worse." When the clock strikes three, the child again begs the father to come home, for "poor Benny is dead." Benny's last words are, "I want to kiss Papa good night." The poem, sung for years in the play Ten Nights in a Barroom, opens with the lines:
Father, dear Father, come home with me now,The clock in the steeple strikes one;You said you were coming right home from the shop,As soon as your day's work was done;Our fire has gone out, our house is all dark,And Mother's been watching since tea,With poor brother Benny so sick in her arms,And no one home to help her but me.Come home! Come home! Come home!Please, Father, dear Father, come home.