Historic Sheet Music Collection

Document Type


Publication Date



A Tale of the Fireside

Lyrics by J.J. Thornton

Music by James Royce Shannon

Williamsport, Pa: Vandersloot Music Pub. Co. (1918)

Some of the resources may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes. Such materials should be seen in the context of the time period and as a reflection of attitudes of the time. The items are part of the historical record, and do not represent the views of the libraries or the institution.


[Verse 1]
When joy and gladness the soul,
No voice have we to speak,
And so when sorrow comes our way,
Its sadness leaves us weak;
A heart then speaks that rules the voice and tears the words do mold
And so this tale of centuries in that language her is told.

A sob, a sigh, a tear dimm’d eye,
A softly murmured pray’r
A babe at rest on a mother’s breast,
too young as yet to care;
A note that came from “over there”, tells how their hero died;
A tale that’s old too often told,
A tale of the fireside.

[Verse 2]
A kindly word of sympathy may soothe the pain a while,
And pride in him whose loss they feel,
May cause a tender smile;
But when the glow from the hearth lights up the faces there,
No pow’r on earth can stem their tears or can fill that vacant chair.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.