Historic Sheet Music Collection

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The Old Arm Chair

A Ballad

Music composed and respectfully dedicated to Holton Olmstead, Esquire.

Words by Eliza Cook

Music by Henry Russell.

Boston: Wm. H. Oakes (1840)

Some of these 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 library or the institution.


I love it, I love it, and who shall dare,
To chide me for loving that old arm chair,
I’ve treasured it long as a holy prize,
I’ve bedew’d it with tears, and embalmed it with sighs;
‘Tis bound by a thousand bands to my heart;
Not a tie will break, not a link will start.
Would ye learn the spell, a mother sat there,
And a sacred thing is that old arm chair.

I sat and watch’d her many a day,
When her eye grew dim, and her locks were grey
And I almost worshipp’d her when she smil’d,
And turn’d from her bible to bless her child.
Years rolled on, but the last on sped,
My idol was shatter’d, my earth star fled:
I learnt how much the heart can bear,
When I saw her die in the old arm chair.

‘Tis past! ‘tis past! But I gaze on it now
With quivering breath and throbbing brow;
‘Twas there she nursed me, ‘twas there she died;
And mem’ry flows with lava tide.
Say it is folly, and deem me weak,
While the scalding drops start down my cheek;
But I love it, I love it, and cannot tear
My soul from a mother’s old arm chair.



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