Historic Sheet Music Collection


Irving Berlin

Document Type


Publication Date



When I Leave the World Behind
By Irving Berlin as introduced by Al Jolson

New York. Published by Waterson, Berlin & Snyder Co.

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.


1st verse:
I know a millionaire,
Who's burdened down with care,
A load is on his mind.
He's thinking of the day
When he must pass away
And leave his wealth behind.
I haven't any gold
To leave when I grow old,
Somehow it passed me by.
I'm very poor, but still
I'll leave a precious will
When I must say goodbye.

I'll leave the sunshine to the flowers,
I'll leave the spring time to the trees;
And to the old folks I'll leave the mem'ries
Of a baby upon their knees.
I'll leave the night time to the dreamers,
I'll leave the song birds to the blind;
I'll leave the moon above to those in love,
When I leave the world behind,
When I leave the world behind.

2nd verse:
To ev'ry wrinkled face
I'l leave a fireplace,
To paint their fav'rite scene,
Within the golden rays,
Scenes of their childhood days,
When they were sweet sixteen.
I'll leave them each a song
To sing the whole day long,
As toward the end they plod.
To ev'ry broken heart
With sorrow torn apart,
I'll leave the love of God.


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