At a little cottage gate,
Looking down the village street,
Stands a mother old in years and bent with care;
Ev’ry day she comes to watch,
Till the evening shadows meet,
But the one for whom she longs does not appear.
As the darkness closes round her,
And she turns with tott’ring steps,
Back to the home once bright and dear;
She will murmur soft and low,
If my little Nell could know,
She would come back once again before I go.
Won’t you come back to your mother Nell
Back to the one whose love is true
She loves you just the same
Tho’ you caused her bitter shame
Yes this same kind loving mother longs for you.
Ah my child you do not know,
How your mother plead for you,
When your father cold and stern sent you away;
How she tried to turn his wrath,
For she knew your heart was true,
But he answered, she deceived and shall not stay.
But the grief just broke his heart Nell,
Laid him low before his time,
Long years beneath the sod he’s lain;
But your mother’s left to mourn,
Hope and pray for your return,
For a sight of your dear face her heart doth yearn.
McMahon, Alice S., "Won't You Come Back to Your Mother, Nell?" (1909). Historic Sheet Music Collection. 1737.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.