Grand-father's Clock

Original Text: 
Grand-father's Clock. Song and Chorus. Words and Music by Henry C. Work (New York: C. M. Cady, 1876), in Songs of Henry Clay Work, compiled by Bertram G. Work (New York: J. J. Little and Ives, ca. 1884). Facsimile in Henry Clay Work, Songs, Earlier American Music 19 (New York: Da Capo Press, 1974): 177-80. Toronto Metro Public Reference Library. M780.82 E13 no. 19.
2So it stood ninety years on the floor;
3It was taller by half than the old man himself,
4Though it weighed not a penny weight more.
5It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born,
6And was always his treasure and pride;
7But it stopp'd short never to go again
8When the old man died.
9[Chorus] Ninety years, without slumbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
10His life seconds numbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
11It stopp'd short never to go again
12When the old man died.
13[Solo] In watching its pendulum swing to and fro,
14Many hours had he spent while a boy;
15And in childhood and manhood the clock seemed to know
16And to share both his grief and his joy.
17For it struck twenty-four when he entered at the door,
18With a blooming and beautiful bride;
19But it stopp'd short never to go again
20When the old man died.
21[Chorus] Ninety years, without slumbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
22His life seconds numbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
23It stopp'd short never to go again
24When the old man died.
25[Solo] My grandfather said that of those he could hire,
26Not a servant so faithful he found;
27For it wasted no time, and had but one desire --
28At the close of each week to be wound.
29And it kept in its place -- not a frown upon its face,
30And its hands never hung by its side;
31But it stopp'd short never to go again
32When the old man died.
33[Chorus] Ninety years, without slumbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
34His life seconds numbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
35It stopp'd short never to go again
36When the old man died.
37[Solo] It rang an alarm in the dead of the night --
38An alarm that for years had been dumb;
39And we knew that his spirit was pluming for flight --
40That his hour of departure had come.
41Still the clock kept the time, with a soft and muffled chime,
42As we silently stood by his side;
43But it stopp'd short never to go again
44When the old man died.
45[Chorus] Ninety years, without slumbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
46His life seconds numbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
47It stopp'd short never to go again
48When the old man died.

Notes

1] Work dedicated this song to his sister Lizzie. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1876
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.
Rhyme: