Mothers, Daughters, Wives (Judy Small)

“Mothers, Daughters, Wives” Sheet Music (pdf).
“Mothers, Daughters, Wives” Karaoke (midi with lyrics).

Lyrics: Judy Small.
Tune: Judy Small.


The first time it was fathers, the last time it was sons,
And in between your husbands marched away with drums and guns.
And you never thought to question; you just went on with your lives
’Cause all they’d taught you who to be was mothers, daughters, wives.

And you can only just remember the tears your mothers shed
As they sat and read their papers through the lists and lists of dead,
And the gold frames held the photographs that mothers kissed each night,
And the door-frames held the shocked and silent strangers from the fight.

The first time it was fathers, the last time it was sons,
And in between your husbands marched away with drums and guns.
And you never thought to question; you just went on with your lives
’Cause all they’d taught you who to be was mothers, daughters, wives.

It was twenty-one years later with children of your own.
The trumpet sounded once again, and the soldier boys were gone,
And you drove their trucks and made their guns and tended to their wounds,
And at night you kissed their photographs and prayed for safe returns.
And after it was over, you had to learn again
To be just wives and mothers when you’d done the work of men,
So you worked to help the needy and you never trod on toes,
And the photos on the pianos struck a happy family pose.

The first time it was fathers, the last time it was sons,
And in between your husbands marched away with drums and guns.
And you never thought to question; you just went on with your lives
’Cause all they’d taught you who to be was mothers, daughters, wives.

Then, your daughters grew to women and your little boys to men,
And you prayed that you were dreaming when the call-up came again,
But you proudly smiled and held your tears as they bravely waved goodbye,
And the photos on the mantelpieces always made you cry.
And now you’re getting older, and in time the photos fade,
And in widowhood you sit back and reflect on the parade
Of the passing of your memories as your daughters change their lives,
Seeing more to our existence than just mothers, daughters, wives.

And you believed them.


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