> Danny Spooner > Songs > Mothers, Daughters, Wives

Mothers, Daughters, Wives

[Judy Small]

Danny Spooner sang Judy Small's song Mothers, Daughters, Wives on his 2007 CD of fairly contemporary Australian songs, Emerging Tradition. He noted:

Often they are victims of conflicts, yet some women have been prepared to hand out the ‘white feather’ to men who stayed away from the fight without enquiring the reason. In this song, Judy Small suggests that while social conditioning might have been the cause of past acceptance, many modern women refuse to be so stereotyped.

Lyrics

Danny Spooner sings Mothers, Daughters, Wives

Chorus (after every other verse):
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 stopped to question, you just went on with your lives,
For all they’d taught you who to be was mothers, daughters, wives.

You can only just remember the tears your mother shed;
As she 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 doorframes held the shocked and silent strangers from the fight.

And twenty-one years later, with children of your own,
The trumpets 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 the photographs and prayed for safe returns.

And after it was over, you had to learn again
To just be 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 they struck a happy family pose.

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 mantelpiece, they always made you cry.

And now you’re getting older and with times the photos fade
And in widowhood you're sitting, and reflect on the parade,
Of the passing of your memories as your daughters change their lives,
Seeing more to their existence than just mothers, daughters, wives.

Final chorus:
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 stopped to question, you just went on with your lives,
For all they’d taught you who to be was mothers, daughters, wives,
And you believed them.