> Folk Music > Songs > Don't Go Out Tonight, Dear Father

Don't Go Out Tonight, Dear Father

[ Roud V9176 ; words M.E. Golding, music Will L. Thompson, 1877]

Pam Gilder sang Don't Go Out Tonight, Dear Father on Vic Gammon's Free Reed theme album The Tale of Ale: The Story of the Englishman and His Beer. The sleeve notes commented:

A temperance song from the mid-nineteenth century. Peter Davison has commented that “temperance songs offer a perverse delight very different from the sober instructions their authors intended.” Such songs were often taken up by the music halls and sung with mock seriousness.

Jon Boden sang Don't Go Out Tonight, Dear Father as the February 13, 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day.

Lyrics

Jon Boden sings Don't Go Out Tonight, Dear Father

Don't go out tonight, dear father,
Don't refuse this once I pray;
Tell your comrades mother's dying,
Soon her soul will pass away.
Tell them too of darling Willie,
Him we also much do love;
How his little form is drooping,
Soon to bloom again above.

Don't go out tonight dear father,
Think oh think how sad 'twill be
When the angels come to take her,
Papa won't be there to see.
Tell me that you love dear mama
Lying in that cold, cold room,
You don't love your comrades better
Cursing there in that saloon.

Oh dear father, do not leave us,
Think, oh think how sad 'twill be
When the angels come to take her,
Papa won't be there to see.
Don't go out tonight, dear father,
Think, oh think how sad 'twill be
When the angels come to take her,
Papa won't be there to see.

Morning found the little pleader
Cold and helpless on the floor,
Lying where he madly struck her
On that chilly night before.
Lying there with hands uplifted,
Feebly uttering words of prayer,
Heavenly Father, please forgive him,
Reunite us all up there.

Don't go out tonight dear father,
Think, oh think how sad 'twill be
When the angels come to take her,
Father won't be there to see.