“The Broken Home”


"The church bells they were ringing... Just two short years ago... Two hearts had been united, Fair (Lillian) and Joe." All was well until a former lover showed up and stole Ann away. Now Joe is left lamenting with a broken home and a child in the cradle

Supplemental text

Broken Home, The
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

By Will H. Fox

From Douglas Gilbert, Lost Chords, pp. 270-271.

The church bells they were ringing,
The choir was sweetly singing,
In a far New England village
Just two short years ago.
The flowers they were blooming,
The birds in tree-tops tuning,
Two hearts had been united --
Fair Lillian and Joe.
The husband he toiled daily,
And happy was their lot.
He loved his wife and baby,
His vows he ne'er forgot.
One day a former sweeetheart
Came and, finding him away,
Through flattery and promises
Joe's wife was led astray.

There's her picture on the table,
There's a baby in the cradle,
There's a husband crying bitterly alone.
There's no wife's voice to cheer,
In his sorrow to be near,
What was paradise is now a broken home.

His eyes are dim with weeping,
Yet faithful watch he's keeping
O'er his precious little treasure
For whom his heart does moan.
Forgetting all dishonor
Which she had brought upon her;
For baby's sake he'd gladly
Forgive if she'd come home.
Oh, why do people falter,
And lose all self-respect 
For vows made at the altar
And make their lives a wreck?
These questions Joe has asked himself
With heart as heavy as lead --
When baby's smile prevents him
Being numbered with the dead.


The plot here is sort of a cleaned-up, de-mystified version of the "House Carpenter." It pretty well demonstrates the intellectual impoverishment that results from appealing to popular culture. - RBW


  1. Randolph 768, "The Broken Home" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 166-167, "The Broken Home" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Gilbert, pp. 270-271, "The Broken Home" (1 text)
  4. ST R768 (Full)
  5. Roud #7411
  6. BI, R768


Author: Will H. Fox
Earliest date: 1927 (Spaeth)
Found in: US(So)