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I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier, song lyrics

Song: I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier
Lyrics: Alfred Bryan(1)

Music: Al. Piantadosi(2)
Year: 1916(3)
Genre: Traditional
Country: USA

Ten million soldiers to the war have gone,
Who may never return again.
Ten million mother's hearts must break
For the ones who died in vain.
Head bowed down in sorrow
In her lonely years,
I heard a mother murmur thro' her tears:

CHORUS (sung twice after each verse)
"I didn't raise my boy to be a soldier,
I brought him up to be my pride and joy,
Who dares to place a musket on his shoulder,
To shoot some other mother's darling boy?
Let nations arbitrate their future troubles,
It's time to lay the sword and gun away,
There'd be no war today,
If mother's all would say,
I didn't raise my boy to be a soldier."
This song was originally posted on
What victory can cheer a mother's heart,
When she looks at her blighted home?
What victory can bring her back All she cared to call her own.
Let each mother answer
In the years to be,
"Remember that my boy belongs to me!"



1 - Alfred Bryan biography, from the Songwriters Hall of Fame

2 - Al. Piantadosi biography.

3 - American History in Song: Lyrics from 1900 to 1945, by Diane Holloway, p.145