Grandfather's Clock
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Lyrics
Henry C. Work wrote many folk songs. This was one of his most successful ones. It was written in 1876.

In 1876 it was one of two most popular songs in America - the other being I'll Take You Home Kathleen.

My grandfather's clock was to large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor;
It was taller by half than the old man himself,
Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.
It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born,
And was always his treasure and pride.
But it stopp'd short, Never to go again,
When the old man died..

Chorus
Ninety years without slumbering
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
His life seconds numbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock
It stopp'd short, Never to go again
When the old man died.

In watching its pendulum swing to and fro,
Many hours had he spent while a boy;
And in childhood and manhood the clock seemed to know,
And to share both his grief and his joy.
For it struck twenty-four when he entered the door,
With a blooming and beautiful bride.
But it stopp'd short, Never to go again,
When the old man died.

Chorus
Ninety years without slumbering
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
His life seconds numbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock
It stopp'd short, Never to go again
When the old man died.

My grandfather said, that of those he could hire,
Not a servant so faithful he found:
For it wasted no time, and had but one desire,
At the close of each week to be wound.
And it kept in its place, not a frown upon its face,
And its hands never hung by its side;
But it stopp'd short, Never to go again,
When the old man died.

Chorus
Ninety years without slumbering
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
His life seconds numbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock
It stopp'd short, Never to go again
When the old man died.

It rang an alarm in the dead of the night,
And alarm that for years had been dumb;
And we know that his spirit was pluming its flight,
That his hour of departure had come.
Still the clock kept the time, with a soft muffled chime,
As we silently stood by his side;
But it stopp'd short, Never to go again,
When the old man died.

Chorus
Ninety years without slumbering
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
His life seconds numbering,
Tick, tock, tick, tock
It stopp'd short, Never to go again
When the old man died.

From
Best Loved Songs of the American People
See Bibliography for full information.