Edgar Albert Guest

20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England


It's tough when you are homesick in a strange
and distant place;
It's anguish when you're hungry for an
old-familiar face.
And yearning for the good folks and the joys
you used to know,
When you're miles away from friendship, is a
bitter sort of woe.
But it's tougher, let me tell you, and a stiffer
To see them through the window, and to know
you can't go in.

Oh, I never knew the meaning of that red sign
on the door,
Never really understood it, never thought of it
But I'll never see another since they've tacked
one up on mine
But I'll think about the father that is barred
from all that's fine.
And I'll think about the mother who is prisoner
in there
So her little son or daughter shall not miss a
mother's care.
And I'll share a fellow feeling with the saddest
of my kin,
The dad beside the gateway of the home he
can't go in.

Oh, we laugh and joke together and the mother
tries to be
Brave and sunny in her prison, and she thinks
she's fooling me;
And I do my bravest smiling and I feign a
merry air
In the hope she won't discover that I'm
burdened down with care.
But it's only empty laughter, and there's nothing
in the grin
When you're talking through the window of the
home you can't go in.
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