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GOODNIGHT DAD, SEE YOU IN THE MORNIN'
by
Martyn Herbert & Herberte Jordan (1947)

It's funny wot a difference a kid makes in your life,
I only 'ad the one, young Alf, you see... I lost the wife.
An' so I 'ad to bring 'im up; o' course I done my best,
An' 'e grew up clean 'an decent, an' I reckon that's the test.
I mind when 'e was just a kid, an' busy wiv 'is play,
I'd say, " 'Ere, time for bed, of son," an' 'e'd pack up, an' say,
"Good night, Dad, see you in the mornin'."
That was all, an' off 'e went to bed.
An' when I went up later on... we'd just one room, you see,
I didn't want to wake 'im, so I'd sneak in quietly,
But 'e'd always wake up just enough to snuggle up to me,
An' say, "Night Dad, God bless, see you in the mornin'."
We 'ad some good of times together, little Alf an' me,
'E'd do the shoppin' for me, an' 'e used to get my tea.
Then I'd 'elp 'im wiv 'is 'ome work, 'e was proper clever, mind,
It wasn't very long before 'e'd left me well behind.
On Saturday 'twas football, an' the pictures, p'raps, at night,
An' I enjoyed it same as 'im, yes, we was pals all right.
"Good night, Dad, see you in the mornin'."
Now an' then we'd 'ave a special treat.
I remember one bank 'oliday I took 'im to the Zoo,
At night I says, "Enjoyed it, son?" 'e says, "Not 'arf, dad, coo!
That monkey in the end cage there, 'e wasn't 'arf like you.
Good night, an' thanks, Dad, see you in the mornin'."
Sometimes of course, 'e'd play me up; well 'e was just a lad,
An' 'e was full of spirit--mind you, nothing mean or bad...
'E'd get a bit excited when 'e got wiv other boys,
An' maybe I'd get mad when I was fed up wiv their noise.
I remember once I leathered 'im, an' when 'e went to bed,
We both felt kind o' quiet when 'e come to me an' said.
"Good night, Dad, see you in the mornin'.
Sorry dad, I didn't mean no 'arm."
I says, "Now that's all right, of son; we'll just forget it, eh?
'Cos there's tomorrow comin'; see, an' that's another day."
You should 'ave seen 'is grin an' 'eard the little blighter say,
"Good night Dad... friends Dad? see you in the mornin'."
An' then o' course 'e grew up, same as youngsters 'ave to do.
'E 'ad 'is job, an' 'e'd 'is girl, but 'e 'ad 'is ol' dad too.
An' then 'is call-up papers come along, an' off 'e went,
I'd 'eard them talk of loneliness; now I knew wot it meant.
'E always come 'ome for 'is leaves, an we'd forget the war
Until it come the last one, an' I 'eard 'im say once more
"Good night Dad, see you in the mornin' "
'E went across on D-Day, 'n' that was that
So out there on the beaches there's a part of me wot lies,
But somewhere down inside me there's another part wot tries
To live up to that kid o' mine, an' there's a voice wot cries,
"Good night son, see you in the mornin'."
 
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