I've been thinking of the home where my early years were spent
'Neath the care of a kind maiden aunt
And to go there once again has often been my intent
But the railways fare's expensive, so I can't
Still I never can forget that night when last we met
'Oh, promise me - whate'er you do,' she said
Wear flannel next your chest, and, when you go to rest
Keep a night-light always burning by your bed.'

And my eyes are dim and wet
For I seem to hear them yet
Those solemn words of parting that she said
'Now mind you burn a night-light
'Twill last until it's quite-light
In a saucerful of water by your bed.'

I promised as she wished, and her tears I gently dried
As she gave me all the halfpence that she had
And through the world e'er since I have wandered far and wide
And been gradually going to the bad.
Many a folly, many a crime, I've committed in my time
For a lawless and a chequered life I've led
Still I've kept the promise sworn - flannel next my skin I've worn
And I've always burnt a night-light by my bed.

All unhallowed my pursuits
(Oft to bed I've been in boots)
Still o'er my uneasy slumber has been shed
The moderately bright light
Afforded by a night-light
In a saucerful of water by my bed.

A little while ago, in a dream my aunt I saw
In her frill-surrounded night-cap there she stood
And I sought to hide my head 'neath the counterpane in awe
And I trembled - for my conscience isn't good
But her countenance was mild - so indulgently she smiled
That I knew there was no further need for dread
She had seen the flannel vest enveloping my chest
And the night-light in its saucer by my bed.

But ere a word she spoke
I unhappily awoke
And away, alas, the beauteous vision sped
There was nothing but the slight light
Of the melancholy night-light
That was burning on a saucer by my bed.

Written and performed by Archie Naish (b. 1878)
From Music Hall Lyrics Collection
home spaceA spaceB spaceC spaceD spaceE spaceF spaceG spaceH spaceI spaceJ spaceK spaceL spaceM spaceN spaceO spaceP spaceQ spaceR spaceS spaceT spaceU spaceV spaceW spaceX spaceY spaceZ