Just ten years ago, as a youngster, I was away o'er the foam
I left the old cottage and mother, and all my bad debts, lads, at home
Tho' long years have parted us both, lads, my mother once more I can see
With tears in my eye I bade her good-bye,
And these were her last words to me.

Chorus: 'For heaven's sake go, and good riddance
Clear out quickly, my bald-headed son
No more will I bring up your breakfast
When the clock is striking one.'
I thought 'twas a kiss that she threw me
Till the flat-iron caught me on the head
And if I'm full of beer, or sober, I hear
The fond words my dear mother said.

How oft have I paced the old deck, lads
With only the darkness around
Half asleep I have pictured the cottage
With the furniture nailed to the ground
I've wakened the crew from their sleep, lads
With tears I've let fall on the deck
And then, in my fancy, I hear mother say
As she clutched at the scruff of my neck,

Chorus: 'You've bitten the tail off the kitten
Now, what have you done with the piece?
It's outside the door with its mother-in-law
And looking about for the p'lice
It's nothing now left for to waggle
You can't tell its tail from its head.'
I oft shed a tear when in fancy I hear
The fond words my dear mother said.

Once more I see the old village
And the old fashioned church by the gate
Where I used to go with my mother
And put bits of mud in the plate
I see the old pump where the milkman
Would strengthen the milk with the rain
And, when lying snoring alone in my bunk
I can hear mother calling again,

Chorus: 'Are you going to get up today, Johnny?
Get up now, you big skulking elf
For dinner I've got you a bloater - get up
Or I'll eat it all myself
Am I to slave here like a negro
While you lay there snoring in bed?'
When far o'er the main I oft hear again
The fond words my dear mother said.

Written and composed by H. Castling - 1898
Performed by Jack Camp (1866-1907)
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