“I Didn’t Raise my Boy to be a Soldier”

Ten million soldiers to the war have gone,
Who may never return again.
Ten million mothers’ hearts must break,
For the ones who died in vain.
Head bowed down in sorrow
In her lonely years,
I heard a mother murmur thro’ her tears:

“I didn’t raise my boy to be a soldier,
I brought him up to be my pride and joy,
Who dares to place a musket on his shoulder,
To shoot some other mother’s darling boy?”

Let nations arbitrate their future troubles,
It’s time to lay the sword and gun away,
There’d be no war today,
If mothers all would say,
“I didn’t raise my boy to be a soldier.”

What victory can cheer a mother’s heart,
When she looks at her blighted home?
What victory can bring her back
All she cared to call her own.
Let each mother answer In the years to be,
Remember that my boy belongs to me!

The Government’s Response:
“America, Here’s My Boy” 1917
There’s a million mothers knocking at the nation’s door,
A million mothers, yes and the’ll be millions more,
And while within each mother heart they pray,
Just hark what one brave mother has to say.
America, I raised a boy for you.
America, You’ll find him staunch and true,
Place a gun upon his shoulder,
He is ready to die or do.
America, he is my only one;
My hope, my pride and joy,
But if I had another,
he would march beside his brother;
America, here’s my boy.
There’s a million mothers waiting by the fireside bright,
A million mothers, waiting for the call tonight.
And while within each heart there’ll be a tear,
She’ll watch her boy go marching with a cheer.

A Four Minute Man Poem: “It’s Duty Boy”

My boy must never bring disgrace to his immortal sires
At Valley Forge and Lexington they kindled freedom’s fires,
John’s father died at Gettysburg, mine fell at Chancellorsville;
While John himself was with the boys who charged up San Juan Hill.
And John, if he was living now, would surely say with me,
“No son of ours shall e’er disgrace our grand old family tree
By turning out a slacker when his country needs his aid.”
It is not of such timber that America was made.
I’d rather you had died at birth or not been born at all,
Than know that I had raised a son who cannot hear the call
That freedom has sent round the world, its previous rights to save
This call is meant for you, my boy, and I would have you brave;
And though my heart is breaking, boy, I bid you do your part,
And show the world no son of mine is cursed with craven heart;
And if, perchance, you ne’er return, my later days to cheer,
And I have only memories of my brave boy, so dear,
I’d rather have it so, my boy, and know you bravely died
Than have a living coward sit supinely by my side.
To save the world from sin, my boy, God gave his only son
He’s asking for My boy, to-day, and may His will be done.