Tom Sails Away

(1917)

"Tom Sails Away" is the third song in Ives' song set Three Songs of the War. The song thinly veils Ives' feelings about America's entry into the Great War (what is now called World War I). George M. Cohan's tune "Over There" is quoted in this song.

Tom Sails Away
by Charles Ives


Scenes from my childhood are with me,
I'm in the lot behind our house upon the hill,
A spring day's sun is setting,
mother with Tom in her arms
is coming towards the garden;
the lettuce rows are showing green.
Thinner grows the smoke o'er the town,
stronger comes the breeze from the ridge,
'Tis after six, the whistles have blown,
the milk train's gone down the valley
Daddy is coming up the hill from the mill,
We run down the lane to meet him
But today! In freedom's cause Tom sailed away
for over there, over there!
Scenes from my childhood
are floating before my eyes.


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