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My Boy

(Bob Nolan)

A curly-headed boy came toddlin’ down the stairs.
He asked his dad to help him say his good-night pray’rs.
Daddy takes the hand of his sturdy little man.
I shouldn’t tell, but here’s their little plan…

Dad invites the Sandman to come in.
“Here’s my boy, now take good care of him.
And if there’s room for three
Would you come back for me, my boy?”
Daddy smiled and said, “Now, goodnight, Jim,”
And raised the shades to let the moonbeams in.
Lord, it don’t seem fair.
Oh, why can’t I be there with my boy?
Seems I hear him callin’, “Hurry, Daddy, dear,
You’ll miss a chance to see the dance of the goblins while they’re here.”
See that smile and the dimple on his chin.
I wonder if the Sandman’s watchin’ him.
Oh Lord, excuse my tear.
I wish that I was near my boy.

Don’t you wish that you were just a kid again?
To hear your daddy say, “It’s time for bed,” and then
‘Way up the stairs you’d go where only angels know
How dad rebuilt the world just for his boy.


                             Jessie Willcox Smith watercolour


        Bob Nolan admitted to several of his close friends that he regretted not having a son. He also claimed that none of his early songs were autobiographical. Even if this song is not a reflection his own longing, the lyrics are moving. "My Boy" reveals Bob's affection for children and at the same time portrays the sense of loss a father feels when he cannot be with his growing child. Bob deeply regretted having no part in his daughter's life until she was 15 years old because her mother was strongly against it.

        Bob never did record the song so Dave Bourne kindly volunteered to make a demo for us directly from the sheet music in the 1936 "Songs of the Pioneers Folio No. 2". It was registered for copyright on July 4, 1936.


Recording by Dave Bourne


"Songs of the Pioneers Folio No. 2" 1936 American Music, Inc.