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They're Gone

(Bob Nolan)


Just received a letter today.

Told me that the old folks passed away.

That was all it said.

It wasn’t even signed.

My heart is sad and in my thoughts I find:



My old homestead is all deserted now.

I miss the days I spent behind the plow.

My dear old folks, the ones who taught me how,

They’re gone.

The lilac blooms will never see the rain,

The orchard’s gone and nothing seems the same,

That old fireplace will never see a flame.

They’re gone.

So, hold me tight when I lie down tonight.

I’ll dream once more they’re standing in the door.

The golden grain that grows upon the hill

Will bend to the wind but never see the mill.

My homesick heart with joy will never fill.

They’re gone.

They’re gone.


        Although Bob did not state that this composition referred to the grandparents with whom he lived for three of his earliest years, the timing is right. Charles Noles Nobles, his paternal grandfather, died on June 17, 1935. The song was registered for copyright on July 4, 1936. It was never commercially recorded so we asked Dave Bourne to make a recording for us from the sheet music, "Songs of the Pioneers Folio No. 2", ©1936 by AMERICAN MUSIC, INC.

        The young Bob Nolan's years on the farm were distressing but they did one thing that was to affect the rest of his life - they caused a great love of nature to arise in his lonely little heart. Nature was not only beautiful, it was dependable; nature never abandoned you.


Recording courtesy of Dave Bourne



Typed copy of the lyrics from the repertoire box.


"Songs of the Pioneers Folio No. 2", ©1936 by AMERICAN MUSIC, INC.