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I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier Sung by the Peerless Quartet in late 1914.

One of the earlies popular anti war songs.
Columbia 78rpm A1697 39736 - 1914
Lyrics from original sheet music

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


As 'celebrations' of the first world war begin to get underway it is worth remembering that there was widespread opposition to it.
Our aim over the anniversary period is to recall the voices of the anti war movement in the years leading up to the war and the resistance to conscription during the war itself. See no more war

PEACE PLEDGE UNION
working for peace since 1934