8. Lost Little Children

Lost Little Children
©1998 Tim O’Brien, Robin and Linda Williams
Songs of Dixie/BMI/Howdy Skies Music/Universal Music Corp /ASCAP

Where are my mama and daddy
They came a long time before me
Now we’ve come on the steamship Atlantic
From our home far across the stormy sea
I have their letter in my pocket
They said we would meet on the pier
But the day it is now almost over
With the darkness and cold drawing near

Will they know their lost little children
As they look for my face in the crowd
It’s been so long since they’ve seen me
And I wonder if they’ll know me now

We gave them our four pounds and twenty
One last look at the green rocky shore
They told us the new world has plenty
But we’d never see Sligo anymore

Will they know their lost little children
As they look for my face in the crowd
It’s been so long since they’ve seen me
And I wonder if they’ll know me now

Hold to my hand little brother
Be brave and try not to cry
We have a good father and mother
And soon we’ll be safe by their side

Will they know their lost little children
As they look for my face in the crowd
It’s been so long since they’ve seen me
And I wonder if they’ll know me now
(Repeat chorus)

-The entire Altan band, plus bass hero Todd Phillips, and my sister Mollie O’Brien accompanied me on Lost Little Children. That song was co-written with old friends and fine musicians Robin and Linda Williams about unaccompanied children arriving on American shores. Todd Phillips and Kelly Joe Phelps join me on John Riley, written with Texas songwriting icon Guy Clark about a little known chapter in American history.

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