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The Letter That Never Came

This song is by Loudon Wainwright III and appears on the album High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project (2009).

"Is there any mail for me?" was the question that he asked
Of the postman at the closing of the day
Then he turned away and sighed, while a tear stood in his eye
As he bowed his head and slowly walked away

Was it from a gray-haired mother? Or a sister or a brother?
Had he waited all those many years in vain?
From the early morning light, he would watch 'til dark of night
For the letter, but, at last, it never came

So one day upon the shore, he was found, but life was o'er
His poor soul, it must have gone out with the tide
In his hand they found a note with the last words that he wrote:
"Should a letter come, please place it by my side!"

Was it from a gray-haired mother? Or a sister or a brother?
Had he waited all those many years in vain?
From the early morning light, he would watch 'til dark of night
For the letter, but, at last, it never came

Sweet flowers twine around the tombstone o'er his mound
Upon which was scrawled his age, also his name
Many years have gone, they say, since his spirit passed away
But the letter that he longed for never came

Was it from a gray-haired mother? Or a sister or a brother?
Had he waited all those many years in vain?
From the early morning light, he would watch 'til dark of night
For the letter, but, at last, it never came

Written by:

Max Sturm; Paul Dresser