|Home, Sweet Home||
A note in the
sheet music section of Matthew Bruccoli and Richard
Layman's Bibliography (page 137) states that
Lardner wrote words and music for "Home, Sweet Home
(That's Where the Real War is)" sung by Bert
Williams in the 1917 Ziegfeld Follies. According to
editors, "[n]o copyright record or other evidence of
publication has been found." Its inclusion in the
bibliography is based primarily on a reference in
"Insomnia." In that essay, originally published
in Cosmopolitan, May 1931, and reprinted in Some
Champions, Lardner writes:
Further evidence is provided in a letter Ring wrote to his mother (quoted in The Lardners: My Family Remembered, page 95). A reader of Lardnermania, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent me a tape-recording of this song, dubbed from his copy of the record. I have attempted to transcribe it below. The scratchiness of the recording (and sometimes the richness of the dialect) makes it difficult to get every word, but I will continue to try. Here's what I have thus far:
My wife claims that all her
folk comes from fightin stock
Three brother-in-law, one
sister-in-law, one mother-in-law--thats five.
They start callin
names when they fust get up,
Ah, home, home, sweet home,
They say theres lots
of blood shed
If I knowd that my
Theres not an officer
in the trench [5 garbled syllables]
My wife says specific,
Ah, home, sweet home,
Mans bound to get
missed sometimes in Belgium, France, or Rome,
Donald Elder's copy of
These notes come from a copy of Round Up owned by Donald Elder, the first Lardner biographer. The book is signed and dated by Elder May 13, 1929. He only wrote notes in the first third of the book.
Elder writes: "Anyhow--There's a touch of poetry here--ala William Carlos Williams.
2. A note at the end: "This early one? Check date--so brutal but leaves Stephen with some dignity."
2. A note on page 81. The note is beside the third full paragraph: "Canny peasant."
3. A note at the end: "too obvious--poor ending. 1 sentence too long--but the understanding of native wit is characteristic."
|Condolence Letter from Lena Lardner, Ring's Mother||
The letter was
addressed to Mrs. August Miller and was found by Jo Clark
after moving into the Miller home in 1963. Much is said
about the caring nature of Lena Lardner; I include this
letter on this page as further proof.
Home, May 18th, 1898
Dear Mrs. Miller:
From my own experience I know how sad you are, and how much you miss the bright child who was your sweet little companion in daily life. The only comfort for you is to try to realize that she is happy and safe. All that a loving mother could do for her does not compare with what her Heavenly Father has already done for her. After her brief suffering, she is safe and happy in His arms forever.
It is by thinking of her joy that you can be consoled, and, with the Christian's faith, you look forward to meeting her again.
Lena B. Lardner