Song 311: "Mothers Daughters Wives" - Judy Small

The first time it was fathers,
The last time it was sons
And in between your husbands
Marched away with drums and guns.
And you never thought to question.
You just went on with your lives.
Cause all they taught you who to be,
Was mothers, daughters, wives.


You can only just remember
The tears your mother shed
As they sat and read their papers
Through the lists and lists of dead.
And the gold frames held the photographs
That mothers kissed each night.
And the door frames held the shocked
And silent strangers from the fight.

The first time it was fathers,
The last time it was sons
And in between your husbands
Marched away with drums and guns.
And you never thought to question.
You just went on with your lives.
Cause all they taught you who to be,
Was mothers, daughters, wives.


It was twenty-one years later,
With children of your own.
The trumpets sounded once again,
And the soldier boys were gone.
So you made their guns and drove the trucks
And tended to their wounds.
And at night you kissed the photographs
And hoped for safe returns.

And after it was over
You had to learn again
To be just wives and mothers,
When you'd done the work of men.
So you worked to help the needy
And you never trod on toes.
And the photos on the mantlepiece
Struck a happy family pose.

The first time it was fathers,
The last time it was sons
And in between your husbands
Marched away with drums and guns.
And you never thought to question.
You just went on with your lives.
Cause all they taught you who to be,
Was mothers, daughters, wives.

Then your daughters grew to women
And your little boys to men.
And you prayed that you were dreaming
When the call came up again.
But you proudly smiled and held your tears
As they bravely waved goodbye.
And the photos on the mantelpiece
Always made you cry.

And now you're getting older
And in time the photos fade.
And in widowhood you sit back
And reflect on the parade.
Of the passing of your memories
As your daughters change their lives,
Seeing more to their existence
Than just mothers, daughters, wives.

The first time it was fathers,
The last time it was sons
And in between your husbands
Marched away with drums and guns.
And you never thought to question.
You just went on with your lives.
Cause all they taught you who to be,
Was mothers, daughters, wives.

And you believed them
When they said you were
Just mothers, daughters, wives.