It's tough when you are homesick in a strange and distant place;
It's anguish when you're hungry for an old- familiar face.
And yearning for the good folks and the joys you used to know,
When you're miles away from friendship, is a bitter sort of woe.
But it's tougher, let me tell you, and a stiffer discipline
To see them through the window, and to know you can't go in.
Oh, I never knew the meaning of that red sign on the door,
Never really understood it, never thought of it before;
But I'll never see another since they've tacked one up on mine
But I'll think about the father that is barred from all that's fine.
And I'll think about the mother who is prisoner in there
So her little son or daughter shall not miss a mother's care.
And I'll share a fellow feeling with the saddest of my kin,
The dad beside the gateway of the home he can't go in.
Oh, we laugh and joke together and the mother tries to be
Brave and sunny in her prison, and she thinks she's fooling me;
And I do my bravest smiling and I feign a merry air
In the hope she won't discover that I'm bur- burdened down with care.
But it's only empty laughter, and there's nothing in the grin
When you're talking through the window of the home you can't go in.