Sheet music for “The Old Postmaster”
This piece of sheet music titled “The Old Postmaster” includes music by Joseph W. Stern (1870-1934) and words by Edward B. Marks (1865-1945). The piece was copyrighted in 1900 by Joseph W. Stern & Company of New York, New York. The cover sheet for this ballad features the interior of a rural post office in which the 'old postmaster' is depicted talking to a woman and two children. In the song, the old postmaster tells the townspeople that he will not retire. He will remain postmaster as long as he can because he is waiting for a letter from his son, who went to sea years before.
"In an old New England village there’s a quaint, old-fashioned place where the county folk call for their mail each day. There’s a kindly old postmaster, so familiar to each face. In the service he has grown both bent and gray. The town committee called on him and asked him to retire, offering him some easier post instead, but he shook his head in silence, till one day they urged him so that in trembling tones he turned to them and said:
I’m called the old postmaster; you have known me all your lives. I’ve brought you needs from loved ones, from the sweethearts and wives. I’m want for a letter, from a son who ran away. I’m still your old postmaster, let me stay here while I may."