Song about 2 little children found outside a church house door

This is where you can post a request for a hymn search (to post a new request, simply click on the words "Hymn Lyrics Search Requests" and scroll down until you see "Post a New Topic").
Lfilback
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2024 1:27 pm
Contact:

Song about 2 little children found outside a church house door

Post by Lfilback » Tue Feb 27, 2024 1:33 pm

When me and my sister were small my grandmother would sing us a song about 2 little children in the snow outside a church house. I remember the little boy had a curl,the angels took their mommy away and their father was a ship sailing captain. In the song the angels took them home too. I always loved that song as a little girl.
steveliu
Site Admin
Posts: 961
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:27 am
Contact:

Re: Song about 2 little children found outside a church house door

Post by steveliu » Tue Feb 27, 2024 4:10 pm

Hi Lfilback,

You're testing my Google skills, but I found it :) The song is called "Two Little Orphans", "Two Little Children", or "The Two Orphans".

Here are the a few different variations I pulled up. As is often the case with these songs that are passed from generation to generation, you'll likely find variations in the wording ("stood" vs "sat", "a" vs "the", etc. so the version your grandmother sang probably had slightly different wording.

VARIATION ONE (from Lyon College)

Two little children, a girl and a boy,
Stood by an old church door,
The little girl's feet were as brown as the curls
That hung upon the dress that she wore.

The little boy's coat was all tattered and torn
And tears hung in his blue eyes
Why don't you go home to your mother I said
And this was the maiden's reply

Mama's in heaven, angels took her away
She is gone to that land fair and bright
She said she would come for her darlings some day
Perhaps she will come tonight

We can't earn our bread, we're too little, she said
Jim's five and I'm only seven
We can't earn our living since Papa is dead
And our darling Mama's in heaven

Papa got drowned on the sea long ago
We waited all night by the shore
For he was a lifesaving captain you know
And he never came back anymore

Perhaps, there's no room up in heaven, she said
For two little darlings to keep
She then placed her hand under Jims little head
She kissed him, and both fell asleep

The sexton came early to ring the church bell
And found them beneath the snow white
The angels made room for two orphans to dwell
In heaven with Mama that night

VARIATION TWO (from Bluegrass Messengers)

Two little children, a girl and a boy,
Sat by an old church door,
The little girl's hands were as brown as the curls
That lay on the dress that she wore.

The little boy's clothes were all ragged and torn,
And tears stood in his eyes.
"Why don't you go home to your mama?" I said,
And this was the maiden's reply:

"Mama got sick, and the angels took her away,
Left Jim and me here alone;
We've come here to dwell at the close of the day,
For we have no mama, no home."

"Papa got lost out on the sea long ago;
We waited all night by the shore.
For he was a life-saving captain, you know,
And won't be back any more.

"Mama got sick, angels took her away,
She's gone to her home of delight,
The angels will make room for us orphans to dwell
Perhaps they are coming to-night."

The sexton came early to ring the church bell,
He found them beneath the snow white.
The angels made room for the orphans to dwell
In heaven with their mama that night.

VARIATION THREE (from Missouri State University

VERSE 1
Two little orphants, a girl an' a boy
Stood by an old church door
Th little girls feet were as brown as th curls
That hung on th dress that she wore

VERSE 2
Th little boy, coatless an' hatless, was he
A tear stood in each little eye
Why don't you run home to your Momma, said I
An' this was th maidens reply

VERSE 3
Momma's in heaven, angels taken her away
Left Jim and I alone
We've no one to love us since Papa is gone
An' now, darling Momma's in heaven

VERSE 4
Papa was lost out at sea, long ago
We waited all night on th shore
He was a life saving captain, you know
And he never come back anymore

VERSE 5
Then, Momma got sick, angels taken her away
She said, to 'er home warm an' bright
She said, they would come for her darling, some day
Perhaps their coming tonight

VERSE 6
We'r to little to earn our bread
Jim is five while I'm only seven
We've no one to love us, since Papa is dead
An' now, darling Momma's in heaven

VERSE 7
Perhaps there's no room up in heaven, she said
For my two little darlings to dwell
She then placed her hand under Jims little head
An' kissed 'im an' both fell asleep

VERSE 8
Mamma's in heaven, angels taken her away
Left Jim and I alone
We've no one to love us, since Papa is dead
An' now, darling Mamma's in heaven

VERSE 9
The sexton came early to ring th church bell
An' found them there, beneath th white snow
Angels made room up in heaven, that night
For two little orphants with Mamma to dwell

VERSE 10
Mamma's in heaven, angels taken her away
Left Jim and I alone
We've no one to love us, since Papa is dead
An' now, darling Mamma's in heaven

VARIATION FOUR (as sung by Dolly Parton)

Two little children, a boy and a girl
Sat by an old church door
The little girl's feet
Were as brown as the curl
That fell on the dress that she wore
The little boy's clothes were all tattered and torn
They shone beneath his blue eyes

"Why don't you go home
To your mommy, " I said
And this was the maiden's reply
"Mommy's in heaven
Angels took her away
Left Tim and I all alone
We've no one to love us
And daddy is dead
And our darling mother is gone"

Mommy got sick
Angels took her away
To dwell in those mansions so bright
She said she would come
For her children some day
And I guess she's coming tonight
The sexton came early
To ring the church bell
And found them
Beneath the snow white
The angels made room for the orphans to dwell
Up in heaven with their mommy that night

VARIATION FIVE

A lot of websites like this site cite Charles Burke and Sidney Horner as the lyricist and composer in 1899, but when I look at the original sheet music, the lyrics don't match at all.

My guess is that Burke and Horner took a folk song that had already been circulating, wrote their own lyrics (with a "happy ending"), and made a mint during a time these songs were all the rage.

Here's their version:

1.
Two little children seen on the street, one cold winter's night,
Pale and shivering, close together, 'neath an old lamplight;
One was a girl not more than seven years old she seemed to be,
Holding the hand of her little brother, about five years old was he.
What could have caused these little tots to wander from their home?
When their place is beside the fire, not in the snow to roam.
Up to a window far from view, their eyes seemed to stray;
Sobbing as if their hearts would break, we hear the little girl say:

2.
Two little orphans still standing there, yet 'tis Christmas eve,
Night of all nights! Mamma told them they should never grieve;
That Santa Claus, if not too poor, would surely to them bring
Candies to fill up their little stockings before Christmas bells would ring.
A kind old neighbor takes them both into her humble home;
Though she's poor, she cannot leave them in the street to roam.
She says, "My darlings, I will be a mother now to you!"
Close to hear heart they go to sleep, they tell their story so true.

Chorus:
"Papa's been dead a year or more, Mamma, she died today,
Night after night, I've prayed and I've prayed that God wouldn't take her away;
Now we're alone in this dreary world, No comfort we will see.
Fatherless, motherless, out in the cold, two little orphans are we.

The song eventually fell into the public domain, but continued to be passed down from generation to generation by wonderful people like your grandmother. It saw a "comeback" in the 1960s as country singers like Carl Story and Dolly Parton started to perform it closer to its original form.

Thanks for the question, I love this kind of detective work :)

God bless,
Steve
chan005
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2024 9:49 am
Contact:

Re: Song about 2 little children found outside a church house door

Post by chan005 » Wed Feb 28, 2024 9:51 am

[HIDDEN LINK REMOVED BY ADMIN]

The song "Two Little Orphans" tells the poignant tale of two abandoned children discovered outside a church house door. As they face a bleak future, the lyrics evoke a sense of empathy and compassion for their plight. The melody captures the innocence and vulnerability of the orphans, leaving a lasting impression on listeners with its haunting beauty and timeless message of hope amidst adversity.
Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Ahrefs [Bot], Bing [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot] and 2 guests