When will the laughter ring again in the way that it used to do?
Not till the soldiers come home again, not till the war is through.
When will the holly gleam again and the Christmas candles burn?
Not till the swords are sheathed once more and the brave of our land return.
When will happy hearts meet again in the lights of the Christmas tree?
Not till the cannons cease their roar and the sailors come from sea.
When shall we sing as we used to do and dance in the old-time way?
Not till the soldiers come home again and the bugles cease to play.
Oh, dull is the red of the holly now and faintly the candles burn;
And we long for the smile of the missing face and the absent one’s return.
We long for the laughter we used to know and the love that made giving sweet,
But we must wait for the joys of old till the drums shall cease to beat.
We shall laugh once more as we used to do, and dance in the old-time way,
For this is the pledge they have made to us who serve in the war to-day;
And the joys of home that we treasure so are the joys that their lives defend,
And they shall give us our Christmas time as soon as the war shall end.