When I was a wee boy, my granddad had one cherished record – it was the songs of Harry Lauder. In fact, when we had our morning break together – which he called ‘elevens’ – this LP would be put on and we would both sing along. One of my favourites was ‘Keep right on to the end of the road’.
Well yesterday I heard it sung for the first time in many a long year. But then I learned something about it for the first time. For, despite its rousing marching rhythm, it was written in bereavement. Because it was penned by Sir Harry Lauder, as he would become, in memory of his son killed in the First World War.
Maybe that was the reason that it became so popular for it had a message to all of us who miss someone special. It’s last lines are:
Keep right on to the end of the road,
Keep right on to the end,
Tho’ the way be long,
let your heart be strong,
Keep right on round the bend.
Tho’ you’re tired and weary
still journey on,
Till you come to your happy abode,
Where all the love you’ve been dreaming of
Will be there at the end of the road.