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Jenny at the Front Door

From the Album McDonald’s Farm

Jenny, standing by the front door
Waiting for the post to come
It’s seven weeks since last she had
A letter from her son
He said he’d never leave her
Said he never was that kind
But now he’s found a better life
And left a million miles behind

Jenny, standing by the front door
Ten years she’s stood alone
He, too busy to write a word
She, too poor to phone
It’s not he doesn’t love her
Of that he will insist
It’s just that every day or so
He forgets that she exists

Jenny, Jenny, you’re wasting your life away
You’ve lived your life for others watching how they play
Jenny, Jenny, just memories on your shelves
Will you never realise that you are nothing
But yourself

Jenny, standing by the front door
Remembering what her mother said
A woman’s place is by a man
Please get that in your head
Well, her husband left for another love
And her son for another life
And all they left behind them
Was a mother and a wife

You said I had to find a man
Well mother I found two
But now I stand alone
Tell me what am I to do?


I was working in a bar on a cruise ship when one night I started talking with an elderly woman who was sitting by herself. She was a friendly woman but very lonely since her husband had passed away a few years earlier. She had plenty of friends and an active social life, but her only family was a daughter that lived in Australia. They had a good relationship, but the daughter never wrote and seemed incapable of picking up a phone and calling her. The first line of this song was, “Jenny, standing by the front door waiting for the post to come,” which made me think of that woman, although I don’t remember her real name. I always hoped this song would guilt a few people into phoning their mum.