Words by John Alan Haughton, 1903
Come back to the toys your childhood knew,
For we are true, whatever you do.
We're waiting to play the same old way,
Through night and day, though you are gray, we'll wait for aye!
Come join us as we march along
A hundred strong, And sing our song!
Forget life's cares, life's snares
And be a child, and be a child once more.
William L. Simon, ed., Readerís Digest Merry Christmas Songbook (1981)
The surprising success of a musical based on L. Frank Baumís The Wonderful Wizard of Oz prompted Irish-born composer Victor Herbert in 1903 to write Babes in Toyland, his musical comedy about two children, Jane and Alan, who escape from a miserly uncle to the garden of Contrary Mary and thence to the enchantments of Toyland. The plot was flimsy, but it suited the public taste of the moment, and the other characters-drawn from such sources as Mother Goose and others - were all applauded rapturously. Besides the lullaby-like "Toyland" and "I Can't Do the Sum, "Herbertís score included the whimsically stiff-legged and strutting instrumental "March of the Toys."
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