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Songs about getting really old?

06 Oct 97 - 11:44 AM (#14050)
Subject: Songs about getting really old?
From: Peter T.

This is a companion ("cf. Old Friends, Simon and Garfunkel") to the other thread "Songs About Getting Older" asking about songs relating to those who are getting somewhat older. Does anyone have any good songs -- uplifting, depressing, gruesome, sweet -- about the really aged? It is scary to think that the Beatles "When I'm Sixty-Four" might be in this category, but they were in their twenties, what did they know? Yours, Peter T.


06 Oct 97 - 12:39 PM (#14056)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: S.P. Buck Mulligan

Peter: I have a few for you: "Hello In There" by John Prine, "The Dutchman" by Mike Smith, and "The Old Folks" by, I think, Jacques Brel (not 100% sure on this attribution). The prine has been recorded by Bette Midler of course, but Prine's own rendition is far superior. The Mike Smith tune was sort of a signature of Steve Goodman's, appearing on one of his earliest albums. The only recording of "The Old Folks" I've heard is by HJ Dutschendorf on none of his "pre-Country Boy" LPs.


06 Oct 97 - 01:19 PM (#14060)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Harold

Peter, the Beatles sung "When I get older.." and not "When I get really old" ! Then you would be right.
I remember parts of the Dublinersī "Now Iīm Easy", about a man who IS really old, or at least feels really old. "Itīs nearly over now, and now Iīm easy...". Itīs a very haunting song of hard times in Ireland in former times.


06 Oct 97 - 02:13 PM (#14067)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Bill D

"Over the Hills to the Poor House"..old country/bluegrass number and "The Black Sheep"...(in the database)...songs about what is done with the old...


06 Oct 97 - 02:30 PM (#14069)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Alice

There are "Silver Threads Among the Gold" (in the DT) and "Darling Nellie Gray", "The Picture on the Wall", "Long, Long, Ago", "Grandfather's Clock", "You're As Welcome As The Flowers in May" (I saw my daddy old and grey, I heard my dear old mother say,), "Are You Tired of Me Darling", "After The Ball" (A little maiden climbed on an old man's knee, begged for a story...), "Bring Back to Me My Wandering Boy" (tell him that his mother with faded cheeks and hair, at the old home is waiting him there...).
I didn't check the first thread on aging to see if I am repeating here, guess I should have done that before typing all of this in. Interesting topic. Alice in Montana


06 Oct 97 - 03:36 PM (#14078)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Coralena

"That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine" by Gene Autry

A very touching song, if you love your Daddy this one may make you cry.


06 Oct 97 - 04:49 PM (#14084)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Joe Offer

Steve Goodman and Jerry Jeff Walker both wrote wonderful songs with the same title, "My Old Man."
Not folk songs, but "The Living Years" by Mike and the Mechanics is worth a close listen. "Leader of the Band" by Dan Fogelberg always makes me think of my dad, who nowadays doesn't sing as much as he used to.
-Joe Offer-


06 Oct 97 - 04:57 PM (#14085)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Peter T.

Great Songs. (the real Buck Mulligan? We are honoured) Another Jacques Brel (his best) "Chanson des Vieux Amants".

Harold, any lyrics to "Now I'm Easy"?

I guess "Angel From Montgomery" is also an old person's song.

An e-mail from a friend who notes (while recommending "I'm So Glad I'm Not Young Anymore" from Gigi) that Sophocles is reputed to have said, "At last I do not feel those terrible fires." He was 90. Yours, Peter


06 Oct 97 - 05:01 PM (#14086)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Joe Offer

Many of the songs in the "Time & Changes" chapter of the "Rise Up Singing" songbook have to do with aging, but I don't have time today to type any. One I like especially is "The Activity Room (Mrs. Abrams)," by Ruth Pelham. Ronnie Gilbert did a great job with this song on the "Lifeline" album she recorded live with Holly Near in 1983.
-Joe Offer-


06 Oct 97 - 05:05 PM (#14087)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Bill D

Oh!! Another great one,,,it's in the database.."Didn't I Dance"


06 Oct 97 - 05:46 PM (#14094)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Frank Phillips

The chorus posted by Harald sounds like the Eric Bogle song about the Australian farmer called "Now I'm Easy" which is in the DT.

Might there be another song by this name?

Frank


06 Oct 97 - 06:04 PM (#14095)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Harold

Well, as far as I remember:

For nearly 60 years,Iīve been a cockey

I married a fine girl, when I was twenty
My wife died when giving birth, when she was thirty
No flying doctor then, just a gentle old black gent
But Itīs nearly over now, and now Iīm easy

She left me with two sons and with a daughter
And a bone dry farm, which soil cries out for water

me daughter married young and went her own way
me sons lie buried near the Burma Railway
But itīs nearly over now, and now Iīm easy

Oh, what have I done? Iīm ready to submit only fragments of a song. I thought, I would have more of that song in my mind. To my excuse: Itīs some time ago, that Iīve heard it. But the fact that I remembered at least a little bit showes, that the song is worth it. Bye the way: The Dubliners sang it on their 25th years celebration album. Thereīs also a songbook containing the songs of that record.
Sorry for my insufficient memory, Harald ^^^


06 Oct 97 - 06:09 PM (#14096)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Harold

Hey whatīs the heck is going on here? I first searched the DT before making a fool out of me with submitting these fragments, but didnīt find it. Now Iīm looking up something else and what do I see: Now Iīm Easy !!!
Well, itīs after midnite here, perhaps I should go to bed now.
See ya tomorrow folks, good night to everybody,

Harald


06 Oct 97 - 06:14 PM (#14098)
Subject: Lyr Add: GET UP AND GO (partial lyrics)
From: Robert Lee

A great song done by Pete Seeger on the Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie Live at Carnegie Hall album:

How do I know my youth is all spent?
My get-up-and-go has got up and went,
But in spite of it all I'm able to grin
And think of the places my get-up has been.

I wake up each morning and dust off my wits,
Pick up the paper, and read the obits.
If I'm not there, I know I'm not dead,
So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed.

...there's lots more, but that's all I remember.

Robert Lee


06 Oct 97 - 06:25 PM (#14101)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: alison

HI

Now I'm easy is about Australia.

The words are in the dfatabase but just to correct what was said up above, it goes....

No flying doctor then, just a gentle old black gin, (Aboriginal woman.)

Come on Alan of Oz, give them the other version........

Slainte

Alison


06 Oct 97 - 06:38 PM (#14105)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Carl

Hi Alison,
As this thread went via Now Iīm easy directly to Australia, I waited for you to respond, and there it is.
But could also be Ireland. Only the hint of the Burma Railway and the black gent/gin showed clearly that itīs Australia-originated. Some songs sung in Ireland come from Australia, like one of my favourites "Waltzing Matilda".

Well, thereīs no particular message in this answer, I know. Just wanted to have a little chat, and the chat-room is always empty...

Slan go foill, Carl


06 Oct 97 - 07:03 PM (#14111)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Peter T.

Wherever it is from, a good song. Must find the record, before I get too old....Yours, Peter


06 Oct 97 - 08:56 PM (#14117)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Moira Cameron

There's a couple of humourous songs sung by the late David Parry that come to my mind. One is a song called "Greezy Mac" about an older man who consideres himself a 'bar-maid connoiseur'. The other one is (I believe) a Robert Service poen that David put to music called "I wish I was eighty again." Actually, Robert Service wrote quite a few poems about getting old or being old; some of them funny, some not.


06 Oct 97 - 10:19 PM (#14122)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Pauline Lerner

A bunch of them, with different moods, come to mind: 1. Hats Off to Old Folks, by Schooner Fare, is actually upbeat. 2. Sailor's Rest, by Stan Rogers, is depressing. 3. Saltwater Farm, by Schooner Fair, is about unfulfilled dreams of an old man. 4. Eileen Aroon, by Trad., addresses aging of a pretty woman. 5. Eyes of a Painter, by Kate Wolf, is a kind, loving portrait of Grandpa.


06 Oct 97 - 11:10 PM (#14127)
Subject: Lyr Add: GET UP AND GO (additional lyrics: Walden)
From: rich r

"My Get Up and Go Has Got Up and Went" words Public domain and tune by Pete Seeger is in the database. In Pete's book (Where Have All The Flowers Gone) he relates the story of how he found the words on the back of a restaurant menu in Wisconsin and since has found evidence that it goes back at least to WW1. He also includes an alternative last verse and chorus that was went to him by Eleanor Walden.

I get up each morning and dust off my wits,
Open the paper and read the obits.
If I'm not there, I know I'm not gone,
So I eat a good breakfast and plan to go on.

For life is a blessing and love is a hope.
There's too much to do now to sit here and mope,
So I tie my Adidas and answer the call.
I'll die in the struggle or I won't die at all.

How do I know I'm ready to fight?
My get up and go is still within sight.
In spite of my body, my spirit is strong,
And I'm passing the torch from the old to the young.

rich r


07 Oct 97 - 01:02 AM (#14132)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Barry

Now I'm Easy is from Eric Bogel, who wrote it (or so he says) after spending some time in a bar with an elderly gent who proceeded to tell his life story to Eric's willing ear. He then says after the story was finished he ran outside, behind the bar & jotted it all down as was related to him & it became song. Moore's "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms" & Dave Van Ronk's "Another Time And Place" are a few charmers. Barry


07 Oct 97 - 01:42 AM (#14133)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Charlie Baum

I'm thinking of "Run the Film Backwards" by Sydney Carter, which I've heard sung by Iain MacKintosh on his album _Gentle Persuasion_ (Greentrax/ TRAX014) about getting younger and younger. It starts out "At the grand old age of eighty-seven, they took me from the coffin," and runs a life in reverse until he becomes a very young boy and "Mother means the world to me and soon I'll be inside her."


07 Oct 97 - 03:32 AM (#14141)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Wolfgang (Hell)

What comes to my mind is the beautiful "Joy of living" (it is in the database) by the then quite old Ewan MacColl.
What also comes to my mind is the quite nasty "When you are old and grey" by Tom Lehrer (also in the DTDB)
Wolfgang


07 Oct 97 - 08:36 AM (#14152)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: alison

HI

What about the beautiful, (if depressing) Kilkelly, which I'm sure is in the database. About the old man's letters to his son.

Faals into my songs to slash your wrists to category, (along with Now I'm easy), but a great song nevertheless.

Slainte

Alison


07 Oct 97 - 01:13 PM (#14155)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: dick greenhaus

Check out @age or @aging (or, better yet, @ag*) in the database.


07 Oct 97 - 01:17 PM (#14156)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: dick greenhaus

Hi again- Just checked. The Digital Tradition database lists 99 songs dealing with age or aging. A start, at least.


07 Oct 97 - 03:54 PM (#14168)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Bill in Alabama

There's always "Old and In the Way." I'm sure that it's in the DT.


07 Oct 97 - 04:33 PM (#14170)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: S.P. Buck Mulligan

I wouldn't be surprised if "Chanson de vieux amants" is in fact the same song Denver recorded in translation as "The Old Folks." but that's only a suspicion. I'd forgotten about "Angel" - it is indeed about growing old ("I am an old woman ....")

Not the real Buck (but I qualify for the "Plump" part; "stately"'s a judgment call though.)just a Joyce fan. Was once in a band, and we spent an entire evening (and several jugs of E&J's best) thinking up names. "Buck Mulligan Band" got the nod, and as I was in front, I was often mistaken for "Buck."

What about Kristofferson's great "Casey's Last Ride?" It's not strictly about getting old, I guess, but about maturing out of a relationship.

Or "Are You Tired Of Me, My Darling" which I think dates to the 1830s (Nanci Griffith did a smashing job on "Other Voices ..." with Chet atkins on acoustic 6 string. "Tecumseh Valley" by Townes van Zandt on the same disc is kinda about getting old (and then stopping getting older)

Stan Rogers did a nifty job with "Lies" though again, that's not about getting "Really" old, just getting on in years and on with life. On his "From Fresh Water" there's "The Last Watch" which deals with obsolescence, human and mechanical. I think that'd qualify.


07 Oct 97 - 04:46 PM (#14172)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Nonie Rider

Yeah, I'd say MOST of Stan Rogers' songs are about getting older--as long as you include the aging and passing away of ships and jobs and ways of living.

Goddammit, I miss that man, and I never even met him.

Ever read Peter S. Beagle's THE FAIR FOLK? The main character is described by a friend as always mourning for things passing away, even if they haven't yet; always aware of what WILL pass.

--Nonie


07 Oct 97 - 05:09 PM (#14174)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Bert

Talking of old ships, my Dad sings a song called "Goodbye Old Ship of Mine"


07 Oct 97 - 05:45 PM (#14183)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Peter T.

Dear Buck, No, Chanson is a different song, more about the savage (and now not so savage) relationship between a man and a woman.

More good songs (I have never heard).

Dear Nonie, I think it was Orwell somewhere who talked about being at the tail end of traditions he didn't know were passing on until afterwards, when they became curiosities. Like reading, for example. Yours, Peter


07 Oct 97 - 07:12 PM (#14200)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca

As I mentioned in the other thread, "Hello In There" by John Prine.

There is also that one that was a hit in the 1970's that began "Now I've been 'round for 80 summers . . ."

"Now I'm 64", the folksong, not to be confused with "When I'm 64" by the Beatles, which also qualifies.


07 Oct 97 - 08:32 PM (#14210)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Mark Pemburn

Then there's "Rockin' Chair":

Rockin' chair done got me/ Cane by my side/ Hand me that gin boy/ Fo' I tan your hide

That's all I know of it. Hand me that whiskey, would ye?

Mark


08 Oct 97 - 04:51 AM (#14228)
Subject: Lyr Add: IT'S NOT EASY (Alan Foster)
From: Alan of Australia

G'day,
Eric Bogle's "now I'm Easy" is actually full of Aussie references:-

cocky - Aussie slang for farmer

droughts & fires & floods - could be anywhere maybe, but applies particularly to Oz.

Flying Doctor - Royal Flying Doctor Service which brings medical help to people in outlying areas covering 2 million square miles and has been operating since 1927. Started by Rev. John Flynn (Flynn of the Inland) and Alfred Traeger who invented the pedal wireless which was used for many years by remote farmers etc.

gin (definitely not gent) - see Alison's post above.

And here's a parody:-

IT'S NOT EASY

by Alan Foster

For nearly sixty years I've been a folky
Of clubs and pubs and festivals I've seen plenty
And one day I'll make my name
And I'll find fortune and fame
But I've nearly made it now and it's not easy.

Well I learnt to play guitar when I was twenty
And I started writing songs when I was thirty
And I sang my songs one day
But the audience faded away
But I've nearly made it now and it's not easy.

Pretty soon I'm gonna record a great new album
Full of Aussie songs, it'll really be fair dinkum
Then one day and it won't be long
I'm gonna write the world's best song
But I've nearly made it now and it's not easy.

Teenagers today despise the folky
Say compared to rock'n roll folk songs ain't funky
They say your songs are much too long
They exceed our attention span
But I've nearly made it now and it's not easy.

For nearly sixty years I've been a folky
Of clubs and pubs and festivals I've seen plenty
And I'll sing my songs once more
To an audience of four
But I've nearly made it now and it's not easy.

Cheers,
Alan


08 Oct 97 - 11:08 AM (#14268)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Justin

Good Alan. I heard Eric Bogle do his own parody for a sound check once in Princeton (NJ). It started, "For nearly 60 years I've been a jockey," and complained of saddle sores. A really good song that kind of goes with "Now I'm Easy" is Judy Small's (not on the database) ... now I can't remember the title, but it's chorus has "Sometimes I wonder if it all was worth the doin'...and some times I think this was the finest life of all". Priscilla Herdman recorded it on an early album. I'll get the words & submit them.


08 Oct 97 - 12:01 PM (#14271)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Bob Landry

I was flipping through my "A" book last night and came across "Streets of London" by Ralph McTell. A poignant commentary on how our youth and money oriented society treats old people. It's in the database


08 Oct 97 - 07:14 PM (#14297)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: dick greenhaus

My own favorites (at least today) are The Good Boy and Silver in the Stubble. Both in the database.


08 Oct 97 - 08:12 PM (#14305)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: anna root

An unusual one, and in the DT, is a version of "John Anderson, My Jo" where John's wife laments that

"John Anderson, my jo, John
When first that ye began
Ye had as good a tail-tree
As ony ither man
But now its waxen wan, John
And wrinkles to and fro
I've twa gae-ups for ae gae-down
John Anderson, my jo"


08 Oct 97 - 09:46 PM (#14315)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Will

Yes, Streets of London is great. It's in Rise Up Singing, too.


08 Oct 97 - 10:33 PM (#14319)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: dulcimer

Check out a song by the Carter Family, 1930, called The Little Log Hut in the Lane. It starts--

Mama says she don't want me cause I getting old.
'Fraid that I might freeze to death, the weather is so cold.\

--- on Rounder C 1066


09 Oct 97 - 03:06 PM (#14351)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: TomG

Besides "September Song", which I'm sure you know, there is "Younger than Spring" and "Once Upon a Time". I am 62 and I sing these around the campfire when called upon for "old folks' songs. If you don't know the lyrics or can't find them, e-mail me at tgibson@mymail.com and I'll send them or put them here.

Tom


09 Oct 97 - 09:10 PM (#14373)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Alan of Australia

G'day,
To anna root I may be wrong but I think the bawdy version of John Anderson my Jo is a Robbie burns version.

Cheers,
Alan


10 Oct 97 - 10:43 AM (#14407)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Whippoorwill

Running the gamut from the sloppily sentimental to the sublimely ridiculous, there's "Old Dogs and Children and Watermelon Wine," and from the '40s, "He's Too Old to Cut the Mustard Any More."


10 Oct 97 - 02:41 PM (#14431)
Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN THIS OLD HAT WAS NEW
From: LaMarca

Some others that fit, just off the top of my head:

WHEN THIS OLD HAT WAS NEW (trad, from Chris Foster)

    I am a poor old man
    Come listen to my song
    Provisions now are twice as dear
    As when that we were young
    The poor are quite done o'er
    We know this to be true,
    But it was not so when Bess did reign
    And this old hat was new,
    When this old hat was new
I'll post the rest for the database next week when I can bring the correct words from home

Silver In the Stubble by Sidney Carter, in the DT here

In the Rare Ol' Times - Pete St. John's depressing song about Dublin's changes over the years. DT has it here (without an author listed, and some garbling of verses...)

Time Has Made A Change In Me - in the DT here

What's the Life of a Man? (in the DT here

    Chorus: What's the life of a man, more than that of the leaves
    A man has his seasons, so why should he grieve
    Although in this life we appear fine and gay
    Like the leaves we must wither and soon fade away
A cheery little ditty...

Generations of Change - old man reminiscing about the change in trades in Scotland over the years, by Scottish songwriter Matt Armor, in DT here

And how can we forget the oldest man (woman?) of all in
I Was Born About 10.000 Years Ago (in the DT as Just the Facts, Ma'am, Woody Guthrie's intertwining of 10,000 Years with Great Historical Bum!)


11 Oct 97 - 02:35 PM (#14472)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca

Oscar Brand recorded "I Was Born About 10,000 Years Ago". I have it on vinyl. (Whatever happened to him, anyway?)

Alison, "Kilkelly" must be one of the most depressing songs I've ever seen.


11 Oct 97 - 08:08 PM (#14491)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Bill D

Oscar Brand did a couple of programs at local (Wash DC)libraries just a few months ago...I didn't go...but I guess he is doing ok...


11 Oct 97 - 08:57 PM (#14496)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Alice

dick.. I looked at the list under @age* and found some really touching gems like FARAWAY TOM, which I have never heard. Makes me want to find all the recordings Jean Redpath has ever done. Alice in Montana


12 Oct 97 - 01:25 AM (#14506)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Bill D

I think I have 95% of everything she has ever recorded...never got tired of hearing her....heard her first in 1963.....checked out a record from the library....most are still available in some form....


12 Oct 97 - 06:15 PM (#14551)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Doug Ramsey

One of my favorite songs about growing old is "75 Septembers" by Cheryl Wheeler. The most accessible recording of it is on the Peter Paul and Mary lifelines album...


12 Oct 97 - 07:36 PM (#14554)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Bruce

Alan, Burns had nothing to do with the bawdy "John Anderson my Jo". The first version in DT, except for verse order and spelling is practically the same as that in 'The Masque', 2nd edit. 1768. Burns was then 9 years old. A version of five verses is in "Philomel', 1744, reprinted in the first volume of 'The Comic Miscellany,' 1756. The later version is also in other songbooks before its appearance in 'The Merry Muses of Caledonia' (1799), and appears with its tune in 'The Convivial Songster' 1782.


13 Oct 97 - 04:32 AM (#14589)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: PHIL THOMAS

Sam Eskin sang "My children are laughing behind my back..." on his 10" Folkways LP. A great antidote to ageism.


13 Oct 97 - 06:33 PM (#14645)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: alison

hi

Yes I agree the "Kilkelly" is depressing, but it's also supposed to be true. Apparently there is a collection of the letters somewhere in the US (in a museum) and someone thought it would make a good song.

Slainte

alison


14 Oct 97 - 02:41 AM (#14691)
Subject: Lyr Add: TIME'S ALTERATION; OR, THE OLD MAN'S...
From: Bruce

Ref. LeMarca, Oct.10
"When this old hat was new" is in Whitaker's 'North Countrie Ballads', 1921 (and nowhere else?). I once saw this book, (where?) but, unfortunately, did not copy this song. What may be an earlier version is:

Time's Alteration; Or,
The Old Man's rehearsall, what brave days he knew,
A great while agone, when his Old Cap was new.

To the tune of Ile nere be drunke againe.

When this old cap was new,
'Tis since two hundred yeere;
No malice then we knew,
But all things plentie were:
All friendship now decayes
(Believe me, this is true),
Which was not in those dayes
When this old cap was new.

Twelve more verses contrasting old times with the new, with the burden 'When this old cap was new' throughout. 'New' being c 1618-29. By Martin Parker. Broadside Index- ZN2893.

Some other 17th century ballads about some of the problems of old age- [first line/ref #/title]:

All you that fathers be/ ZN131| A Ballad Intituled, The Old mans complaint.
An old song made, of an old aged pate/ ZN183| An Old Song of the old courtier. By T. Howard [See DT under "Old Soldiers of the Queen"]
He that is a clear Cavalier will not repine/ ZN1113| The Old Cavalier.
If I live to grow old/ ZN1387| The Old Mans Wish.
O that I was now a marry'd wife/ ZN2045| An Answer to the Old Man's Wish.
If I was young, as now I am old/ ZN1388| A New Song, Call'd The Old Mans Wish.
In Nineve old Toby dwelt/ ZN1446| A Pleasant new Ballad of Old Toby [Tobias].
It was an old man which with his poore wife/ ZN1526| A most excellent ballad, of an old man and his wife.

There are also many ballads about old people, including some who wouldn't act like others expected (i.e, bawdy). There is also one about the Dutch Miller who put old wives and harlots into his mill and ground out tender young virgins (adapted from an earlier German illustrated broadsheet). A cheap print of a large engraving of this mill was a very popular wall decoration in English county cottages in the 18th century).


14 Oct 97 - 04:44 AM (#14700)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD MAN'S SONG (Ian Campbell)^^
From: Pete M

One song not mentioned so far and which unites this thread with the one work / labour is simply "the old mans song" written by Ian Campbell. It is also a possibly unconcious precursor /influence to Bogles Now I'm easy.

Most of the lyrics follow but there are two lines I can't recall. Anyone help?

THE OLD MAN'S SONG
(Ian Campbell)

At the turning of the century I was a boy of five,
Me father went to fight the Boers and never came back alive
Me ma was left to bring us up, no Charity she'd seek
She washed and scrubbed and scraped along on seven & six a week.

At the age of twelve I left the school and went to find a job,
With growing kids me Ma was glad of the extra couple of bob,
I'm sure that better schooling would have stood me in good stead,
But you can't aford refinement when you're struggling for your bread.

When the Great War came along I didn't hesitate,
I took the Royal shilling and went off to do me bit,
Three years I fought in in mud and ????
'til I copped some gas in Flanders and got invalided out.

And when the war was over and we'd settled with the Hun,
We got back into civvies and we thought the fighting done,
We'd won the right to live in Peace, but we didn't have such luck
For very soon we had to fight for the right to go to work.

In Twenty six the General Strike found me on the streets
Though I'd a wife and kids by then and their needs I had to meet
But a Brave New world was coming and the Brotherhood of man,
But when the strike was over we were back where we began.

I struggled through the Thirties, out of work now and again,
I saw the Blackshirts marching and the things they did in Spain
But I raised me children decent and I taught them wrong from right,
But Hitler was the man that came and taught them how to fight.

They gave me son a gong for stopping one of Rommel's tanks,
???? and convaleced in Rome,
Got married to an Eytie nurse and never bothered to come home.

I'm living on the pension now, it doesn't go too far,
Not much to show for a life that's been like one long bloody war,
When I think of all the wasted lives it makes you want to cry,
I'm not sure how to change things - but by Christ we have to try.

PM
^^


14 Oct 97 - 02:41 PM (#14727)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Peter T.

Continuing thanks for contributions. This group never fails to surprise and delight. "Old Rocking Chair's Got Me"... Yours, Peter


15 Oct 97 - 06:08 AM (#14769)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Wolfgang

The Old Man's Song (Tale)

for Pete M.: Thanks for reminding me that fine song. I have a slightly different version of it (from the Big Red Songbook). Here are the missing bits in my version:

verse 3, line 3: "I lived on mud and tears and blood, three years or thereabouts"

verse 7: "My daughter was a landgirl, she got married to a Yank,
and they gave me son a gong for stopping one of Rommel's tanks.
He was wounded just before the end, and convalesced in Rome,
got married to an Eyetie nurse and never bothered to come home."

my version knows an extra verse, before your last verse:

verse 7b: "My daughter writes me once a month, a cheerful little note,
about their colour telly and the other things they've got,
she's got a son, a likely lad, he's nearly twenty one,
and she tells me now they've called him up to fight in Vietnam."

Regards Wolfgang


15 Oct 97 - 06:33 AM (#14770)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Steve D.

There's a couple of Pete Seeger numbers I can think of. One goes 'How do I know my youth is all spent, my get up and go has got up and went'(!). The other is a ramble on the 'Precious Friend' CD (with Arlo Guthrie) about a song that Lee Hayes wrote. Also good (though not strictly relevant) is 'Old Horse' as sung by Martin Carthy.


18 Oct 97 - 10:14 PM (#14952)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Pete M

Thanks to Wolfgang for the missing lines. I think they are the same version actually, just my memory failing!


20 Oct 97 - 08:19 PM (#15013)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: David F

Wasn't it Sinatra that sang "It was a very good year"? As in "When I was 17 It was a very good year...."

Then there was an old song with the refrain "Ain't a gonna need this house no longer, ain't a gonna need this house no more...."

Both of these are good "Old" songs.


21 Oct 97 - 09:25 AM (#15025)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Peter T.

Continuing thanks. David, that reminds me of "Yesterday, when I was young" (first line of a song by a famous country and western singer whose name, like rain upon my tongue, I can't at this moment recall). I will curse myself -- age, age, can remember faces, but... Yours, Peter


21 Oct 97 - 05:42 PM (#15036)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Bill D

I can never remember faces, but I always forget a name....(at least, I think that's how it goes....)


04 Nov 97 - 07:07 PM (#15738)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Kate

One of my favorites is Jimmy Buffet's "The Captain and the Kid." Also, Simon and Garfunkel's "Bookends."

I suppose the protagonists in "Hobo's Lullaby" and "Mr. Bojangles" (both are in the database) are not all that old chronologically, but I'm inclined to include them anyway, since they seem to have lived too long for the demands of the open road.


10 Nov 97 - 03:26 PM (#16044)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Rob Derrick

On the Makem&Clancy concert album, they do one called

The 200 Year-Old Alcoholic

about a _very_ old man.


22 Nov 97 - 10:42 PM (#16532)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: mim

'Freewheelin' Now' by Jim Reid on the CD of the same name. It's not about really old, only 50, but it's a definitely positive outlook.

And nobody's mentioned Maurice Chevalier singing "I'm glad I'm not young anymore."


23 Nov 97 - 03:17 AM (#16541)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: rastrelnikov

I think one of my favourite songs on this topic is Clear Away in the Morning by Gordon Bok. It's in the DT.

One of the great lines is when the singer tries to describe a woman he knew Nancy, oh my Nancy But he knows he can't put it in words. He just repeats Nancy, oh my Nancy. Not only is the poor fellow to old to work a sailing ship anymore, he can't even relate his experiences, just the memories of the emotions.

It's on the first Makem and Clancy album, I believe.


24 Nov 97 - 03:55 PM (#16596)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Bert

There's that great song by Utah Phillips. "The Goodnight Trail & the Loving Trail"
...and the Old Woman's lonesome tonight...


24 Nov 97 - 04:05 PM (#16601)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Jaxon

The Clancy Brithers recorded "The 2,000 Year Old Alcoholic". Top That!


24 Nov 97 - 10:07 PM (#16628)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Bill Wood

Bruce Philip's "old woman" in the Goodnight Loving Trail is the cook on the cattle drive; He has another great song about aging -- All Used up -- I can post lyrics if they're not available.


26 Nov 97 - 01:21 PM (#16718)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Nonie Rider

Of course, if you want silly rather than touching, there's "Old Blevins" by the Austin Lounge Lizards: guy has a fight with his woman, goes into a bar, and is earnestly confronted by Old Blevins, who has some words of wisdom for him:

And he said "Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla In San Francisco
"Bla bla bla In 1963
"Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla I don't remember"
And that is what Old Blevins said to me.

After several verses of this (with some silly insertion lines including "Bla bla bla Had no effect on me" and "Bla bla bla bla bla Mistakes were made"), the younger guy has indeed found the wisdom he was seeking, and goes back to make up with his woman so that he doesn't end up a lonely old fool in a bar muttering "Bla bla" to strangers.


16 Jul 00 - 09:43 PM (#258915)
Subject: LYR ADD: Look up for "When this old hat"
From: Jeri

Refresh for song collection.


16 Jul 00 - 10:24 PM (#258933)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: celticblues5

The Jacques Brel song is in the Judy Collins songbook. It's a beautiful piece just as an instrumental, too.

I guess I always thought the naughty version of "John Anderson, My Jo" was the original and that the bowdlerized (sp?) version came later! ;-)

I can't believe no one's mentioned (unless I've missed it) "Maids, When You're Young, Never Wed an Old Man." It's in the DT.


17 Jul 00 - 11:46 AM (#259236)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: SINSULL

The Everly Bros. did "Rocking Alone in an Old Rocking Chair" The Gay Nineties Classic "Will You Love Me In December As You Do In May?"


17 Jul 00 - 08:39 PM (#259630)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Uncle_DaveO

Robert Lee, I'm glad I looked through the thread. I was in a hurry, and was about to commit the sin of adding to it without having seen if anyone had already put in what I was about to do, and Lo and Behold, you had already referred, though in incomplete form, to "Get Up And Go," which is one of my great favorites.

I sing this all the time, and am glad to know that you like it too.

Dave Oesterreich


17 Jul 00 - 09:39 PM (#259685)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: reggie miles

Here's one I don't believe anyone's mentioned yet, "You're Gonna Look Just Like A Monkey When You Get Old". I have a copy of this by The Siegel/Schwall Band.


17 Jul 00 - 09:44 PM (#259691)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Mbo

Hah! What about "My Generation" by The Who? Or "These Are The Days of Our Lives" by Queen?

--Mbo


17 Jul 00 - 10:06 PM (#259704)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,Arkie

Bryan Bower's recorded "The Hollywood Hotel" about a grandmother in a rest home and "Old Lovers" which is on the positive side. Phil Ochs' "Flower Lady" is also a touching piece, assuming the flower lady is old. There is the western classic "I'd Like to Be in Texas (When They Roundup in the Spring)."


18 Jul 00 - 12:02 AM (#259768)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: bob jr

there is also a great song about being old by The Band, called rockin' chair

oh to be home again
back in old virginny
with my very best friend
they call him ragtime willie
would be nice just to see them folks?
listen once again to the stale old jokes
that big rockin chair won't go nowhere


18 Jul 00 - 12:30 AM (#259782)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: JamesJim

I am trying to remember a song written by Chet Atkins, about 7 or 8 years ago. It was about the memory of his father. I simply could not listen to him sing it without crying. Somewhere, I have a tape and I'm ashamed to admit that although I once learned it (it moved me so), it is now lost in the fuzzy files of my memory. This surely is a sign of age. Please help me remember it.


18 Jul 00 - 12:34 AM (#259787)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Mbo

Queen also does a cool skiffle/vaudeville type songs called "Good Company" about getting older. A funny song, with ukelele and elecric guitars imitating a Dixieland jazz band!

--Mbo


18 Jul 00 - 05:32 AM (#259850)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST

A favorite of mine is Ralph McTell's song Naomi. It's in the forum here


18 Jul 00 - 01:39 PM (#260160)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: The Shambles

Autumn Gold. A link to The Mudcat Songbook.


18 Jul 00 - 01:43 PM (#260165)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Mbo

"Just No Time At All" from the musical Pippin by Stephen Schwartz.

--Mbo


18 Jul 00 - 01:56 PM (#260171)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: TheOldMole

The Bard of Armagh


18 Jul 00 - 04:25 PM (#260305)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: SINSULL

"When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New."


18 Jul 00 - 05:42 PM (#260381)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,Nancy King

There's a dandy labor song called "Too old to work and too young to die." I have a record of it somewhere--Pete Seeger, maybe? Nancy


18 Jul 00 - 06:23 PM (#260410)
Subject: Lyr Add: VERONICA (Elvis Costello)
From: Lonesome EJ

VERONICA

Is it all in that pretty little head of yours?
What goes on in that place in the dark?
Well I used to know a girl and I would have sworn that her name was Veronica
Well she used to have a carefree mind of her own and a delicate look in her eye
These days I'm afraid she's not even sure if her name is Veronica

CHORUS: Do you suppose, that waiting hands on eyes,
Veronica has gone to hide?
And all the time she laughs at those who shout her name and steal her clothes
Veronica
Veronica

Did the days drag by? Did the favours wane?
Did he roam down the town all the time?
Will you wake from your dream, with a wolf at the door, reaching out for Veronica
Well it was all of sixty-five years ago
When the world was the street where she lived
And a young man sailed on a ship in the sea
With a picture of Veronica

On the "Empress of India"
And as she closed her eyes upon the world and picked upon the bones of last week's news
She spoke his name out loud again

Chorus

Veronica sits in her favourite chair and she sits very quiet and still
And they call her a name that they never get right and if they don't then nobody else will
But she used to have a carefree mind of her own, with a devilish look in her eye
Saying "You can call me anything you like, but my name is Veronica"

Chorus

Elvis Costello wrote this song about his aunt.


01 Jan 01 - 01:10 PM (#366758)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: jaze

Lover's Return--recorded by The Carter Family/Linda and Emmylou and also Kate Wolf

Old Friends by Mary McCaslin


01 Jan 01 - 01:17 PM (#366761)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Amergin

I imagine that Kat could write her own songs about getting really old....


01 Jan 01 - 01:30 PM (#366763)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: kendall

Nancy King - "Weave and Spin" is the song - "Aragon Mill"


01 Jan 01 - 01:33 PM (#366765)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Peter T.

I was a lot younger when this thread began (cue for a song!!!!)yours, Peter T.


01 Jan 01 - 01:44 PM (#366766)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Lanfranc

Can't believe I missed this thread on it's previous iterations, but still, here's my Euro 0.02 worth!

"Old Man" by Randy Newman, recorded by Art Garfunkel among others. It's about a younger man bidding farewell to a dying older man, perhaps his father. Very sad, but a brilliant song.

"Home from the Forest" by Gordon Lightfoot, which I have always reckoned to be the equal of "Streets of London".

"Josephine, for better or for worse" by Dave Cousins of the Strawbs may not be another "Chanson des vieux amants", but handles the same sentiments more simply.

"Bronco Bill's Lament" by Don McLean fits the category.

I don't believe any of the above are in the DT, if anyone's interested, I could remedy this.


01 Jan 01 - 01:52 PM (#366771)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Lanfranc

Correction - Home from the Forest is in the DT


01 Jan 01 - 02:01 PM (#366773)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: rangeroger

Tom Rush does a great version of Murray McLauchlan's "The Old Man's Song".

The Chet Atkins song that jamesjim was looking for back in July, is "I Still Can't Say Goodbye". It is on the CD Chet Atkins,C.G.P.(certified guitar player).

rr


01 Jan 01 - 03:58 PM (#366815)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: R!

There's an old music hall song called My Old Dutch. The singer is remembering his wife when she was a dark haired, fresh cheeked girl of eighteen. Don't remember anything but the chorus:

We've been together now for forty years And it doesn't seem a day too much For there ain't a lady living in this land As I'd swop for me dear old Dutch.

Sentimental but sweet. Dutch = Duchess of Fife = wife.

Rowana


01 Jan 01 - 05:40 PM (#366844)
Subject: Lyr Add: 75 SEPTEMBERS^^
From: Ribbit

Peter Paul, and Mary have a great song "75 Septembers" written by Cheryl Wheeler.

Inthe year of the yellow cab
In the shadow of the great world war
The third child grandma had
Came into the world
On a rolling farm in Maryland
When Wilson was the president
And summer blew her goodbyes through the trees

A child of changing times
Growing up between the wars
The Fords rolled of the lines
The bars all closed their doors
And I imagine you back then
With snap brim hat and farmer's tan
Where the horses drew their wagons through the fields

Chorus
Now the fields are all four lanes
And the moon's not just a name
Are you more amazed at how things change
Or how they stay the same
And do sit here on this porch and wonder
How the time flies by
Or does it seem to barely creep along
With 75 septembers come and gone

Were the fields all gold and fawn
Was the spring house dark and cool
Did the rooster crow at dawn
When they got you up for school
And would you tell me once again
The tales of grandma's hired men
And how they drove the dirt road to town

Repeat chorus



Reminds me a lot of the way my dad grew up.
Thom


16 Feb 02 - 05:51 AM (#651413)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Genie

Years From Now
Where've You Been?
Love, Me
Old Love
A Daisy A Day


16 Feb 02 - 06:36 AM (#651425)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: McGrath of Harlow

At 97 posts (98 now) this is a bit long for many people to load - so I've put up a part 2, and suggest people continue posting there rather than here.


02 Apr 04 - 11:04 PM (#1153311)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,farmer77jo@yahoo.ca

Any suggestions for a birthday party of 3 folks turning 40, 50 and 60 all at the same time (roughly)???


03 Apr 04 - 05:29 AM (#1153441)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,eileen

Also surprised to see (unless I missed it) When You and I Were Young Maggie..particularly the version that mentions "the creaking old mill".


20 Dec 05 - 02:44 AM (#1631067)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,bhood624@yahoo.com

Hi,
I'm hoping someone has the lyrics to Mary McCaslin's Old Friends. I heard it sung as a tribute to a friend recently and can't find the words.    Thanks, Barbara


20 Dec 05 - 03:51 PM (#1631618)
Subject: Lyr Add: TOO OLD TO DIE YOUNG (Murray Grand)
From: C-flat

TOO OLD TO DIE YOUNG
Murray Grand

       Gmaj9                               Gm7
Let me run in front of trucks, smash the mirrors on my walls,
       Gmaj9         Am7    Bm7            Cmaj7    Bm7
Let me puff away and choke, sniff a little coke, and have myself a
E9
ball.
          Am7          D9         G
What the hell! I'm too old to die young.


Let me walk against the lights. Let me drive while I am drunk.
Let me be a little hip, take a little trip, and try a little junk.
After all, I'm too old to die young.

Cm7                              F9
Let me pick up strangers in the street,
Bm7                   E9
Sleep with ev'ryone I meet,                         (middle)
Am7                      D7-9   
Sleep in dives along the docks,
    Eb9+11
vodka on the rocks

Let me stay a little stoned
who's to know and who's to care
let me take another trip, be a little hip, breathe polluted air
What the hell, when your spring has been sprung,
after all I'm too old to die young.

Let me sing away all my blues, fall in pot-holes if I choose
When people say I'm a sight, they're probably right!       (middle)


Let my face begin to fall
let it wrinkle like a prune
well I know my liver's gone, when I'm lying on the floor of some saloon
Give me speed, give me hash,
let me fly, let me crash,
drop the bomb on my head,
not a word will be said,
not a moan, not a sigh,
as I kiss my assets goodbye,
after all I'm too old to die young.


C-flat


21 Dec 05 - 07:47 AM (#1632035)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: ossonflags

"200 year old alchoholic"


02 Jun 07 - 10:07 PM (#2066857)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,lumpyhand

...but perhaps the saddest song of all is My Mom by Chocolate Genius - it is on Itunes or Google it - it was also on Spinner's recent list of the top 25 Most Exquisitly Sad Songs:

"And five times exactly no more or no less
She says how you been eating boy?
I say okay I guess
In this room where she made me each day she grows weak
She flips on the Golden Girls and the first tear hits my cheek"

...for anyone whoever had a parent, friend or relative die of Alzheimer's (for me my mother)this song hits you right in the emotional gut - check it out - hope you like it.


02 Jun 07 - 11:01 PM (#2066889)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,meself

I think we should pause for a moment to remember all those who were really old back when this thread started ...


02 Jun 07 - 11:12 PM (#2066895)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Big Jim from Jackson

Australia's John Williamson does a song called "Wrinkles" that I really like.
The Kossoy Sisters have a song "An Old Love Song" that is wonderfully funny.


03 Jun 07 - 05:27 PM (#2067575)
Subject: Lyr Add: MISTS OF TIME
From: Ebbie

Guest/Lumpyhand, I have a song about Alzheimers- or some kind of dementia:

Mists of Time

I remember
I once had a family
And I know that I was happy then
For I can see their bright little faces
But I don't know where or when

            Memories lost in the mists of time
            I don't know much anymore
            The years, the days, the hours
            All run together
            Memories lost in the mists of time

Yesterday
Or was it just this morning?
They gathered 'round my rocking chair
I recall the scent of many candles
But I knew nobody there.


I like Jesse Winchester's 'We'll Never be this Young Again'.
And the new? song: Bed by the Window


03 Jun 07 - 07:42 PM (#2067667)
Subject: Lyr Add: OLD FRIENDS (Mary McCaslin)
From: Stewart

OLD FRIENDS -- Mary McCaslin

I saw an old friend the other day, in San Francisco, by the bay.
It took me back to only yesterday, the years somehow let slip away.
We laughed and talked about the days gone by, and brushed a tear away with a sigh.
We promised not to let it be this long, like the old refrain from an old, old song.

Chorus:
Remember old friends we've made along the way.
The gifts they've given stay with us every day.

Looking back it makes me wonder, where we've gone and how long we'll stay.
I know the road brings rain and thunder, but for the journey, what will we pay?
I often think the time get crazier as this old world goes 'round and 'round,
But just the memory makes it easier, as the highway goes up and down.

Lately word's been coming back to me, there's a few I will no longer see.
Their faces will be seen no more along the road, there'll be a few less hands to hold.
But for the ones whose journey's ended, though they started so much the same.
In the hearts of those befriended, burns a candle with a silver flame.


A very late answer to Barbara's request 20 Dec 05
And a sound clip HERE .
One of my favorite songs by Mary.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


03 Jun 07 - 07:51 PM (#2067675)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,meself

Think I mentioned this on another thread once ... Sonny Boy Williamson II has a song called "Too Old to Think". Not one of his cheerier numbers ...


03 Jun 07 - 08:47 PM (#2067720)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Joe_F

Stan Rogers, "Sailor's Rest"
Tom Lehrer, "When You Are Old and Gray"


03 Jun 07 - 10:31 PM (#2067784)
Subject: Lyr Add: YESTERDAY WHEN I WAS YOUNG
From: Bugsy

For a song about growing old, you can't (IMO) go past

Yesterday When I Was Young

Yesterday when I was young
the taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue.
I teased at life as if it were a foolish game,
the way the evening breeze may tease a candle flame.
The thousand dreams I dreamed,
the splendid things I planned
I always built alas on weak and shifting sand.
I lived by night and shunned the naked light of the day
and only now I see how the years ran away.

Yesterday when I was young so
many drinking songs were waiting to be sung,
so many wayward pleasures lay in store for me
and so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see.

I ran so fast that time and youth at last ran out,
I never stopped to think what life was all about
and every conversation I can now recall
concerned itself with me and nothing else at all.

Yesterday the moon was blue
and every crazy day brought something new to do.
I used my magic age as if itwere a wand
and never saw the waste and emptiness beyond.

The game of love I played with arrogance and pride
and every flame I lit too quickly quickly died.
The friends I made all seemed somehow to drift away
and only I am left on stage to end the play.

There are so many songs in me that won't be sung,
I feel the bitter taste of tears upon my tongue.
The time has come for me to pay for yesterday when I was young.

CHeers


Bugsy
adyedinthewoolaznavourfan.


03 Jun 07 - 10:44 PM (#2067793)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: EBarnacle

How'd we get this far without mentioning the Dutchman?

re: Seeger's "How do I know my youth is all spent?..." I once asked him how come the melody is so similar to Officer Krempke's chorus in Bernstein's West Side Story. He commented that they are probably both descended from Fair Harvard.


03 Jun 07 - 11:21 PM (#2067817)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST

"Yesterday When I Was Young" -

Thanks for posting the lyrics. I'd always it thought it was kind of schmaltzy, without ever having really listened to it ("so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see") - although I do recall well being moved the first time I heard it - as a kid, saw Roy Clark sing it on Hee-Haw ... and now, just doing a search, I find that Mickey Mantle asked Roy Clark to sing it at his funeral.

You really have to have reached a certain age, and perhaps have lived a certain life, to appreciate it ...


03 Jun 07 - 11:21 PM (#2067818)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,meself

(That was me).


04 Jun 07 - 06:52 AM (#2067986)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,Black Hawk at work

How about - Waylon Jennings 'White Hair and Yellow Teeth'.
Mo Bandy - 'Too Old to Die Young'
Johnny Cash - 'The Masterpiece'


04 Jun 07 - 09:42 AM (#2068106)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,john f weldon

...as long as I'm tooting my own horn here, but what about "riding the iceberg", second from the bottom on this page....

http://www.weldonalley.ca/songs/nowsongs.html


04 Jun 07 - 10:55 AM (#2068168)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: SINSULL

Utah Phillips "Golden Mansions"


04 Jun 07 - 02:40 PM (#2068362)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

What? Nobody mentioned (so far as I can tell) "Rosin the Beau," most particularly the last verse:

    I feel that old tyrant approaching,
    That cruel, remorseless old foe,
    And I lift up me glass in his honor!


04 Jun 07 - 02:50 PM (#2068372)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

Somehow the last line got dropped when I submitted the above:

The last line is: "Take a drink with old Rosin the Bow!"

Without that, the first three lines might leave one hanging.....


04 Jun 07 - 02:53 PM (#2068375)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Ebbie

Wow. Yesterday When I was Young- I've got to hear it.


04 Jun 07 - 03:01 PM (#2068383)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,Nicholas Waller

I saw Nathalie Nahai perform her song Winter to an audience of greyhairs all about 30 years older than her; she was no doubt inspired by previous sightings of the horrors awaiting her:

You say we're still young
Our lives have just begun
Beauty will leave me and time wear us down
I don't want to grow old
I don't want to die

http://www.myspace.com/nathalienahai


04 Jun 07 - 03:11 PM (#2068394)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Ebbie

Thought off the top of my head: Unless Nathalie Nahai was but 20 years old, I should think that singing those lyrics to people 30 years older than herself would be incredibly insensitive...

I tell people that my age is something they'll get if they are lucky. Think of all the deaths of young'uns.


04 Jun 07 - 04:48 PM (#2068493)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,meself

I just wrote a big long post, a real beaut' - and it got eaten by some kind of cyber-beast.


Okay, Ebbie: 1) Charles Aznavour.

2) Dusty Springfield.

3) some guy who calls himself 'living legend'.


04 Jun 07 - 06:20 PM (#2068582)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,Nicholas Waller

Nathalie Nahai is indeed 20-something, not exactly sure what, and she wasn't singing in an old people's home; as a guess those "30 years older than her" were about 15 when Sergeant Pepper came out (and 13 when The Who's My Generation came out).


04 Jun 07 - 07:44 PM (#2068649)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

I was already out of the service and back to college when the Beatles invaded. Most of the fellows had really short hair at the time. We were in high dudgeon at seeing all the girls go for these chaps with the bowl haircuts! Who knew? Maybe Uncle Albert.


04 Jun 07 - 09:41 PM (#2068717)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Joe_F

EBarnacle: Surely, Mr Seeger must have known that "Fair Harvard" took its tune from "Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms" -- which, come to think, belongs here too.

However, I suspect he was spoofing. The resemblance between that tune and that of "Get Up and Go" is not great. If they were sung simultaneously, there would be many discords.


05 Jun 07 - 04:34 AM (#2068866)
Subject: Lyr Add: I'M OLD (Reggie Miles)
From: GUEST,reggie miles

Here's a jolly song about gettin' old.

I'm Old Reggie Miles 2007

I'm old, yes I'm old, and I found out today,
My tired old frame just gets in the way.
So I guess I'll move on and try to find me some place,
Where a man can grow older and die with some grace.

I've done so many things with the times of my life.
I courted a beauty and made her my wife.
I found a good job, and then we settled down
We bought a small house on the outskirts of town.

I raised a fine family. Shall I tell you their names?
Well, there's Johnny and Mary, and Annie and James.
But now they've all gone and I'm bent from the wear.
With withered ol' limbs and gray shaggy hair.

I'm old, yes I'm old, and I found out today,
My tired old frame it just gets in the way.
I'm off on my own after all of these years,
Filled with laughter and love and sadness and tears.

The American dream, I've lived it you see
Spent all of my life in this land of the free
I've leveled her mountains, farmed her great plains
Dammed mighty rivers, and poisoned her rains

I've reaped vast wealth from polluting her soil
I've spoiled her oceans by spilling her oil
There's not a fish in the sea, nor a bird in the air
That hasn't suffered or died while under my care

I'm old, yes I'm old, and I realized today,
My time 'round here hasn't all gone my way.
I've found no balance in this worldly place
Only struggles and strife over faith, wealth, and race.

I've fought mighty battles and wars by the score
I've left thousands to starve, and ignored the poor
Destruction and death have been my legacy
In the wake of such hate who cares about me?

I've left no solutions only more of the same
No comfort I've given to ease anyone's pain
My words have been lies; my heart's been a stone
I guess it's befitting that I die all alone

I'm old, yes I'm old and I've naught left to do
But to say goodbye and farewell to you
And if I should ever pass this way again
I'll try to do better with my spent here then


05 Jun 07 - 07:30 AM (#2068938)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Bugsy

GReat words Reggie, What's the tune like?

Cheers

Bugsy


05 Jun 07 - 08:30 AM (#2068996)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: mandotim

Steve Ashley's wonderful song 'Take the Rough with the Smooth'.
Tim


05 Jun 07 - 02:02 PM (#2069282)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,reggie miles

Thanks for the comment Bugsy. I've actually received mixed reviews for this one. Some folks don't understand why I would malign the elderly as having anything to do with the present state of life on the planet. To those folks I can only scratch my head.

I just noticed that there's a word missing in the last line. It should read - I'll try to do better with my time spent here then.

I'm not certain if I can easily translate the chordal structure via a text format and I don't know how to read or write those musical hen scratchins that those in the know folks know how to use. I'm uncertain as to how to offer it up to you here but here goes. It's a slow to medium paced ballad type song with only four chords. It's a simple folk song type progression. There is only one pattern throughout and that does not change from verse to verse. There is only an "A" part to the melody, no "B", or turn around, or bridge, or any of the other conventions that so many contemporary composers seem so adamant about adding to each and every song they write. Let me try to explain further and see if I can illustrate what I've done with it.

(1)I'm old, yes I'm old and I (5)found out to(1)day
My (4)tired old frame just (1)gets in the (5)way
So I (4)guess I'll move on and try to (1)find me some (the relative minor of the 1 chord)place
Where a (1)man can grow older and (5)die with some (1)grace

If in the key of G major it would look like this.

(G)I'm old, yes I'm old and I (D)found out to(G)day
My (C)tired old frame just (G)gets in the (D)way
So I (C)guess I'll move on and try to (G)find me some (Em)place
Where a (G)man can grow older and (D)die with some (G)grace

Of course, this doesn't tell you how I actually play or sing this melody. It merely offers you the basic idea behind where I went with it. Maybe some songs are better left to interpretation.

Reg


05 Jun 07 - 02:13 PM (#2069293)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,Jim

Sorry, but I didn't read the whole thread, so I may repeat a few.

When You and I Were Young Maggie

Aged Like Wine (Todd Snider)

Class Reunion (Mark Rust)


05 Jun 07 - 02:50 PM (#2069331)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,meself

Days of '49.


05 Jun 07 - 03:03 PM (#2069341)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: KB in Iowa

"Arthritis Blues" by Ramblin' Jack Elliott (on the CD 'I Stand Alone')


05 Jun 07 - 03:19 PM (#2069358)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Ebbie

Reggie Miles, those are great words and insightful sentiment. I think of the fella speaking as being an amalgamation of us all. I can only hope that we wake up before we reach the end.


05 Jun 07 - 04:34 PM (#2069405)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,meself

Strong song, Reggie. Strikes me as an updated "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime".

Anyone mention "Now I'm Easy", Eric Bogle?

Then there's The Ash Grove - at least the lyrics I learned as a kid.


05 Jun 07 - 05:08 PM (#2069437)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,john f weldon

Previously mentioned I believe...
My Old Man was a Good Old man (from a Fiddler's Green CD)
...I find it too depressing to listen to.

Perkier, same theme...

VACATION AND NAP

I was workin my ass off the other day
Doin my job to get my pay
The boss comes by and he says to me
You look forty seven, maybe fifty three
You got no volts, and not much wattage
You're gettin on son, hittin your dottage
I'm not gonna sling you a line of crap
You need a short vacation and a nice long nap


05 Jun 07 - 09:14 PM (#2069617)
Subject: Lyr Add: FREEWHEELING (parody)
From: Tattie Bogle

Here's a parody of the song by Jim Reid which was mentioned way back above called "Freewheeling".
I wrote this parody for the thousands of people who did the Glasgow to Edinburgh charity bike ride last summer, some of whom were definitely "getting older" but doing their best to keep fit! They broke their journey for refreshment in Linlithgow where we provided some musical entertainment. Other parodies included "Ride On" and "O Pedallers of Scotland"(You may need a glossary for a few of the Scots words!)
I'll try to post the original Jim Reid words later.

FREEWHEELING                                
(Based on song by Jim Reid – parody 24.08.06.)

They're getting ower the hill it seems
Tho' their bikes are not all young,
It's half a hunner miles they ride
And they're daein' it – for fun?
But they've another twenty miles tae go
Afore they finish,
They'll get a bowl o' pasta here
Bu ne'er a pint o' Guinness.

Chorus
Freewheeling noo, freewheeling noo,
Gets easier every day,
Just tak' it slow, where'er you go,
Freewheeling doon the brae.

Their bikes are getting muddy noo,
Could do wi' a good wash,
But careful by the Union canal
Or there could be a big splash.
Chorus

There's some folk trim and slim and fit
And ayeways keep their cool,
And others red-faced puff and pant
Havenae ridden a bike since school.
Chorus

The shorts are clingin', oxters mingen,
And someone's feet are smelly,
But me, I think I'd raither be
Back hame beside the telly.
Chorus

So tuck in tae the scran that's here
You're certain tae gae faster
While some might cry it rocket fuel,
I think it's only pasta.
Chorus

But jokes apart, we do admire
Brave lads and lassies who ride,
I ken you'll look back on this day
And remember us with pride.
Chorus x 2
TB


06 Jun 07 - 05:16 AM (#2069791)
Subject: Lyr Add: TWO-HUNDRED YEAR OLD ALCOHOLIC (L Clancy)
From: Scorpio

Just for the record:

THE TWO-HUNDRED YEAR OLD ALCOHOLIC
Liam Clancy

When I was eighty I started smoking
Took to drinking at eighty-five
At ninety I started courting
Thank God that I was alive
Ninety-five saw me in business
Determined to rake in a pile
At a hundred I made my first million
And I started living in style

Chorus:
Oh, it's never too late to start living
To get out and have some fun
The sun will be just as shiny in the morning
As the first day the world begun

Well I moved to an uptown penthouse
Used fifties to light my cigars
Developed a taste for fine champagne
Drove fast I-talian cars
But the doctor he give me a warning
And a lecture on right and wrong
If I didn't give up my sinful ways
I couldn't live very long

But I said to him...

Now I'm a two-hundred year old alcoholic
And the nicotine's caught up on me
But worst of all in this morning's mail
Got a suit for paternity
But I'm not really unhappy
'Cause maybe I'll have me a son
And his morning's will be just as shiny
As the first day the world begun


Also Simon & Garf: Bookends

And Leonard Cohen's gem, Tower of Song, which begins with the immortal lines:

My friends are gone
And my hair is grey
I ache in the places
Where I used to play


06 Jun 07 - 10:51 AM (#2069973)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: reggie miles

Ebbie, thank you, I think you see this fella just right. It's my hope as well that we might all be able to wake up, before it's too late.

meself, many thanks. I'll have to check out those lyrics in "Brother Can You Spare A Dime?" I wonder if that one is included in the lyric database here. I guess it should be easy enough to search for online.

I've often found it difficult to step forward against the grain of criticism with regard to some of the messages in my songs. Sometimes it seems as though the words write themselves. They insist on being written and then further insist that they be heard, played, and performed. I have little choice but to obey their nagging and taunting. I'm fascinated by this, the way that some song ideas come to me and I don't want to offend the muse by denying or limiting my participation in the process.

Reg


06 Jun 07 - 11:05 AM (#2069986)
Subject: Lyr Add: AGE LIKE WINE (Todd Snider)
From: GUEST,Jim

Todd Snider's AGE LIKE WINE

Old timer, Old timer
Too late to die young now
Old timer, five and dimer
Trying to find a way to age like wine somehow

My new stuff is nothing like my old stuff was
And neither one is much when compared to the show
Which will not be as good as some other one you saw...
So help me, I know, I know, I know

I am an old timer, old timer
It's too late to die young now
Old timer, five and dimer
Trying to find a way to age like wine somehow

I've met every fool that ever signed
Their picture on these walls
In the backs of these beer joints and concert halls.
I been through seven managers, five labels,
A thousand picks and patch cables,
Three vans, a band, a bunch of guitar stands,
and cans and cans and cans of beer
And bottles of booze and bags of pot
And a thousand other things that I forgot.
I thought that I be dead by now...
But I'm not.


06 Jun 07 - 07:47 PM (#2070359)
Subject: Lyr Add: LUCILLE (Fred Eaglesmith)
From: GUEST,Jim

Brenda Hazlewood of Port Dover sent this setting of Fred Eaglesmith's Louise to Jason Hammond's web site:

LUCILLE (by Fred Eaglesmith)
C
Lucille was a woman and I was a boy
            F
And it was obvious that she wanted more
       c                                       G
Than a man her age could give her and that was me.
C
I was wild as a summer squall
F
Blowing through town no direction at all
    C                G                C
And I was wilder than even she could believe.


(Chorus)
         F                   C
I had a Cobra Jet 428 in a '65 Ford and it ran great
F                                           C
Take it on out to where the gravel turns to road
F                     C
Take it on up to 110, tires screaming in and out of the bend
                                             G
And Lucille hanging on just as tight as she could.
            F             G                      C
And it was cra...ayyyy...zeee. But it sure was good!


Lucille was 50 and I was 19
And you know it never bothered me
Not even when they called out in the bars.
I'd get tough and I'd bust some heads
Lucille would laugh when the cops got there
We'd sneak out the back and take off in my car.

(Chorus)
I had a Cobra Jet 428 in a '65 Ford and it ran great
Take it on out to where the gravel turns to road
Take it on up to 110, tires screaming in and out of the bend
And Lucille hanging on just as tight as she could.
And it was cra...ayyyy...zeee. But it sure was good!

Last week I turned 45, when I woke up,
Well out in the driveway,
My wife had fixed that old car up for me.
She'd had in the garage for a week or two
When I got it back, it was good as new.
I started it up and I took off down the highway.


BRIDGE (LIKE CHORUS)

   F
I drove on up to Randolph Heights,
            C
There's an old folks' home there past the lights
    F                                    C
And Lucille was sitting out there in the shade.
   F
I wheeled her around to the passenger door
C
I picked her up and put her in that car
                        G             C
And we took off like a dustbowl hurricane.


(Chorus)
         F                   C
In that Cobra Jet 428 in a '65 Ford and it ran great
F                                           C
Took it on out to where the gravel turns to road
F                     C
Took it on up to 110, tires screaming in and out of the bend
                                             G
And Lucille hanging on just as tight as she could.
            F             G                      C    F C
And it was cra...ayyyy...zeee. But it sure was good!
             C    F C
It sure was good...
             C    F    C
It sure was goooo-oooo-ooood.


30 Sep 07 - 12:38 PM (#2160455)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Peace

Refresh


30 Sep 07 - 04:08 PM (#2160583)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Relson

Tom Rush's "The Remember Song"


30 Sep 07 - 09:12 PM (#2160770)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: bankley

"The Last Ride" recorded by Hank Snow.... written by Halcomb and Daffen. A superb hobo song.


30 Sep 07 - 09:21 PM (#2160776)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: SINSULL

Old and Gray and Only in the Way


01 Oct 07 - 10:05 AM (#2161074)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,Neil D

Does anyone remember a song by Harry Nilsson with the chorus:
                  I'd rather be dead
                  Than wet my bed
   He actually had the residients of a nursing home singing with him on the chorus.


01 Oct 07 - 10:10 AM (#2161083)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: PMB

Banks of the Dee - not really really old I suppose, more sort of my age. But anyone of my age applying for a job has the same problem today:

I am an old miner, aged fifty and six.
If I could get lots, why I'd raffle my picks;
I'd raffle them, I'd sell them, I'd hoy them away,
For I can't get employment, my hair it's turned grey.


01 Oct 07 - 11:32 AM (#2161164)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,Jim

I didn't read the whole thread, but did anyone mention Mike Smith's The Dutchman?


01 Oct 07 - 07:31 PM (#2161488)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Nick E

I too admit I did not sift the whole thread, but a couple of thoughts.
Warren Zevon's last album, written and recorded while he was in the process of dying may have a few tunes of interest. (Not that he was that old)
Or the obscure tune by J.P Cormier "Another Morning" I had heard the song but did no know the title and posted lyrics on Mudcat and after a week no one had ID'ed it. Now that is obscure, still a beautiful and sad song, a sample of you can here on JP's site (I googled it to find it)


02 Oct 07 - 01:09 PM (#2162094)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,Jim

Relson,
I've heard a few people sing The Remember Song: "I'm lookin' for my wallet and my car keys...", but none of them credited it to Tom Rush. I'm sure they mentioned another name. I know he sang it, but are you sure that he wrote it.


02 Oct 07 - 07:53 PM (#2162412)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Relson

My mistake, you are correct, Tom Rush sings it but it was written by Steve Walters. My apologies! My memory is not what it used to be!


02 Oct 07 - 10:06 PM (#2162459)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Melissa

There's one about a guy who gets older and crickled up..but insists on working himself hard to tend his crop. I think the name is "the corn will still grow"
It was on one of those sites where you click to hear the songs and might still be found by running a search for the title.

The line I remember was something like "rest easy, dear farmer, and don't shed a tear..the corn will still grow when you're gone"


02 Oct 07 - 11:04 PM (#2162491)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST

OLD AND IN THE WAY.....jerry garcia


03 Oct 07 - 04:53 AM (#2162552)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,PMB

All Used Up by U. Utah Philips:

He used up my labor, he used up my time
He plundered my body and squandered my mind
Then he gave me a pension, some handouts and wine
And told me I'm all used up


03 Oct 07 - 06:49 PM (#2163180)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,Mike B.

"Wearing The Time" (Tom Paxton)

I think he also wrote a humorous one about the painful experience of finding an issue of Modern Maturity magazine in his mailbox.


04 Oct 07 - 07:04 PM (#2164025)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,Neil

Patches (George Jones)


05 Oct 07 - 01:40 PM (#2164568)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

What was the song by George Jones that had a verse approximately thus:

"She was hotter than a two-dollar pistol,
She was the fastest thing around.
Long and lean, every young man's dream,
She turned every head in town.
She was hot, and fun to handle son,
I'm glad that you dropped in -
She reminds me of the one I loved back then!"

It begins when the young man drives his hot new car into a service station. When the old man begins the song, it seems he is singing about a long ago car he had - an obvious metaphor for something he valued much more, flaming youth long past.


05 Oct 07 - 07:05 PM (#2164759)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Susan B

And there was that sentimental song that the Oldham Tinkers did, I think. The chorus went something like this:-

Take your time, me lovely old man,
There's no need for to hurry
For as long as you're able to wind up me clock
Then I have no need for to worry.

Can't think what that was all about?

Susan B


24 Oct 07 - 10:51 AM (#2178136)
Subject: Lyr Add: SLIPPERS (Bernie Martin)
From: GUEST,Jim

Slippers by Bernie Martin

I bet when you were younger you were handsome,
I bet you had a way with all the girls,
Bet you used to stay up after midnight
Planning how you'd conquer the whole world.

Now you go to sleep soon after supper;
Seems the world has done some conquering of its own.
What happened to those girls you often wonder
As you sit there watching TV all alone.

You say tomorrow I will get myself together,
Just knowing that tomorrow never comes.
You'd like to go out walking after midnight,
But it's dark out there and cold; you'd best stay home.

I bet when you were younger you were handsome,
Bet you had a way with all the girls,
Bet you used to stay up after midnight
Planning how you'd conquer the whole world.


24 Oct 07 - 08:33 PM (#2178548)
Subject: RE: Songs about getting really old?
From: Joe_F

Cyril Tawney's "In the sidings"