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Poems about Growing Old

GUEST,Rob Mad Jock Wright 15 Sep 21 - 06:12 AM
NightWing 13 Sep 21 - 02:47 PM
GeoffLawes 13 Sep 21 - 09:15 AM
GUEST,Modette 13 Sep 21 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,henryp 13 Sep 21 - 05:26 AM
GeoffLawes 12 Sep 21 - 07:41 PM
Georgiansilver 09 Sep 21 - 02:05 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Sep 21 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,JHW 09 Sep 21 - 06:45 AM
John MacKenzie 07 Sep 21 - 08:54 AM
GeoffLawes 07 Sep 21 - 08:16 AM
GeoffLawes 07 Sep 21 - 08:11 AM
GeoffLawes 07 Sep 21 - 08:08 AM
Peter the Squeezer 07 Sep 21 - 03:16 AM
PHJim 07 Sep 21 - 01:07 AM
PHJim 28 Jan 21 - 12:03 AM
Donuel 27 Jan 21 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 25 Jan 21 - 06:11 AM
PHJim 25 Jan 21 - 01:36 AM
Georgiansilver 24 Jan 21 - 03:55 PM
Georgiansilver 24 Jan 21 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,# 24 Jan 21 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Roderick A. Warner 24 Jan 21 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,Roderick A Warner 24 Jan 21 - 01:16 PM
GUEST, Jim Bainbridge 24 Jan 21 - 12:24 PM
Felipa 24 Jan 21 - 10:19 AM
Mrrzy 24 Jan 21 - 09:14 AM
Cattia 24 Jan 21 - 08:58 AM
GUEST,MikeOfNorthumbria (sans cookie) 24 Mar 16 - 09:13 AM
kendall 23 Mar 16 - 07:37 PM
Joe_F 23 Mar 16 - 05:59 PM
kendall 23 Mar 16 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,Ebor Fiddler 22 Mar 16 - 09:05 PM
Stewie 22 Mar 16 - 08:27 PM
GUEST,Dave 22 Mar 16 - 03:29 PM
MGM·Lion 22 Mar 16 - 12:06 PM
MGM·Lion 22 Mar 16 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 22 Mar 16 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 22 Mar 16 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 22 Mar 16 - 06:50 AM
Sir Roger de Beverley 22 Mar 16 - 05:48 AM
Ged Fox 22 Mar 16 - 05:39 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 21 Mar 16 - 06:25 PM
MGM·Lion 21 Mar 16 - 05:10 PM
MGM·Lion 21 Mar 16 - 05:02 PM
MGM·Lion 21 Mar 16 - 04:53 PM
kendall 21 Mar 16 - 04:39 PM
MGM·Lion 21 Mar 16 - 04:20 AM
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Stewie 20 Mar 16 - 08:46 PM
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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST,Rob Mad Jock Wright
Date: 15 Sep 21 - 06:12 AM

Angie Wright singer songwriter has one on her last CD Heroes and Demons.
The track is called “ I’m going nowhere” and gets a great reception when she performs it.
Her material is available on Spotify, Amazon, and other platforms.
Give her a listen.

She performs regularly at the best music venue in Perth.... The Twa Tams.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: NightWing
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 02:47 PM

Jim Croce's Age is one I've been working on. He wrote it only a year or so before his death in a plane crash.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5sO0HbB5WY

BB,
NightWing

AGE
by Jim and Ingrid Croce

D Dsus D A7 G A7sus A7 D

I've been [D]up and down and around and 'round and [A]back again,
I've [G]been so many [A]places I can't re-[D]member where or [A]when.
And my [D]only boss was the clock on the wall and my [A]only friend
[G]Never really [A]was a friend at Dall. [D7]

- CHORUS -
I've [Bm]traded love for pennies, [F#m]sold my soul for less,
Lost my i-[G]deals in that [D]long tunnel of [A]time.
I've turned [D]inside out and around about and [A]back and then
[G]Found myself [A]right back where I [G]start-[A]ed a-[D]gain.

Once I had myself a million, now I've only got a dime,
The diff'rence don't seem quite as bad today.
With a nickel or a million, I was searching all the time
For something that I never lost or left behind.

- CHORUS -

And now I'm in my second circle and I'm headin' for the top,
I've learned a lot of things along the way.
I'll be careful while I'm climbin' 'cause it hurts a lot to drop,
When you're down nobody gives a damn anyway.

- CHORUS -


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 09:15 AM

THE OLD MAN’s SONG
By Ian Campbell
Tune: Nicky Tams

The Old Man's Song The Old Man's Song · Ian Campbell Folk Group     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RqMmfX3SkU

At the turning of the century I was a boy of five,

My father went to fight the Boers and never came back alive.

My mother, left to bring us, up no charity would seek,

So she washed and scrubbed and scraped along on 7/6 a week.

When I was twelve I left the school and went to get a job,

With growin' kids my ma was glad of the extra couple of bob.

I knew that better schooling would have stood me in better stead,

But you can't afford refinements when you're struggling for your bread.

When the Great War started I didn't hesitate,

I took the royal shilling and went off to do my bit.

We fought in mud and sweat and blood three years or thereabout,

Then I copped some gas in Flanders and was invalided out.

When the war was over and we'd finished with the guns,

We got back into civvies and I thought the fighting done.

I'd won the right to live in peace but I didn't have no luck,

For soon I found I had to fight for the right to go to work.

In 'twenty six the General Strike found me out on the street,

For I'd a wife and kids by then and their needs I couldn't 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 Black Shirts marching and the things they did in Spain.

But I raised my children decent and I taught them wrong from right,

Then Hitler was the lad that came and showed them how to fight.

My daughter was a Land Girl, she got married tae a Yank,

They gave my son a gong for stopping one of Rommel's tanks.

He was wounded just before the end and convalesced in Rome,

Married an Eyetye nurse and never bothered to come home.

My daughter writes me once a month a cheerful little note,

About their colour telly and the other things they've got.

She has a son, a likely lad, he's just turned twenty-one,

Now she says they've called him up, to fight in Vietnam.

Now we're on the Pension and it doesn't go too far,

Not much to show for a life that seems like one long bloody war.

When you think of all the wasted lives it makes you want to cry,

I don't know how to change things but by Christ we'll have tae try.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST,Modette
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 06:28 AM

old age sticks
up Keep
Off
signs)&

youth yanks them
down(old
age
cries No

Tres)&(pas)
youth laughs
(sing
old age

scolds Forbid
den Stop
Must
n’t Don’t

&)youth goes
right on
gr
owing old

by E.E. Cummings (1894-1962)


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 05:26 AM

Old Man's Song by Murray McLauchlan

Hair on your head, White as the snow
Old man, stand feeding the pigeons

Your body is rust, Skin is like dust
Seen in the last light of evening

Lines on your face, Each one a trace
Of happiness, distance, and sound

Lonely you stand, Weak are your hands
Old man with too few tomorrows

Memory's gone, Friends passed along
Old man, stand lost in your reverie

Life has been kind, To give you this time
To dream unrestrained as the wind blows

People pass by, Go on their way
Not wishing to engage conversation

You, you know why, One look in your eyes
Reminds them their time, it is wastin'

Hair on your head, White as the snow
Old man, stand feeding the pigeons

He also wrote a complementary song, Child's Song.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 12 Sep 21 - 07:41 PM

OCTOBER ROSES

You say you are sorry for the youth that you lack
For the sag of your breasts, for the bend in your back
For your hair turning grey and the tears that now flow
For the choices you made such a long time ago

CHORUS: Spring roses are lovely, they make my heart sing
And in summer the roses sweet memories bring
But I most need the rose when the bitter winds call
October roses are the fairest of all (x2)


As a maid you were lovely, your cheeks bloomed so red
And you gave your heart freely, too freely, you said
As a woman full grown you knew passion and strife
And a gentle heart torn with the thorns of your life

CHORUS:

Now you're growing older, sometimes you feel done
But your strong roots still guide you, you'll still find the sun
For you blossom with wisdom and courage and care
You're the fairest of roses that bloom anywhere

CHORUS:
October Roses · The Celtic Folk   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pH-wLyffTf4


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 09 Sep 21 - 02:05 PM

I hd the misfortune of being placed in a care home for 3 years after a major stroke. Now living independently again... I wrote this whilst in the home about things I overheard or discussed with other residents.
                                                                                                                                          
Heard in a Care Home.

SometimesI cannot help but think that something isn’t right,
I eat with lots of strangers, and the bed’s not mine at night.
It’s like I’m in another life, with all the old things gone,
It’s like I’m stuck in somewhere strange but how can I move on.
Or maybe how can I go back, to the life I understood,
To go out on the town again, now wouldn’t that be good.
To eating in good restaurants, going daily to the gym,
Now I’ve put on all this weight, I so want to be slim.
I don’t know where my family’s gone, I love them all so much,
And where’s my wife I miss her so, I long to feel her touch.
I long to hold her in my arms, and kiss her on the lips,
To get her on the dance floor, and see her swing her hips.
To sit and read together in the evening with a drink,
A drop of wine or whisky’s fine or a can of beer to sink.
To go for walks in the Autumn, to kick up lots of leaves,
To help the farmers in the fields, loading up the sheaves.
To go out picking blackberries, wild strawberries by the score,
Pick mushrooms and groundnuts, pick nuts from trees and more.
Picking dandelion leaves and bags of nettles too,
To make that greenish relish, that we eat with vindaloo.
Since I’ve lived in this strange place, not been to school at all,
Where’s my mummy and my dad, can I give them a call?
Where are grannie and grandad, are they still in a flat,
Have grannies eyes improved or is she still blind as a bat?.
It was only a few years ago, we went out climbing trees,
We walked into some boggy ground and sunk up to our knees.
We all went paddling in the stream, got soaked through to the skin,
Mummy wasn’t bothered though she just asked ‘’Where ya bin’’?
She often packed us picnics, when we went down in the wood,
We spent all day in sunshine, we were happy, feeling good.
But what has happened to me now, what am I doing here?
Trying to put a brave face on, and I haven’t shed a tear.
Who are all these people though in the dining room and places,
Lots of chairs to sit in there, but some are empty spaces.
Some folk seem familiar and some of them know me,
Some of them keep pestering, I wish they’d let me be.
It’s all so very very strange, I’m feeling so confused,
I asked a staff to explain it all, but she refused.
What is this place I’m living in?. I’m not sure why I’m here,
Oh here’s that lovely nurse again, she really is a dear.
She makes me feel that all is well and often makes me smile,
She is the sort of person who will go the extra mile.
The other one who smells so bad is nasty as can be,
I try to keep out of her way, so she won’t shout at me.
Who are those others anyway, who come to visit me?
They seem to come at awkward times like breakfast, dinner or tea.
I’m going to buy myself a house to move away some day,
Oh, someones got some dominoes, I think I’ll go and play.

Michael J Hill. © September 2016.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Sep 21 - 07:41 AM

Couldn't resist this one. It's a song by Billy Connolly rather than a poem, but you can read it like one. If you prefer, sing it to the tune of "What a Friend I Have in Jesus":

Oh Jesus Christ I'm nearly forty
My pubic hair is going grey
I can't cut the mustard like I used to
I think it's downhill all the way

Oh please don't dump me by the seaside
Don't shout as if my ears don't work
Never let me pee my trousers
Don't let me dribble down my shirt

The hair that once flowed round my shoulders
Is drifting off just like the tide
That thing that was my little parting
Is now about four inches wide

And when you see me on the buses
Oh please don't offer me your seat
Or when you're crunching on those apples
I'll be sucking boiled sweets

I can't play squash or go out jogging
For fear my heart is going to burst
I think that beds were made for sleeping
And that's a whole lot bloody worse

I think I'll stay at home this evening
And watch whatever's on the box
I must buy some thermal knickers
A night cap and some woolly socks


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 09 Sep 21 - 06:45 AM

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 08:54 AM

Let me die a youngman's death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I'm 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car

on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I'm 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber's chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides
Or when I'm 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a youngman's death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
'what a nice way to go' death

Roger McGough

***********

When I was young and in me prime
Heave away Santa Anna
I could handle those pretty girls ten at a time
All along the coast of Mexico

But now I'm old and getting grey
Heave away Santa Anna
I can only handle four a day
All along the coast of Mexico.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 08:16 AM

Now I'm Easy · Eric Bogle
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIp5aJMzKbo


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 08:11 AM

The first line should read
"For nearly sixty years, I've been a Cockie "


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 08:08 AM

Now I'm Easy · Eric Bogle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIp5aJMzKbo
https://www.google.com/search?q=Lyrics+eric+bogle+now+i%27m+easy&rlz=1C1CHBD_en-GBGB775GB775&ei=blM3YZi7DIK78gLnxprYAw&oq=Lyrics

"NOW I'M EASY"

- Eric Bogle

For nearly sixty years, I've been a
Of droughts and fires and floods I've lived through plenty
This country's dust and mud have seen my tears and blood
But it's nearly over now, and now I'm easy

I married a fine girl when I was twenty
But she died in giving birth when she was thirty
No flying doctor then, just a gentle old black 'gin
But it's nearly over now, and now I'm easy

She left me with two sons and a daughter
On a bone-dry farm whose soil cried out for water
So my care was rough and ready, but they grew up fine and steady
But it's nearly over now, and now I'm easy

My daughter married young, and went her own way
My sons lie buried by the Burma Railway
So on this land I've made me home, I've carried on alone
But it's nearly over now, and now I'm easy

City folks these days despise the
Say with subsidies and dole, we've had it easy
But there's no drought or starving stock on a sewered suburban block
But it's nearly over now, and now I'm easy

For nearly sixty years, I've been a
Of droughts and fires and floods, I've lived through plenty
This country's dust and mud, have seen my tears and blood
But it's nearly over now, and now I'm easy
And now I'm easy


Cockie: Australian small-scale family farmer 'Gin ("Jen"): an Australian aboriginal woman (The term is nowadays considered to be derogatory)
Source: Musixmatch


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 03:16 AM

When you are old and grey - Tom Lehrer

Since I still appreciate you, let's find love while we may.
Because I know I'll hate you when you are old and grey.
So say you love me here and now, I'll make the most of that.
Say you love and trust me, for I know you'll disgust me
When you're old and getting fat.

An awful debility, a lessened utility,
A loss of mobility is a strong possibility.
In all probability, I'll lose my virility
And you your fertility and desirability,
And this liability of total sterility
Will lead to hostility and a sense of futility,
So let's act with agility while we still have facility,
For we'll soon reach senility and lose the ability.

Your teeth will start to go, dear, your waist will start to spread.
In twenty years or so, dear, I'll wish that you were dead.
I'll never love you then at all the way I do today.
So please remember, when I leave in December,
I told you so in May.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: PHJim
Date: 07 Sep 21 - 01:07 AM

Time          Shel Silverstein

Ain't the snow fallin' just a bit deeper these days
Aren't they building the stairs a bit steeper these days
And the town's really changin' in so many ways.
It's time, just time.

The young folks they're growin' uncommonly tall
And the newspaper print it's becomin' quite small
And folks talk so softly you can hardly hear at all.
It's time, just time.

The jokes aren't as witty as the old jokes once were
And the girls ain't half as pretty as I remember her
And today on the bus a grown man called me "Sir".
It's time, just time.

Yeah I'm not quite as anxious for fame or success
And my eye finds the girl in the plain quiet dress
And I cling a bit longer to each warm caress.
It's time, just time.

So it takes a bit longer to climb up the hill
But what of it, my life now is much more fulfilled
And they're tearin' down buildings that I watched them build

It's time, just time. Time, just time.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: PHJim
Date: 28 Jan 21 - 12:03 AM

An Old Man's Advice - Vance Gilbert

You ask an old man's advice Son
Well, here's a reasonable place to start
Never pass a bathroom chance
And never trust a fart
Never look for Friday's kiss
With Thursday's broken heart
Pay attention, Son, it's all about love

See the nurses treat me kindly here
As long as I behave
Though I've got on hand on my walker
And one foot in the grave
But I've got this sliver of memory
And with these cataract-covered eyes
I can see this much, it's all about love

So you'd better go romance her
Before she hauls off and flies to France, sir
Or up and dies of cancer
And it's no longer your choice to make

You see, we're living in a world
That just don't give a damn
They'd just as soon kill each other
For being different sons of Abraham
So go set a good example Boy
Common sense is on the lam
Pay attention Son, it's all about love.

So you'd better go romance her
Before she hauls off and flies to France, sir
Or up and dies of cancer
And it's no longer your choice to make

'Cause before you leave this planet
You're bound to get your feelings hurt
They'll misspell your name in granite
When they conscript you to the dirt
So don't let her get away boy
Give a little tug on her skirt
When it comes down to it, it's all about love.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Jan 21 - 08:19 PM

“The ultimate horizon”

Please, remember me
Happily
By the passion flower vine laughing
With bruises on my chin
The time when
We counted every black car passing
By my house beneath the hill
And up until
Someone caught cold that wasn't a cold
With a cough, and fever,
A hospital
A vision too removed to mention
But


Please, remember me
Fondly
I heard from someone you’re still living
And then
They went on to say
That the pearly gates
Had some eloquent graffiti
Like ‘We’ll meet again’
And ‘Fuck the Trump’
And ‘Tell my mother not to worry’
And angels with their grey
Handshakes
Were always done with such abandon
And

Please, remember me
At Halloween
Making fools of all the neighbors
Our faces painted white
By midnight
We’d forgotten one another
And when the morning came
I was ashamed
Only now it seems so silly
That season left the world
And then returned
And now we’re fed up by the city
So

Please, remember me
Mistakenly
In the window of the internet and kitchen
Then pass us by
But much too high
To see the empty roads at early hours
Leave notes of wisdom not read
Just like the gates
Around holy places
With words like ‘Beats underground’ and ‘Don’t Look Down’
And ‘Someone Save Temptation’
And

Please, remember me
As in a dream
We were all raised like forest babies
Among the fallen trees
And fast asleep
Aside the weeds now taller than trees
That fell silently
Losing all their height
Gave a gift for tommorrow
In an empty canopy so new life cries
A new idea
That swings as high as any savior
But

Please, remember me
My misery
And how it cost pecious time
Those friends that love the rain
And chasing trains
The colored birds above, flying
In circles round the well
And where it spells
On the wall behind St. Peter’s
So bright with cinder gray
in spray paint
‘Who the hell can see forever?’
And

Please, remember me
Frequently
In the car waiting for others to finish
My hand between my knees
I was only free to dream
And said I am the unknown poet
But never meant to last’
The clowns that passed
Made me come up with anger
DC was filled with circus dogs
Filling parking lots
It had an element of danger
So

Please, remember me
Finally
And all my uphill musing
now sleds down the hill
But if I make
The pearly gates
I did my best to make a painting
Of evil and good
A boy and girl
An angel kissing a devil
A monkey and a man
An orchestra and choir
Filling the Earth
,an auditorium,
with old familiar songs.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 25 Jan 21 - 06:11 AM

On an unusually cheerful note for the topic, from another great Scottish poet on Burns' night.
3 verses and this chorus...

Ye never need yer nookie when ye're ninety
Ye're rarely randy when ye're eighty-three
While young men they take fits
Chasin' legs and bums and tits
Ye're really quite ecstatic wi' yer cup o' tea
No ye never need yer nookie when ye're ninety
And the freedom from the hassle it's like heaven
For ye're no' obliged tae weemin when ye're no' producin' semen
Aye yer life's yer own when you reach eighty-seven....

from the late lamented John Eaglesham of Glasgow

(verses available on another thread)


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: PHJim
Date: 25 Jan 21 - 01:36 AM

When You And I Were Young    Johnson & Butterfield

I wander'd today to the hill Maggie
To watch the scene below
The creek and the rusty old mill Maggie
Where we walked in the long, long ago.
The green grass is gone from the hill Maggie,
Where once the wild daisies sprung
The rusty old mill now is still Maggie
Since you and I were young

They say I am feeble with age Maggie
I step not as spritely as then
My face is a well a well written page Maggie
And time alone was the pen
They say we are aged and gray, Maggie,
As spray by the wild breakers flung
To me you're as fair as you were Maggie
When you and I were young



This poem was written by George Johnson of Mount Hope, Ontario (now a part of Hamilton) for his wife Maggie. James Butterfield later put it to music, but Maggie Johnson never got to hear it as a song nor to grow old with George as she died of consumption while still a young woman.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 Jan 21 - 03:55 PM

I would suggest it passes as a poem.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 24 Jan 21 - 03:54 PM

One of my favourite songs about old age is this one.... Silver threads amongst the gold. This version by the Fureys.   https://youtu.be/xdl3pKSNQhk


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST,#
Date: 24 Jan 21 - 01:54 PM

I don't think anyone has mentioned WS's 'Sonnet 73.'


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST,Roderick A. Warner
Date: 24 Jan 21 - 01:38 PM

— “Chemo du Jour: The Impeachment on Decadron,” from Chemo Sábe
...as the drip is connected to the pump I see W. J. Clinton... / I see him in the Taxol pooling over my brow / move his arky hand from the arm rest / to the Iraqi button... / an experimental / missile vibrates and flames and then launches / from the carrier, and Oh Good Lord, minutes later, / as the nurse strips away the Medusan tubes of my oncology, / American dumb missile arrives with punity /in the southern suburbs of Baghdad, ruined Cradle of Civilization, / just north of the Garden of Eden... / And Lo now the Taxol infusion clears the atmosphere / where I see the Superbowl completely superseded / by the superblow, O yes, praise the Tree Lord, / now it is time to go.

An extract from ‘Chemo Sábe,’ by the late and great Edward Dorn, being treated for cancer at the time, defiant and going out on his own terms...


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST,Roderick A Warner
Date: 24 Jan 21 - 01:16 PM

Alone with our madness and favorite flower
We see that there really is nothing left to write about.
Or rather, it is necessary to write about the same old things
In the same way, repeating the same things over and over
For love to continue and be gradually different.

Beehives and ants have to be re-examined eternally
And the color of the day put in
Hundreds of times and varied from summer to winter
For it to get slowed down to the pace of an authentic
Saraband and huddle there, alive and resting.

Only then can the chronic inattention
Of our lives drape itself around us, conciliatory
And with one eye on those long tan plush shadows
That speak so deeply into our unprepared knowledge
Of ourselves, the talking engines of our day.

John Ashbery


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST, Jim Bainbridge
Date: 24 Jan 21 - 12:24 PM

Hello Cattia,
                the lines you mention are about his failure to 'keep up' with the woman in the sexual act- the 'tail-tree' mentioned earlier in that verse gives the clue? For her two movements he only has one-


Burns was well versed in this activity as you'll know, but as he died in his thirties, he shouldn't have suffered this problem really, and I doubt if he did!


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: Felipa
Date: 24 Jan 21 - 10:19 AM

"My Old Man", Roseanne Cash https://mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=4156

Ewan MacColl "The Joy of Living"

Dylan Thomas - "Do not go gentle" - I wonder would it suit being set to a tune for singing https://poets.org/poem/do-not-go-gentle-good-night

Toby Keith "Don't Let the Old Man In" (you can find recordings on youtube; I heard it on the radio sung by Willie Nelson)

Don't let the old man in, I wanna leave this alone
Can't leave it up to him, he's knocking on my door
And I knew all of my life, that someday it would end
Get up and go outside, don't let the old man in

Many moons I have lived
My body's weathered and worn
Ask yourself how would you be
If you didn't know the day you were born

Try to love on your wife
And stay close to your friends
Toast each sundown with wine
Don't let the old man in

Many moons I have lived
My body's weathered and worn
Ask yourself how would you be
If you didn't know the day you were born

When he rides up on his horse
And you feel that cold bitter wind
Look out your window and smile
Don't let the old man in

Look out your window and smile
Don't let the old man in


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 Jan 21 - 09:14 AM

What about my youth is all spent?


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: Cattia
Date: 24 Jan 21 - 08:58 AM

Please help me! with John Anderson, my jo, John
I don't understand the line
"I've twa gae-ups for ae gae-doon"
What's the meanings?
my post in Terre Celtiche Blog is https://terreceltiche.altervista.org/john-anderson-my-jo/

I hope to have translated all the song in the wright way
Grazie mille


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST,MikeOfNorthumbria (sans cookie)
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 09:13 AM

Some great stuff here - thanks to all the contributors.

And here's one of my favourites which seems to have escaped notice so far.

Jenny kiss'd me when we met
Jumping from the chair she sat in.
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your book, put that in!

Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have miss'd me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss'd me.

By Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: kendall
Date: 23 Mar 16 - 07:37 PM

Come, fill the cup, and in the fire of spring,
The winter garment of repentance fling:The bird of time has but a little way to fly,
and, Lo, the bird is on the wing.

from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. One of the most treasured books I own.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: Joe_F
Date: 23 Mar 16 - 05:59 PM

There is also good old Prufrock:

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.        

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?        
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.        
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.        

I do not think that they will sing to me.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: kendall
Date: 23 Mar 16 - 02:23 PM

MGM Lion, right you are. same song. I thought my friend, Carl Eklund wrote it, although he never said he did.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST,Ebor Fiddler
Date: 22 Mar 16 - 09:05 PM

Has anybody mentioned Browning's splendid "Rabbi Ben Ezra"?


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Mar 16 - 08:27 PM

Another good song about an old woman is 'Maria Consuelo Arroyo'.

Maria

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 22 Mar 16 - 03:29 PM

There are a few other Sydney Carter ones, including Run the Film Backwards, and Silver in the Stubble (though this one ends up being about refusing to grow old).


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Mar 16 - 12:06 PM

Sorry -- Leadfingers had already posted it back in 2010.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Mar 16 - 12:04 PM

Unless I unaccountably missed it above, nobody has mentioned Jenny Joseph's classic, "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple"

http://www.barbados.org/poetry/wheniam.htm

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 22 Mar 16 - 07:24 AM

.
The Death of the Hired Man


BY- Robert Frost
1915


MARY sat musing on the lamp-flame at the table        
Waiting for Warren. When she heard his step,        
She ran on tip-toe down the darkened passage        
To meet him in the doorway with the news        
And put him on his guard. "Silas is back."              
She pushed him outward with her through the door        
And shut it after her. "Be kind," she said.        
She took the market things from Warren's arms        
And set them on the porch, then drew him down        
To sit beside her on the wooden steps.              

"When was I ever anything but kind to him?        
But I'll not have the fellow back," he said.        
"I told him so last haying, didn't I?        
'If he left then,' I said, 'that ended it.'        
What good is he? Who else will harbour him              
At his age for the little he can do?        
What help he is there's no depending on.        
Off he goes always when I need him most.        
'He thinks he ought to earn a little pay,        
Enough at least to buy tobacco with,              
So he won't have to beg and be beholden.'        
'All right,' I say, 'I can't afford to pay        
Any fixed wages, though I wish I could.'        
'Someone else can.' 'Then someone else will have to.'        
I shouldn't mind his bettering himself              
If that was what it was. You can be certain,        
When he begins like that, there's someone at him        
Trying to coax him off with pocket-money,—        
In haying time, when any help is scarce.        
In winter he comes back to us. I'm done."              

"Sh! not so loud: he'll hear you," Mary said.        

"I want him to: he'll have to soon or late."        

"He's worn out. He's asleep beside the stove.        
When I came up from Rowe's I found him here,        
Huddled against the barn-door fast asleep,              
A miserable sight, and frightening, too—        
You needn't smile—I didn't recognise him—        
I wasn't looking for him—and he's changed.        
Wait till you see."        

"Where did you say he'd been?"              

"He didn't say. I dragged him to the house,        
And gave him tea and tried to make him smoke.        
I tried to make him talk about his travels.        
Nothing would do: he just kept nodding off."        

"What did he say? Did he say anything?"              

"But little."        

"Anything? Mary, confess        
He said he'd come to ditch the meadow for me."        

"Warren!"        

"But did he? I just want to know."              

"Of course he did. What would you have him say?        
Surely you wouldn't grudge the poor old man        
Some humble way to save his self-respect.        
He added, if you really care to know,        
He meant to clear the upper pasture, too.              
That sounds like something you have heard before?        
Warren, I wish you could have heard the way        
He jumbled everything. I stopped to look        
Two or three times—he made me feel so queer—        
To see if he was talking in his sleep.              
He ran on Harold Wilson—you remember—        
The boy you had in haying four years since.        
He's finished school, and teaching in his college.        
Silas declares you'll have to get him back.        
He says they two will make a team for work:              
Between them they will lay this farm as smooth!        
The way he mixed that in with other things.        
He thinks young Wilson a likely lad, though daft        
On education—you know how they fought        
All through July under the blazing sun,              
Silas up on the cart to build the load,        
Harold along beside to pitch it on."        

"Yes, I took care to keep well out of earshot."        

"Well, those days trouble Silas like a dream.        
You wouldn't think they would. How some things linger!              
Harold's young college boy's assurance piqued him.        
After so many years he still keeps finding        
Good arguments he sees he might have used.        
I sympathise. I know just how it feels        
To think of the right thing to say too late.              
Harold's associated in his mind with Latin.        
He asked me what I thought of Harold's saying        
He studied Latin like the violin        
Because he liked it—that an argument!        
He said he couldn't make the boy believe              
He could find water with a hazel prong—        
Which showed how much good school had ever done him.        
He wanted to go over that. But most of all        
He thinks if he could have another chance        
To teach him how to build a load of hay——"              

"I know, that's Silas' one accomplishment.        
He bundles every forkful in its place,        
And tags and numbers it for future reference,        
So he can find and easily dislodge it        
In the unloading. Silas does that well.              
He takes it out in bunches like big birds' nests.        
You never see him standing on the hay        
He's trying to lift, straining to lift himself."        

"He thinks if he could teach him that, he'd be        
Some good perhaps to someone in the world.              
He hates to see a boy the fool of books.        
Poor Silas, so concerned for other folk,        
And nothing to look backward to with pride,        
And nothing to look forward to with hope,        
So now and never any different."              

Part of a moon was falling down the west,        
Dragging the whole sky with it to the hills.        
Its light poured softly in her lap. She saw        
And spread her apron to it. She put out her hand        
Among the harp-like morning-glory strings,              
Taut with the dew from garden bed to eaves,        
As if she played unheard the tenderness        
That wrought on him beside her in the night.        
"Warren," she said, "he has come home to die:        
You needn't be afraid he'll leave you this time."              

"Home," he mocked gently.        

"Yes, what else but home?        
It all depends on what you mean by home.        
Of course he's nothing to us, any more        
Than was the hound that came a stranger to us              
Out of the woods, worn out upon the trail."        

"Home is the place where, when you have to go there,        
They have to take you in."        

"I should have called it        
Something you somehow haven't to deserve."              

Warren leaned out and took a step or two,        
Picked up a little stick, and brought it back        
And broke it in his hand and tossed it by.        
"Silas has better claim on us you think        
Than on his brother? Thirteen little miles              
As the road winds would bring him to his door.        
Silas has walked that far no doubt to-day.        
Why didn't he go there? His brother's rich,        
A somebody—director in the bank."        

"He never told us that."              

"We know it though."        

"I think his brother ought to help, of course.        
I'll see to that if there is need. He ought of right        
To take him in, and might be willing to—        
He may be better than appearances.              
But have some pity on Silas. Do you think        
If he'd had any pride in claiming kin        
Or anything he looked for from his brother,        
He'd keep so still about him all this time?"        

"I wonder what's between them."              

"I can tell you.        
Silas is what he is—we wouldn't mind him—        
But just the kind that kinsfolk can't abide.        
He never did a thing so very bad.        
He don't know why he isn't quite as good              
As anyone. He won't be made ashamed        
To please his brother, worthless though he is."        

"I can't think Si ever hurt anyone."        

"No, but he hurt my heart the way he lay        
And rolled his old head on that sharp-edged chair-back.              
He wouldn't let me put him on the lounge.        
You must go in and see what you can do.        
I made the bed up for him there to-night.        
You'll be surprised at him—how much he's broken.        
His working days are done; I'm sure of it."              

"I'd not be in a hurry to say that."        

"I haven't been. Go, look, see for yourself.        
But, Warren, please remember how it is:        
He's come to help you ditch the meadow.        
He has a plan. You mustn't laugh at him.              
He may not speak of it, and then he may.        
I'll sit and see if that small sailing cloud        
Will hit or miss the moon."        

It hit the moon.        
Then there were three there, making a dim row,              
The moon, the little silver cloud, and she.        

Warren returned—too soon, it seemed to her,        
Slipped to her side, caught up her hand and waited.        

"Warren," she questioned.        

"Dead," was all he answered.              


Sincerly
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 22 Mar 16 - 07:00 AM

You are old, Father William

(1865)
By - Lewis Carroll


"You are old, Father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head –
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."

"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door –
Pray, what is the reason of that?"

"In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
"I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment – one shilling the box –
Allow me to sell you a couple?"

"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak –
Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life."

"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose –
What made you so awfully clever?"

"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
Said his father; "don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you downstairs!"


Sincerely,
Gargoyle

The two poems were in John Ciardi' s delightful book, How Does A Poem Mean?"


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 22 Mar 16 - 06:50 AM

The Old Man's Complaints. And how he gained them
BY ROBERT SOUTHEY

You are old, Father William, the young man cried,
    The few locks which are left you are grey;
You are hale, Father William, a hearty old man,
    Now tell me the reason I pray.

In the days of my youth, Father William replied,
    I remember'd that youth would fly fast,
And abused not my health and my vigour at first
    That I never might need them at last.

You are old, Father William, the young man cried,
    And pleasures with youth pass away,
And yet you lament not the days that are gone,
    Now tell me the reason I pray.

In the days of my youth, Father William replied,
    I remember'd that youth could not last;
I thought of the future whatever I did,
    That I never might grieve for the past.

You are old, Father William, the young man cried,
    And life must be hastening away;
You are chearful, and love to converse upon death!
    Now tell me the reason I pray.

I am chearful, young man, Father William replied,
    Let the cause thy attention engage;
In the days of my youth I remember'd my God!
    And He hath not forgotten my age. –1843

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 22 Mar 16 - 05:48 AM

Try this song by Pete Ivatts:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZHP6Yrjy7s

R


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: Ged Fox
Date: 22 Mar 16 - 05:39 AM

Robert W. Service.

"Sow your wild oats in your youth," so we're always told;
But I say with deeper sooth: "Sow them when you're old."
I'll be wise till I'm about seventy or so:
Then, by Gad! I'll blossom out as an ancient beau.

I'll assume a dashing air, laugh with loud Ha! ha! . . .
How my grandchildren will stare at their grandpapa!
Their perfection aureoled I will scandalize:
Won't I be a hoary old sinner in their eyes!

Watch me, how I'll learn to chaff barmaids in a bar;
Scotches daily, gaily quaff, puff a fierce cigar.
I will haunt the Tango teas, at the stage-door stand;
Wait for Dolly Dimpleknees, bouquet in my hand.

Then at seventy I'll take flutters at roulette;
While at eighty hope I'll make good at poker yet;
And in fashionable togs to the races go,
Gayest of the gay old dogs, ninety years or so.

"Sow your wild oats while you're young," that's what you are told;
Don't believe the foolish tongue - sow 'em when you're old.
Till you're threescore years and ten, take my humble tip,
Sow your nice tame oats and then . . . Hi, boys! Let 'er rip.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 21 Mar 16 - 06:25 PM

Having, this past week, demonstrated to an eight year old....a "three point head stand"...the poem, spoof "You Are Old Father William" surged through my brain.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I am sure I will never do it again


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Mar 16 - 05:10 PM

Who was the friend, Kendall? -- Becoz it sounds suspiciously like the same song: Sydney's starts "There's no fun at all for a mixed-up old man"...


Songs of Sydney Carter: In the present tense, Book 2‎ #12
Text:        MIXED UP OLD MAN

12. MIXED UP OLD MAN
Text Information
First Line:         Oh there's no fun at all for a mixed-up old man
Title:         MIXED UP OLD MAN
Publication Date:         1969
Copyright:         © 1962 Sydney Bron Music Co. Reprinted with permission.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Mar 16 - 05:02 PM

... starts at 12.13.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Mar 16 - 04:53 PM

It's a track on this record --

"Sydney Carter and Sheila Hancock - Putting Out The Dustbin"

which will be found online at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll0kGKBbp9o

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: kendall
Date: 21 Mar 16 - 04:39 PM

MGM, wanna share that one? I sounds ike one that a friend of mine wrote about 50 years ago called "There's not fun at all for a mixed up old man


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Mar 16 - 04:20 AM

Another good poem about growing old is Sydney Carter's "It isn't much fun for a mixed-up old man", sung to the 𝄞♫"Villikins/Sweet·Betsy"♩ tune.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: Bert
Date: 20 Mar 16 - 10:56 PM

'Taint a poem but...




Your browser does not support the audio element. Your browser does not support the audio element.         


Mid Life Crisis


A D                                     A
I wanna have a mid life crisis
       D                      A
but if the truth be told
   D                                  A
I can't have a mid life crisis
                                  E7          A
'Cos My Wife says I'm too old

I wanna drive a bright red sports car
with a pretty young blond for a date
I wanna have a mid life crisis
but My Wife says I'm too late

She said you coulda had a crisis at Forty
or even at Fifty Five
If you'd wanted a mid life crisis
You should have done it while you're still alive


A               D                              A
I want a pick up truck with monster wheels
                D                               A
I want to be stacked up with sex appeal
I want tatoos on my arms and chest
A Harley and a black leather vest
I want to let my hair grow long
I want to get to Nashville with this song
I want a Cowboy hat and belt and boots
I want a hand tailored white silk suit

I wanna have a mid life crisis
but if the truth be told
I can't have a mid life crisis
'Cos My Wife says I'm too old

I wanna drive a bright red sports car
with a pretty young blond for a date
I wanna have a mid life crisis
but My Wife says I'm too late



http://bertsongs.com/grownups.html
Mid life Crisis.


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Subject: RE: Poems about Growing Old
From: Stewie
Date: 20 Mar 16 - 08:46 PM

I note that some songs have been included in this thread. Utah Phillips' 'All used up' is a good'un.

There is also this song which I found the Yetties Songbook edited by Tony Wales. Wales had this note: 'This beautiful song was written by Pete Mundey of The Broadside. One day he heard an old lady say "If my old man didn't wind up me clock at least once a week, I'd know there was summit wrong". He thought this was a great theme for a song so here it is, a gentle reminder that love needn't "grow old and wax cold" as the years roll on and take their toll of youth, beauty and marital bliss'.

Take Your Time
(Pete Mundey)

You first wound me clock up on our wedding day
You said t'would always be striking
Though the spring's getting weaker and feeble the tick
It's still very much to me liking.

Chorus:
So take your time, me lovely old lad,
There ain't no reason to hurry
For as long as you're able to wind up me clock
Then I have no need for to worry

I mind the times when we were young
You worked at the hedging and dyking
You'd go out at dawn and work through till the dusk
And come home for me clock to be striking

As time went by, our children grew up
Were soon taking wedding vows binding
And I told all me daughters the one thing I'd learned
Make sure your clocks often need winding

And now that we're nearing the end of our time
And you are so tired and grey, love
Oh it still pleases me when you wind up me clock
And it will to the end of my days, love

--Stewie


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