Old Man

Hello Old Man, Come and Take me by the hand,

Hello Old Man, Please help me understand,

Where I find the peace, that you gave to me,

That time seems to fade into distant memories.


Hello old man, there never seemed to be a sound

Just a wee child who followed you around 

Hello old man, will my loss for you never mend

And my tears for you I cling to like a friend



And we'd walk in the sunshine, My wee hand in yours,

And we'd talk to those old folk,  Who stood outside the doors,

There was no rush, no hurry,  All of time we seemed to own,

And your comfort I understood, Only after you were gone.


Hello old man, you've long gone away,

Hello Old Man, I call on you today,

Your snowy beard it is etched upon my brain,

I still call to you when my days are filled with rain.

This song is about a child remembering / searching for the comfort every child deserves.

My daughter was 6 and my son was 5 years old when I wrote this song. We were having Sunday dinner and my son was having a rather bad time. He was continuously persisting in disruptive behaviour. Finally he was taken to his room where my husband spent some time attempting to calm him down and talking quietly to him. While they were there, my husband noticed tears in my sons eyes, put his arm around him and said, "It's OK to cry". Our son held onto his tears and replied, "My tears are my friend, dad." He was five, possible 4 years old. While my husband held him, he finally cried, the first time he had cried since he came to live with us 3 years before when he was 2 years old. Our son was afraid of everything and everyone. He was exceptionally withdrawn and did not speak until he was 4 years old.

Afterwards, when my husband told me what had happened, and my children had gone to bed, I sat down at the piano and began to play minor chords. I was feeling very sad about the pain I saw in my poor children. It was incomprehensible how such servere abuse could be inflicted on such wee children. What profound pain would cause such a wee child to say such a thing. They had come to live with us when they were 2 and 3.

I also thought of my own grandfather, a man I loved being around, and one with whom any child would feel protected and safe and loved, just as I had many years before. My grandfather was almost 70 the year I was born, he was a truly old man - quiet, humble, strong, patient - the kind of grandfather every child deserves.

I put these two thoughts together and wrote this song for my children, my grandfather, and the safe world every child deserves. My son's words, became the center and most important part of this song, "My tears for you, I cling to like a friend". My tears are for my children. My days filled with rain, were the days of discovering the pain of my children and my search for ways to help them.

Someday, I'll attach my midi and provide the music as well.

by Jeri, submitted March 3, 2002
Grieving the Loss of the Dream