TOUCH OF GRAY

©2018 CHRIS BUTLER/FUTURE FOSSIL MUSIC (BMI)

COULD YOU SPEAK UP, CHILD?
DID YOU SAY "TEARS" OR "YEARS"?
LET'S JUST SAY I'M BREATHIN'
CAUSE IN THE COUNTING AND RECALLING
NUMBERS LOSE THEIR MEANING
I'M OLD...THAT'S ALL

CAME BY STEERAGE
1894
IN THE NOISE AND CONFUSION
"DUBLITZ" BECAME "DAWSON"
THREW MY NAME IN THE HUDSON
SO I COULD GO ASHORE

STARTED THINKING IN ENGLISH
BECAME A CITIZEN
BUT FOR MY MARRIAGE...TRADITION!
ASKED HER FATHER'S PERMISSION
FIFTY YEARS WITH ONE WOMAN
TWENTY-FIVE ALONE

OH, I DON'T KNOW HOW WISE YOU'LL GET
LISTENING TO MY EXPERIENCES
WE OLD FOLKS CLAIM TO BE THAT WAY
WISDOM IS JUST MEMORY
WITH A TOUCH OF GRAY

NEVER MISSED A RALLY
AT MY UNION HALL
TOO SHY TO BE A SPEAKER
JUST A MARCHER, NOT A LEADER
BUT I LEFT MY PRESS IN MID-STROKE
WHEN THE STRIKE WAS CALLED

SAVED OUR HOUSE FROM THE BANKER
THE WORLD HAD CRASHED TO DUST
EVEN AN HONEST MAN GETS DESPERATE...
I'LL TELL YOU A SECRET
WE MADE WINE IN THE BASEMENT
A LITTLE...NOT MUCH

TWICE I BLACKED OUT MY WINDOWS
SHOULD THE BOMBERS COME
TWICE THE FLAGS AND THE CHEERING
TURNED TO WREATHS AND MOURNING
THE ONLY TWO TIMES I WAS GLAD
I'D HAD NO SONS

OH, I DON'T KNOW HOW STRONG YOU'LL GET
LISTENING TO MY EXPERIENCES
WE OLD FOLKS CLAIM TO BE THAT WAY
BUT STRENGTH IS JUST STUBBORNESS
WITH A TOUCH OF GRAY

WHEN YOU MEANT ME WHEN YOU SAID “GRANDPA”
I CRIED FOR DAYS
BUT TEARS WERE WASTING
THE TIME I HAD REMAINING
YES, I BURIED MY HEROES
BUT OUTLIVED MY ENEMIES

OH, I DON'T KNOW HOW RICH YOU'LL GET
LISTENING TO MY EXPERIENCES
I SURE CAN'T CLAIM TO BE THAT WAY
OH, WHAT ARE THE RIGHT WORDS TO SAY?

BECAUSE YOU CAN BE
BETTER THAN ME
OUTSHINE MY LITTLE VICTORIES
JUST KNOW THAT AND I'LL BE CONTENT
MY WEALTH'S JUST HOPEFULNESS
WITH A TOUCH OF GRAY