Monday, August 15, 2011

Grandfather's Clock

I learned the song at YMCA day camp. I confess I didn't get why it ever became popular. I thought I'd post it here, just as a lark - a pointless song I happened to remember. It comes to mind because my office-mate retired, and the wall clock stopped the next day. There are dozens of versions of this, and people seem deeply moved by it. Sometimes creepily so. But then, I liked my grandfathers, but neither figured all that prominently in my childhood, so perhaps I just don't get it.

This next version is quite nice, actually.

After reading Hengeworld recently, the idea of honoring ancestors being a cultural universal has been rolling around in my head. CS Lewis included "duty to ancestors" in his Tao. Yet I wonder if it is fading. We went to a large cemetery on a day that wasn't Memorial Day twice this summer, and there was simply no one there. We are outliers in keeping this custom, usually the youngest ones there. My oldest son and his wife are going to be even odder if they persist in this. Perhaps it is different in other parts of the country - though one would think New England to be a holdout.


Texan99 said...

Strange that we grew up in completely different parts of the country, but we seem to know all the same old childhood songs. I learned some at school, back when there used to be such a thing as music class, and some at Girl Scout Camp, and some from my father.

"There once was a poor young man
Who left his quiet country home
And went into the city to seek employment

Oh, he promised his dear old mother
That he would lead the simple life
And always shun the fatal curse of drink. . . ."

james said...

"My Sunday School pin got too long for my coat
And it hung all the way to the floor.
I had not missed a Sunday in 43 years
And the next would have been 44"

Dan McBride