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The Last Lullaby

Another song from my late teens. Sort of meant as a song for kids but really I couldn’t figure it out. At the time I was writing social protest songs mostly and while this has a touch of that, it was something else. I was a counselor at Webatuck, a left wing summer camp, and I had the oldest kids, just a few years younger than I was. One day, when my bunk was off doing some activity that I wasn’t needed at, I took out my 12-string and started playing the song. One kid who had decided to skip the activity was sleeping on his bunk and I didn’t know he was there. After the song, he said to me: “That’s the kind of song you should be writing, not the other junk.” That’s the only reason I even kept this tune and he’s the only person who ever heard it. When I subsequently heard a similar comment about another personal song I wrote I quickly shifted over from the agitprop writing to the more personal stuff that I’ve written ever since. When I recorded the song and started paying attention to the lyrics, I finally got it. This isn’t a song for kids. This is a song for an old man, which is what I am now. And I find it very comforting.

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Lyrics

 

The Last Lullaby

 

Once as a youth I heard a tune

Played by the wind at dawn

It sounded like spring air or daisies gone crazy

Or maybe a weary cow’s yawn

It sounded like sunset or cymbals a’crashing

Or a great hungry tiger with his teeth all a’gnashing

And I raised my head proudly and marched to the sound

‘til the night like some blanket would quiet me down

(cho)   And when I hear that tune again

Sung by a star in the sky

I’ll rest my weary head to sleep

For this is the last lullaby

 

Once as a youth I heard a tune

Played by the sea and the shore

It sounded like fire and the fire rose higher

‘til it fell ‘til it could fall no more

It sounded like raindrops as they gently fall

It sounded like tiptoes from the stairs to the hall

And I raised my head proudly and marched to the sound

‘til the night like some blanket would quiet me down

(cho)

 

Once as a youth I heard a tune

Played by tomorrow’s horns

As the morning came creeping down under the thunder

And rested like grass on the lawn

It was played by the trumpets, the drums and the oboes

It was sung by the tramps and the bums and the hobos

And I raised my head proudly and marched to the sound

And no night ever fell that could quiet me down

(cho)

 

2018-12-02T11:31:47+00:00