Small Fred Father's Song
I remember the man Rising early in the morning Smelling of starch and aftershave Sometimes I would shave beside him With a plastic razor and a cardboard blade And watch his car disppear Into the morning gray. I remember the man Talking so long on the telephone His voice hard and polished like a precious stone In command of itself and the darkness He was not afraid in my hearing Though sometimes he would rage Without reason CHORUS: There's a man I hardly remember Who would hold me in his arms without flinching And tell me it's all right I put my hands out to my father Standing strong in the water When I could not swim I held on to him It was all right. I remember the man Shouting from the sidelines at my football games He'd razz opposing players by their names My mother would plead, Oh please calm down And he did when the game was over He was so proud Of his son. I remember the man Laid off last December That's not what they called it Twenty years with the firm Eased out in favor of a younger man Fear tugged at his voice But he had other plans. CHORUS I dreamed last night of my grandmother She was tall and I a child But death was hiding in her house In the dark I saw her A rotting shell And I cried out My father took my hand And led me from that awful place. Soon my parents will be old They will count their dreams and weight them One by one Two lives long together, a daughter and a son Many things accomplished, many left undone Some left behind For something better. And once before he dies I will hold him in my arms without flinching And tell him it's all right I put my hands out to my father Standing strong in the water When I could not swim I held on to him It was all right.