Nestled into Dexys Midnight Runners hit 1981 album Too-Rye-Ay, which included their smash single “Come on Eileen,” was this gem – an ode to the elderly, an acknowledgment of their wisdom and experience. With its slowed down tempo and beautiful melody, it really made my ears perk up when I listened to the album a while back. What a great message, similar to John Prine’s “Hello in There” in its very human message: respect, appreciate and learn from your elders!
Old have memories to keep the cold away.
What is that you say?
No sense to dwell.
Old, are you ridiculed and turned away,
No attention paid?
I thought as much.
Yes and the dumb patriots have their say,
Only see their way.
Nothing to sell.
And then from us, so obvious,
Preposterous, when you think
Of the time that each has spent.
Words heaven sent and truly meant to show
Old, may I sit down here and learn today?
I’ll hear all you say.
I won’t go away.
And by the way, it was my brother who introduced me to Dexys very excellent, soulful 1980 debut album Searching for the Young Soul Rebels. Go check it out.