He Was Just an Old Man

He Was Just an Old Man who wanted me to be the first female big-league pitcher.
I threw that ball until he sighed and said, “I’ll teach you to be a barber.”
So, he took me around to all his friends and they proudly let me cut their hair,
until I cut too close and one too many times nicked an ear.

He was thirteen years old when his father said,
“Ain’t got enough for you, your mother, and your sister.
So, it’s time to move on, grow a pair, become your own kind of mister.”
The boy hit the road and next thing we know he was seventeen.
He lied about his age, took the oath, became a Marine.

He Was Just an Old Man
My Grandfather, Herschel Briggs Holcomb

Four years went by, he quietly did his time, each day three hots and cot.
But he had more to do, so he moved on, his own man he was yet not.
He got a job with the city service when horses pulled the bus.
He drove his rounds and gave some thought to becoming a happy Us.

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See, he met this girl with a twinkle in her eye and he thought it was all for him.
That twinkle was full of madness, other men, and lots of sin.
He vowed “I’ll never be like Daddy”, so he earned extra money working hard
so his little princesses would never want and they could be stars.

He donned a mask, jumped in a ring, wrestled until he lost.
Went back stage to collect his pay and said, “Next month, boss?”
He learned how to barber. He was into fitness before La Lane was cool.
He taught himself to fly, bought a plane, and then taught others, too.

His wife left him, he didn’t miss her, but he was sad all the same.
You see, the nut didn’t fall far from the tree, his girls got their mother’s madness.
Years went by, his grands came along, and he was always around.
I grew up, had kids of my own, man I sure do miss the sound of

Grandaddy saying, “Lift that elbow. No. Turn this way here.”
And “It’s all right, stop your crying, baby girl, it’s only an ear.”
Yeah, he was just an old man.
Yeah, he was just an old man.
Yeah, he was just an old man…
Teaching me to throw.

Music, Lyrics, Composition All Rights Reserved
© 2017 Angela K. Durden and Second Bight Publishing

Chords: Cm Fm Gm and back to Cm  |  Tempo: 90 BPM
Want to listen to the music track sans vocals? Click here.

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