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Steve Key: Songs/Lyrics

Your Old Grand Dad

(Steve Key)
May 30, 2012
Steve Key / Geoffrey Himes
Originally released on "House Blend" (2003). Performed at a house concert in Maryland, May 2002; recorded and mixed by Heidi Gerber.

I wrote this with Geoffrey Himes, at his home office in Baltimore. It's most fiction, based on some facts. My grandfather was from Newfoundland, but I did not know him. We met a couple of times, my mother tells me. I have very hazy memories and one fading polaroid. So I decided to have a conversation with him, which ended up as this song. My co-writer is best-known for his byline in Rolling Stone, Washington Post and many other publications.
I've been dead for twenty years
Still my grave's unwashed by tears
I stepped out between two cars
Now I float between the stars

I'm just a shadow on your life
A story you heard from my wife
A curse you heard from my son
So let me tell you what I done

I gave your dad his name
His anger and his shame
And he passed on what he had
So have a beer with your old Grand Dad

Like your grandma's family I came down
A Newfoundlander in a Yankee town
She'll tell you different, but she liked me then
Showed me off to all her friends
She was just 18 when we met
That would not be her last regret
We had four kids in a two-room flat
But that was not where I hung my hat

In every bar and shanty town
Your father tried to track me down
Now you're searching just like that
So have a beer with your old Grand Dad

You think you're not like me
Look in the mirror, kid, what do you see?
That grey spreading 'cross your head
Your baby blues are bloodshot red

When you walk out on your girl
When you're lost out in the world
When you're drinking 'cause you're sad
You're having a beer with your old Grand
Have a beer with your old Grand Dad
Have a beer with your old Grand Dad