Grandfather

2003
DADGBE
Grandfather

We left you safely underground
Hard earth to protect you
Don’t expect to see you 'round


They say your spirit’s met the light
Yet they still expect someday
To see your body rise
But I saw that hardwood
I’ll bet it’s dark inside
Guess I’ll have to choose between
The beauty and the lies

The promises of someday coming years
Don’t help to understand
Just save children from their tears


She says she’s found her peace of mind
It’s like I haven’t seen her
In quite some time

And I know she loved you well
But you know she loved to love
To lose herself


She says she don’t know what she’d do
If she ever lost me
That makes me wonder too


It’s not from sadness if I cry
It’s just my heart has too much feeling
To hold it all inside


I think this song was written a few days or weeks before finalizing the track recordings for the Earth and the Eagle. Each section is about a different person or set of people in my life when my grandfather passed away that summer, and the first verse is for him. Grandpa Pauls, as I remember him, was an unfailingly kind and gentle man, comfortable with silence yet able to turn a good phrase at the proper time, always sincere and earnest. When I was a kid we would visit every summer, then a bit less often in my teenage years after we moved out West, and less still as I started traveling around the world. Perhaps it is because my memories with Grandpa Pauls were mostly from when I was a child, or perhaps it was just characteristic of the man, but above all what springs to mind in recalling our interactions is simplicity. I have impressions of conversations about weather, food, tools, work, toys, animals, cars, ponds — simple, tangible things. His mealtime prayers were similarly straightforward. I loved, and I still love, such simplicity and spareness, and I wrote this song with that spirit in mind. A few words about all the relationships that were being shaken around by the passing of a loved one, set to a simple and repeated two-bar chord progression.
| D  ̵ ̶ ̶● ̶ ̶ ̶
 ‖̵ ̶|̶ ̶|̶●|̶
 ‖̵ ̶|̶●|̶ ̶|̶
x‖̵ ̶|̶ ̶|̶ ̶|̶
x‖̵ ̶|̶ ̶|̶ ̶|̶
  ̵ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶
— — — — | G/D  ̵ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶● ̶ ̶ ̶
 ‖̵ ̶|̶ ̶|̶●|̶ ̶|̶
 ‖̵ ̶|̶ ̶|̶ ̶|̶●|̶
 ‖̵ ̶|̶ ̶|̶ ̶|̶ ̶|̶
x‖̵ ̶|̶ ̶|̶ ̶|̶ ̶|̶
x ̵ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶
— — D  ̵ ̶ ̶● ̶ ̶ ̶
 ‖̵ ̶|̶ ̶|̶●|̶
 ‖̵ ̶|̶●|̶ ̶|̶
 ‖̵ ̶|̶ ̶|̶ ̶|̶
x‖̵ ̶|̶ ̶|̶ ̶|̶
x ̵ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶
— — |