I was fresh out of high school when I wrote a couple of non-autobiographical song lyrics to the tune of Charlie Daniels’ Uneasy Rider. One of those lyrics is called Dad. That was over thirty years ago, and there are some dated references to be sure, but it still holds up pretty well.

The second lyric is called George. I have a soft spot in my heart for these two songs and always wanted to share them with others. This blog gives me the perfect opportunity to do just that. Hope you enjoy them!


Early last week, I caught a ride back to town,
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve been around,
And the first place I stopped was my Dad’s corner store.
For some strange reason, I felt out of place,
But he was awfully pleased when he saw my face,
He said, “I’ll be right with you, son, as soon as I’m done sweepin’ the floor.”

I said, “I came all this way to see you again,
And all you can give me is a wink and a grin?
I think you’re too caught up in unimportant chores.”
I said, “You won’t understand because you’re over thirty,
But it doesn’t really matter if the floor get dirty,
If you don’t use your mind, you might as well be on all fours.”

He said, “It’s good to see you, son, it’s a nice surprise,
But when we get together, all you do is criticize,
I’d like to know why, because I don’t understand it.”
I said, “Well, Dad, you know I’ve just turned twenty,
I’ve traveled a lot and I’ve seen plenty,
And all I’m trying to do is help you out a little bit.”

I said, “You’ve lived in this city for forty-eight years,
You’ve made a lot of friends and chugged a lot of beers,
But the only ideas you get are from the ten o’clock news.
Now I’ve walked and hitched rides for hundreds of miles,
Just to expose myself to different lifestyles,
And I think it would be great if you could broaden your views.”

He said, “Son, what you’re saying makes a lot of sense,
When I talk about my youth, I use the part tense
And you’ve got a lot of livin’ yet to look forward to.
But I don’t think I’ve wasted my talents,
My legs and my checking account both balance,
And if the Lord doesn’t take me, I’ve got some more livin’ to do.”

He said, “Only one thing about you bothers me,
When you stand here before me, what I see
Is a man who thinks he knows how the rest of the world feels.
And you’ve got so much to offer other folks,
But here you are, flat broke, and tellin’ jokes,
Because you say you don’t want to compromise your ideals.

Well, there are a lot of young people about your age
Who are just scrapin’ by on the minimum wage,
Because they say they don’t want to get involved in corporate greed.
But sooner or later, when their bank account’s died,
They’ll have to eat their words and swallow their pride,
Because sometimes you’ve gotta sell beliefs in order to eat.

And when they get immersed in that daily grind,
They’ll find it leaves a bad taste in their mind,
And their only course of action is to rationalize.
They’ve gotta look for some justification
Like thirty grand a year and a paid vacation,
Then they put on a smilin’ face but it’s just a disguise.

Because they remember how it could have and should have been,
They know the world’s corrupt but they’ve been sucked right in,
And their conscience still has holes that time won’t mend,
But I’ll feel my life’s still been worthwhile
If, at my funeral, I hear someone smile,
And say to himself, ‘He was a good friend.’

Now, son, I’m glad you came down to talk today,
‘Cause I’ve waited twenty years for what I’m gonna say,
And I hope you’ll remember it a long time after this.
You know, when I look at you, I don’t feel so bad,
‘Cause I feel it’s an honor to be your Dad,”
And then he put his arm around me and gave me a kiss.

Well, his touch was electric and the power surged,
I hugged him tight and our bodies merged,
I looked through his eyes and brushed away a tear,
‘Cause I saw a five-year-old boy in a baseball cap
Who ran across the room and jumped on my lap,
And as I hugged my son, I said to myself, “I wish Dad was here.”

Click here to view all my posts featuring my original song lyrics.


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2 Responses to “Dad”

  1. Deb Reilly Says:

    Thanks for sharing, Phil. I thought I had all the answers when I was 18, and I do miss my mom.

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Yes, hard to imagine how clueless we were back then, isn’t it, Deb?

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