Old Master - A Song For My Dad

Once I knew it was Parkinson’s disease that had me in its grip, I decided to take seriously the requests of my family to record a specific song I had written about my late father. I am not a professional musician, but the song is a touching remembrance of a guy who loved horse racing, golf, fishing, and a good political debate.

My father and I were best friends and business partners, when he died suddenly in 1980, at 62 years old. An aortic aneurism burst and 24 hours later he was gone. Not only did I love him dearly, but all my friends loved to be around him too. He inspired people. He was a deep thinker, and was as kind and thoughtful a man as I have ever known.

Paying homage to my dad

My tribute to him is a song named Old Master. It is a favorite of many family and friends, and neighbors who have heard me played it at many big dinner parties and BBQs. I will append the lyrics for you.

When I committed to recording this song, I frankly knew nothing of how to record music or what equipment to use, but I learned, slowly – ever so slowly, as Parkinson’s seemed to accelerate its pace of destruction.

Do it now, later is unpredictable

It took about a year for me to improve my playing and singing skills to an acceptable level to give Old Master my best shot. In that year of getting ready to record Old Master I wrote and recorded a dozen new songs, which can be heard at Sound Cloud.

It was a race between recording Old Master and the day Parkinson would steal my ability to play and sing it with the quality it deserved.

My DBS surgery was a success but it also took its toll

Time passed and I got some of the song tracks done for Old Master, but I had DBS surgery, which completely ruined my talking ability and singing voice. The damage was so dramatic that I never did get a really good rendering of the song completed.

These critical events were not something I was in complete control of. Life is unpredictable, especially when you suffer with a chronic disease like Parkinson’s. That tale is told in my song at Sound Cloud titled “We All Walk Alone.”

A lesson learned

If there is anything to be learned from this story it’s that life happens, and never on our schedule. If there is something worth doing, do it sooner rather than later. I think we worry too much about what is a right decision, and what is a wrong decision. They are decisions, and life will wrap a great story around either of them.

I owe my dad a great deal. He gave me the confidence to make mistakes, but not to get bogged down in guilt and responsibility. Get up, do it a little different next time, and keep doing it until you get the desired results.

Lyric for Old Master

A slow but gracious style, You always were a laggard
How could I know that one day, You'd stagger and fall,
like all men fall, It was your time, I guess it just wasn't mine

Eight furlongs in a mile,
But you'd lost it all at the quarter
Just a few bucks, how many times, You must of told her
It was a few dollars anyway, It was your money, I guess it wasn't your day

You left me here, Uncashed tickets in my hand
Par 4 and I'm in the damn sand again

Tell us 'bout the truth, Is there any truth anymore
You sought yourself a peaceful means, But fought yourself a silent war
There was never any end to your point of view
There was always me, but there was always you

But, you left me here, Armed with the words of another man
I got music, but I got no band anymore

So load that tackle box, with jitterbugs and spoons
We'll catch ourselves a bass or two, And listen to the loons
You can tell us 'bout the big one that got away
It wasn't how you said it, It was what you had to say

But, you left me here, Jitterbug stuck on a lily pad
Goodbye, I miss you dad, goodbye

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