Song Lyric Sunday: Photograph – ‘Old Friends’

“Preserve your memories/They’re all that’s left you”

Usually, for Helen’s Song Lyric Sunday challenges I end up going with the first or second title that comes to mind. However, for this week’s theme of ‘picture/photograph’ I had to delve down to number four on my list.

Number one was ‘Photograph’ by Ringo Starr; if that’s obscure, it’s for a good reason. Second was The Who’s ‘Pictures of Lily’ but I’ve already used it here and besides another contributor had already got in with it very quickly (and rightly so). That took me down to ‘When I Paint My Masterpiece’, which would have done very well but for my current self-denying ordinance as regards Bob Dylan.

That doesn’t mean, though, that #4 is a bad song: far from it. I owned the 1968 album from which this came -‘Bookends’ – and it got a lot of playing time, let me tell you. Even fifty years ago I was thinking about getting old.

[apologies for the layout: the WordPress app for iPad makes me want to…have unkind thoughts]

Old friends
Old friends
Sat on their park bench
Like bookends
A newspaper blown through the grass
Falls on the round toes
On the high shoes
Of the old friends
Old friends
Winter companions
The old men
Lost in their overcoats
Waiting for the sunset
The sounds of the city
Sifting through trees
Settle like dust
On the shoulders
Of the old friends
Can you imagine us
Years from today
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange
To be seventy
Old friends
Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fear
Time it was
And what a time it was
It was . . .
A time of innocence
A time of confidences
Long ago . . . it must be . . .
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you
Written by Paul Simon

Song Lyric Sunday 9 September 2018

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