All songs and videos on this site © Jonathan Ochshorn
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I began writing this song in February, 2018, and finished it (and recorded it) in November, 2018.
The song lyrics refer to my father and his early death at the age of 53; and also my journey with my brother and our wives to find his grave many years later, near the border of Queens and Brooklyn. I made a video six years ago (October 2012) about that trip, which can be found here. In a way, this song is a belated soundtrack for the earlier video.
When My Father Was My Age
Words and music © Jonathan Ochshorn 2018
Verse 1. When my father was my age
He'd been dead for thirteen years
So he never held my daughter and never saw my son
It was cigarettes and rage
That were gumming up the gears
With a final stroke the motor broke there was nothing to be done
Verse 2. I still hear my brother saying
That the body can be found
Just south of Myrtle Avenue near the Glendale CVS
Well it must have been decaying
Thirty years beneath the ground
Where grass conceals but stone reveals his posthumous address
Chorus. Try your best to find him
If there's something that might bind him to you
Just lock it up and walk away
Sing a song about him
But live your life without him
Better save it for a rainy day
Verse 3. There's a man gesticulating
On a trail that finally ended
At a marker for grave twelve out in lot eleven
And we all were speculating
That his soul was still suspended
Twisting turning if not burning between hell and heaven
Verse 4. At the time it was no bother
When we waited three more days
For another spot to be prepared for his second wife
"Beloved husband and father"
Is that all they found to praise?
No pain no laugh no epitaph can summarize his life. [Chorus]
Music arranged and produced by J. Ochshorn
Recorded with Logic Pro X software
Vocals: J. Ochshorn
Real instruments: J. Ochshorn (harmonica)
Software instruments played live on midi keyboard: J. Ochshorn (drums, bass, piano, strings)
Recorded at home in Ithaca, NY, November 2018.
The tracks are done separately and sequentially, although the guitar and piano tracks were videotaped live. I made the video using Final Cut Pro, incorporating numerous clips from the 2012 Trip to Dad's Grave video (which was shot with a Flip low-res camcorder) and a few family photos. The new clips of me singing, and playing harmonica, guitar, and keyboards, are all shot at home with my refurbished iPod Touch mounted on a tripod.
First posted 25 November 2018. Last updated: 25 November 2018