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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Song Of Graduation Season

Lake High School graduates throw their caps into the air, Tuesday, June 8, 2010, at Owens Community College in Perrysburg, Ohio. (J.D. Pooley/AP)

Lake High School graduates throw their caps into the air, Tuesday, June 8, 2010, at Owens Community College in Perrysburg, Ohio. (J.D. Pooley/AP)

If you’ve attended a high school or college graduation recently, you may have heard Tom Rush’s version of “Child’s Song.”

It’s become a classic, with its lyrics about a child moving on.

In 2011, Here & Now host Robin Young spoke to Rush about his performance of Canadian Murray McLauchlan’s tune, which he says bowled him over when he first heard it.

“I knew that I had to sing it, but I couldn’t get through it from top to bottom for about six months,” he said. “I had to toughen up so that I didn’t burst into tears…somewhere around the third verse.”

Lyrics to “Child’s Song” by Murray McLauchlan

Goodbye Momma, goodbye to you too Pa
Little sister, you’ll have to wait a while to come along
Goodbye to this house and all it’s memories
We just got too old to say we’re wrong

Got to make one last trip to my bedroom
Guess I’ll have to leave some stuff behind
It’s funny how the same old crooked pictures
Just don’t seem the same to me tonight

There ain’t no use in shedding no more tears Mamma
There ain’t no use in shouting at me Pa
I can’t live no longer with your fears Mamma
I love you but that hasn’t helped at all

Each of us must do the things that matter
All of us must see what we can see
It was long ago, you must remember
You were once as young and scared as me

I don’t know how hard it is yet Mamma
When you realize you’re growing old
I know how hard it is now to be younger
I know you’ve tried to keep me from the cold

Thanks for all you done, it may sound hollow
Thank you for the good times that we’ve known
But I must find my own road, now to follow
You will all be welcome in my home

Got my suitcase, I must go now
I don’t mind about the things you said
I’m sorry Mom, I don’t know where I’m going
Remember little sister, look ahead

Tomorrow I’ll be in some other sunrise
Maybe I’ll have someone at my side
Mamma, give your love back to your husband
Father, you’ve have taught me well, goodbye
Goodbye Mamma, goodbye to you too Pa

Guest:

  • Tom Rush, folk and blues singer, songwriter and musician.

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