Tough Old Man

He is a tough old man layin' there helpless as can be
And his mind goes back to a different time so he can be set free
From the ties that bind and his withered legs and all the indignity
And his crippled smile, smiles at me but the pain, it still shows through

And he wants a drink and he wants a smoke
And he wants to dance again
He's a tough old man
But he'll never stand in this world again

Well the nurse comes in and she gathers him, moves him roughly to his chair
And he cries it hurts but he makes a joke and she gently smooths his hair
Then he sits alone and he walks that farm with his papa long ago
And he plows all day under sky and sun and it warms him to the bone

And he has a drink and he has a smoke
And he's gonna dance tonight
He's a tough old man
But he'll never stand in this world again

A tough old man's got gold
Buried deep within his soul
In memories he's never told
He's got to dig inside
And mine the gold he hides
The time has come to let it go

He's a tough old man layin' there helpless as can be
And his daughter's there beside his bed but now it's time to leave
So she says goodbye and she starts to cry when he says he's leaving too

He's a tough old man
But he'll never stand in this world again

rusty miller & victoria webb
april 10th
1993
*written after visiting Gilbert Webb in a nursing home