David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
My Father's Tie

July 30, 2015

So, this week I wore one of my father's ties. I took about 20 of them in the last few months, so I end up wearing one about every other week.  Each time I really get a sense of satisfaction of keeping his memory alive.  And each time I can't help hearing Elton John's "My Father's Gun" in my head as "My Father's Tie."  Eventually, I had to complete the alternate song.

First, for those of you who don't know the song (it's off Tumbleweed Connection), it is a pretty dramatic song about the Civil War.


My Father's Gun*


From this day on I own my father's gun.

We dug his shallow grave beneath the sun.

I laid his broken body down below the southern land.

It wouldn't do to bury him where any Yankee stands.


I'll take my horse and I'll ride the northern plain

To wear the color of the greys and join the fight again.

I'll not rest until I know the cause is fought and won.

From this day on until I die I wear my father's gun.


I'd like to know where the riverboat sails tonight.

To New Orleans?  Well, that's just fine, alright.

'Cause there's fighting there and the company needs men,

So slip us a rope and sail on round the bend.


As soon as this is over we'll go home

To plant the seeds of justice in our bones,

To watch the children growing and see the women sewing.

There'll be laughter when the bells of freedom ring.



{Here's the song if you want to hear it.}


And now my less dramatic, but still just as meaningful version.



My Father's Tie


From this day on I own my father’s tie.

We savored heirlooms as we said goodbye.

We placed their ashes in a cherry double urn

Until the day we can provide a Glaciar return.


I’ll take her journals and I’ll take his trains.

I’ll wear his bolos with the blue and gold strains.

I’ll not rest until I am again by their side.

From this day on until I die I’ll wear my father’s tie.


I’d like to know where their spirits fly tonight.

To Elysian Fields? Well, that’s just fine, alright.

‘Cause there’s work to be done, details to attend,

So give us some hope and the light at the end.


As soon as my work is done, the tie will be gone

To relax and retire in the way that he passed on,

To watch grandchildren growing and feel free of stress.

There’ll be laughter when the angels come and get us.



*Elton John/Bernie Taupin, 1970.