Memory Lane: ‘Grandfather’s Clock’

This was in old song, from 1876, but it was popular when I was a little boy, and I remember it. It used to move me close to tears, and still does: I guess because I loved my Grandpa.

Some of us have things that are always associated with us, and the sight of one of those things–a cane, a hat, or a grandfather’s clock–always, and vividly, brings to mind the person to whom it belongs.

There were songs like this, back then. I don’t think there are songs like this now.

I’m glad I wasn’t born much later than I was.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

7 responses to “Memory Lane: ‘Grandfather’s Clock’

  • UnKnowable

    “It used to move me close to tears, and still does: I guess because I loved my Grandpa.”

    It’s always had a very similar effect upon me, and I suspect for much the same reason.

    My grandfather was a ramrod straight fellow of about 5’5″, perhaps an inch taller. He was, perhaps, 60 years old, when I was born and I always thought of him in terms of being an old man. He had a rough life: early success and prosperity, followed by total loss in the Great Depression. He lived on 53 years after losing his farm, but never sought to recover his prosperity. By the time he died there was easily enough cash stashed in my grandparent’s pantry to buy a new car, because he didn’t trust banks.

    When he was 80 years old, this solid little man lost a leg to poor medical care and spent the rest of his life nearly bedridden. It destroyed him to be confined like that.

    Much like the song, he stopped short, right about the age of ninety. There were tough men on both side of my family, and I use their example to inspire myself when times get hard. But that scrappy little farmer was as tough as any man I’ve ever met.


  • marlene

    Much the same here. I, too, loved my Granddad and, am grateful that I wasn’t born later than I was, especially when my son was born, even more so when my grandsons were born. I wondered if this song made it a little easier to accept your Grandpa’s death, God rest his soul. The first death in my family that I experienced was that of my Grandmom, whose corpse was the first i’d ever seen and “death” was still something I knew nothing about. So I didn’t cry, but felt confused. Although I wasn’t able to react to her death until a long time afterwards, I felt the loss of her the next day. Yet, until I was born again, only 11 years ago, I never believed I would die because while I didn’t know Jesus before that, except that I truly loved him for what He did, I always knew God the Father and I never believed he would “disappear” me – go figure. But now I do, of course, yet it doesn’t scare me. What scares me is how I will die. Thanks again for sharing your “Memories.”


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