Grandfather’s Clock

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Today I come to the song that started the whole series: Grandfather’s Clock. This is the song on the toy clock my son discovered Thanksgiving Evening that led to this review of all these wonderful pieces of times yore — namely 19th Century American music.

Published in 1876, this song was one of the most popular of its era, As the commentary in the book describes it: “The song is still beguiling in its simplicity, naturalness, humor and th easy flow of melody and accompaniment.”

Apparently it was good enough to be used in a Fisher Price child’s toy that I received in the 1970s.

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My grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf, So it stood ninety years on the floor;

It was taller by half than the old man himself, though it weighed not a pennyweight more;

It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born, and was always his treasure and pride;

But it stopped short never to go again when the old man died.

Chorus

Ninety years without slumbering (tick tick tick tick)

His life seconds numbering (tick tick tick tick)

It stopped short never to go again when the old man died.

In watching its pendulum swing to and fro; Many hours had he spent while a boy;

And in childhood and manhood the clock seemed to know And to share both his fried and his joy.

For it struck twenty-four when he entered at the door, With a blooming and beautiful bride;

But it stopped short never to go again — When the old man died.

Chorus

My grandfather said that of those he could hire, Not a servant so faithful he found;

For it wasted no time, and had but one desire — At the close of each week to be wound.

And it kept in its place — not a frown upon its face, And its hands never hung by its side;

But it stopped short never to go again when the old man died.

Chorus

It rang an alarm in the dead of the night — An alarm that for years had been dumb;

And we knew that his spirit was pluming for flight — That his hour of departure had come.

Still the clock kept the time, with a soft and muffled chime, As we silently stood by his side.

But it stopped, short, never to go again, When the old man died.

Chorus

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