In days long gone by you tilled the soil and sand,
Got a long row still to hoe on the land.
Well, your grown kids and your grandkids and their babies ever yet,
You old rascal, Dad, they will always care, and a son never forgets.
I sailed to Treasure Island once with a rogue named Long Tall Jim.
We plundered caves with Sawyer, gutted fish with old Huck Finn.
We surveyed the West with Lewis, canoed the C’lumbia with Clark.
We hunted with Daniel and Davy and Captain Jack, who hid in the dark.
Well the sun was always rising then and now it ever sets,
You old rascal, Dad, you were always them, and a son never forgets.
You drove us down the Topsy Grade to see what might be there,
Along this rocky stagecoach road: wrecked cabins of pioneers.
When you sailed us to Buck Island you found an arrowhead on the shore.
I was so amazed, John Wayne himself could not have dazzled me more.
What fate came to that arrowhead I can’t now recollect,
But it’s fixed upon my memory ‘cuz a son never forgets.
One day the fire came and some tough years burned away.
They burned right through our souls, didn’t they?
But you, ever the Fire Chief, stood tall to protect,
You old rascal, Dad, you were always there, and your son never forgets.
Now we’ll plot one last adventure asleep in our easy chairs.
Dream of camp in cold October, track down the stealthy deer.
Young brother Mike like Robin Hood will bend his trusty bow
And launch an arrow into the cloudless sky to see where it goes.
Yes the sun was always rising then and rises still I ‘spect,
You old rascal, Dad, you were always there, and your sons never forget.
For Jim Paxton,
words and music by his son Ken