The Old Bard Song

(c) 2015 Gordon Bok, BMI

        My official Canadian title, awarded to me in the 1980s by James Stewart and Alden Nowlan, renowned bards of New Brunswick, is “Bard of the Southern Provinces”. Pondering this one day, I wondered just what ingredients one would need to do a proper job of it.

What in the world do the old bard need?
Ears to hear and the soul to heed,
Roof from the snow and the quiet craic,
Bit of a blanket to his back.
   Ears to hear and the soul to heed
   That do be what the old bard need.

What in the world do the old bard need?
Ears to hear and the strength to heed,
Dab of tin for a night of work,
Glim of the lamp, stave off the dark.
   Ears to hear and the strength to heed,
   That do be what the old bard need.

Soft dark wind in the hemlock-night,
Tap of the rain on the shingle tight
Southeast wind in the bending reed,
Cup of the warm for the body’s need.
   Ears to hear and a tear to weep.
   And he’ll be tucking him off to sleep

But what would you do for the old one’s heart?
A tale or a song of your own, to start.
The quiet word by the shifting fire,
Words of your own dear heart’s desire.
   For the cares of the one are the cares of us all
   Your heart gives heart to another soul.

Then, when the old path climbs again,
Threads of wonder, wish and pain
He’ll be weaving, the road along,
And you’ll be the fabric of the song.
   Ears to hear and the soul to heed;
   These for sure do the old bard need.

The Old Bard Song is recorded on the CD Then and Now
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