Gwen Peterson: “Old Age Blues,” a poem to the tune of “Rawhide” | TheFencePost.com

Gwen Peterson: “Old Age Blues,” a poem to the tune of “Rawhide”

Gwen Petersen
Big Timber, Mont.

Cowboy Clarence has reached his dotage — not on purpose. Father Time kind of did him in. Clarence used to be the hottest fiddle player in the county. Actually, he still pretty much is, but his skills are dwindling, which is to say, his body is failing him but his mind remains razor sharp. At a recent Swamp Creek School House dance, Clarence provided the music along with some other players. At about 9 o'clock, Clarence stepped to the microphone, declared he was tired and then bellered — in a raspy twang — the following parody to a Frankie Laine tune: Rawhide.

"Old Age Blues"

Shufflin' shufflin' shufflin'

Shufflin' shufflin' shufflin'

Shufflin' shufflin' shufflin'

Shufflin' shufflin' shufflin'

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OLD AGE! HAH! HAH!

I'm shufflin' shufflin' shufflin'

Though my years are golden

Energy is slowin', OLD AGE! HAH!

The years are piling higher

And help I now require

Getting to the end of my days

Soon my chips I'm cashin'

Done used up all my passion

I'm watchin' for that heavenly ride

Movin' slow, shufflin' ' on

Movin' slow, shufflin' ' on

Movin' slow, shufflin' ' on

Old Age! HAH!

Aching joints, random pains

Random pains, aching joints Aching joints, random pains

Old Age! HAH!

Keep movin' movin' movin'

Joints are disapprovin'

Keep my old bones movin', OLD AGE! HAH!

Don't try to understand it

Never really planned it

Just kept on livin' high and wide

Git up speed is easin'

My heart still goes on beatin'

Ain't waitin' for the end of my ride

Movin' slow, shufflin' ' on

Movin' slow, shufflin' ' on

Movin' slow, shufflin' ' on

OLD AGE!

Aching joints, random pains

Random pains, aching joints

Aching joints, random pains

Old age! HAH!

Clarence's rendition stirred the entire dance audience into shouting OLD AGE, HAH! at particular places in the lyrics. After a big finish, Clarence bowed, thanked the listeners, packed up his fiddle and went home. But not to worry … he'll be playing at the Senior Citizen jam next Sunday. ❖

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