The Pegasus Awards

Grandfather

Gary Hanak

Pegasus Award

Award Year Category
Pegasus 2014 Best Classic Filk Song

Pegasus Nominations

Year Category
Sample
2013 Best Filk Song
 

Grandfather

Lyrics & Music ©1996 by Gary Hanak - All rights Reserved
Lyric posted with permission of the author

I lived in an aging borough, filled with concrete slabs and glass
Lying broken all across the boulevards
But I saw twisted ranges, or a dangerous mountain pass
While pretending I played out among the stars

One day there was this stranger who appeared late afternoon
And stood there watching me while at my play
He looked familiar, somehow, like someone I thought I knew
But why that should have been, I couldn't say

I lived with Grandpa, way back then, and had since I was small
We two were all alone, far as I knew
So I was quite surprised when this familiar stranger called
And said he knew my Grandpa, and me, too

(chorus)
Hey mister, from your off–world clothes, you're no one that I know
Just who are you? What are you here to see?
How come you know so much about what happened long ago?
And how is it you look so much like me?

I thought Gramps would like to see him, a long lost friend and all
But when I showed up with the strange young man in tow
Gramps' face went quick from happy when he saw me I the hall
To real cold, like distant, frozen snow.

Before I'd said a word, Gramps snapped "Oh, back so soon, old man?"
The young man stood as if surprised and hurt
Gramps said "Most everyone is dead and gone, passed their allotted span,
 Your next trip back, I expect we'll all be dirt."

The young man said "I'm sorry", and turned away from Grandpa's barbs
But I wasn't ready yet to let him go
I asked "But just who is he, Gramps, this stranger from the stars,
 And what is it he's done that hurt you so?"

(chorus)
Hey mister, from your off–world clothes, you're no one that I know
Just who are you? Who are you here to see?
How come you know so much about what happened long ago?
And how is it you look so much like me?

The both stopped short and looked at me, their faces both so sad
And Grandpa knelt and hugged, and said to me
"You really want to be a starship crewman, don't you, lad?
 I suppose it's time you learned just what that means."

The stranger said, so quietly, "It's mostly dull routine
 The trip to any star is years at best.
 But to get there we must go almost as fast as laser beams"
 Then he said to Gramps "Why don't you tell the rest?"

Gramps said, "Within your starship, for each day you greet anew,
 A month, a year, a decade could have passed where you call home
 Velocity near lightspeed changes time flow for the crew
 When finally you come back home, you'll find you're all alone"

"Think hard on it, my boy, before you join that starship band
 For this is something else you've got to see
 You call me 'Gramps', that's who I am to you, but also understand
 That in another lifetime, your young
  Stranger standing there so fair with
   Stardust in his hair was 'Gramps' to me—
 Yes, that young man's my Grandpa…
  Now, do you see?"

…(instrumental)…

The years have passed—so many changes here before my eyes
In my playground, now, an old repair ship basks
But I still see, occasionally, a face I recognize
And a young voice every now and then will ask

(chorus)
Hey mister, from your off–world clothes, you're no one that I know
Just who are you? Who are you here to see?
How come you know so much about what happened long ago?
And how is it you look so much like me?
Just how is it you look so much like me?"


 

 
 
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