I've lived me a good full long life Ninety five years have come and gone And more'n a few hundred things Have I set eyes upon I've seen birth, marriage and death And 'bout everything in between I guess there near ain't anything These old eyes haven't seen Now, take the piney rocker That I am right now sitting in This same ol' chair was waiting there Before my life begin My momma nursed me in it and My daddy bounced me on his knee And filled these ears with everything He thought a man should be I listened with my whole small heart And kept it in my growing mind: A real man is a gentleman Dependable and kind As life pursued its curving path I had to find out on my own Some of those timeless wisdoms That my old man had known But now that he's in heaven Enjoying his eternal rest I sometimes shake my head and think He after all knew best After my boyhood came the time I brushed this rocker off for she Who gave life happiness the day She swore my bride to be I watched her nurse our children in This chair, beautifully Fear, sickness, pain and sleeplessness She rocked them through with me I bounced them as I had been bounced When I could make them stay that still And poured in wisdom when I could Get them to take the pill But seemed soon as I got this chair Up to its gentle rhythmic creak And settling down my scattered thoughts Prepared myself to speak Off the paternal knee they'd launch Just like so many wind up toys And fly to every otherwhere A teenager enjoys They'd come back home all scuffed up from Adventures they would not have had If they had listened as I'm sure I listened as a lad Though when my wife compassion pled And turned me round to look at it There were times I had gone astray I did have to admit She'd bring them deep into her arms Then in this chair she'd set them down And bring a moistened cloth with which To wipe away the frown Then one soon day I stepped outside Astonished my young son to see Brush this seat clear of leaves and dust For his own bride to be I took a lungful of good air And silently stepped back inside And then I went to find she who Had been my own dear bride We murmured of our memories And sat up late to reminisce Me in that chair right over there And she of course in this I saw that she'd had more of joy Than sorrow writ upon her face Hoping I'd not done her too wrong Beside myself to place As often, she could sense my mood She leaned her body forward and Smiling at me so tenderly She reached to take my hand She told me if that son of ours Could make his wife one tenth as glad Give her one tenth the memories The two of us had had Then never in creation was A luckier, more blessed bride Than her who'd live life walking by His so deserving side I know there'll never be a time No matter what else life may bring When I will feel more noble -- I felt like a goll durn king! The newlyweds settled nearby Our first grandbaby came, and when It started in to teething this Chair found its use again I had to laugh to see my son Trying to teach propriety To squirming bundles full of life Bouncing upon his knee Sometimes I sit here wond'ring why We put those words on inner shelves And come what may we have to go Find out for our own selves By pushing on the edges of Misdeed and immorality Just what the right and what the wrong Of any happ'ning be And then I also think sometimes That if we didn't have to learn About it in our own lives, how Would we compassion earn? We never would suspect it, for How could we ever come to know An understanding of the man Whose path has brought him low? And if we sometimes should forget That we ourselves have been unkind Less than courageous, selfish or To suffering been blind And had no angel, as I had To bring us gently to the truth To honest remeniscence of Our own relative youth We'd likely arrogant become With false superiority Convinced within our ignorance We are worth more than he She kept me from it, more than once But did it so forgivingly I felt no lesser for the fact I merely human be And she reminded me as well The punishment my own deep heart Then meted out for misery Of which I'd been a part So I try now to look upon A strangely acting fellow man For her sweet sake, with tolerance -- At least, much as I can The decades passed and one grandchild Became about eleventeen What gatherings of happiness This friendly chair has seen! Frolicking children on the lawn Young lovers leaving for a walk The ladies lie down for a nap The men sit up to talk This old chair's had a hundred score Cob pipeloads knocked out on its arm Our wimmin never did find out So it did no one harm And then the ladies come back down And oh, so gladly up I'd get To see her in this rocking chair I'm glad of that sight yet Now she's gone off ahead, of course She told me that she had to see About a few details to make It comfortable for me When I should give up smoking and Come find her up the golden stair I guess she found out anyway I guess I'll see her there The kids and grandkids, great grandkids The cousins to the tenth degree Neices and nephews without count Have somewhere else to be It's kind of quiet, kind of nice To sit alone in this old chair And think a moment 'fore I move On any otherwhere My son will own it pretty soon I'm wondering where it will go I'm thinking not too long from now I won't be here to know I wonder, when life's lessons come To educate my progeny If any will recall this chair And my instructive knee And will they chuckle some and Fondly shake their heads a bit And tell themselves when said and done I had the right of it? It matters lots less than it did I used to kinda hope, you know When someone would remember me Folks would respectful grow But now I understand we each Are wise in our own ways And not in others, so we'll help Each other through our days If no one needed sympathy Unhappy, painful, hopeless, blind How much alone we all would be With no need to be kind At least, that's how it looks from here Sittin' in this ol' piney chair But that's just me -- my answers might Not get you anywhere!