The older the song

The notes skip and dance upon the page.

The melody lilts from a time gone by,

Slips, jigs, reels and airs.

‘Miss Otis regrets’ to ‘Carrickfergus’

‘The Croppy boy’ and ‘Thy watch and chain’.

Jogging a memory that can be seen.

I interpret these symbols and give them form,

Sounding each note on the guitar until it’s right.

Fashioning the inky dots and curves.

I’m up ‘till dawn.


I pluck the strings and finger the shapes of the chords.

The memories from the pages fly with a rhythmic cry.

…they toll a bell for a better world, ringing the changes.

Back then their word was true and the song was new.

More than one hundred years ago.

And then I imagine the etching of the scene,

That accompanies these songs and bring the music back to life.


© Sean P. Ransom.