As a writer and author of 34 books, I still am in awe of those creative souls who pen lyrical poetry and put it to music. At this celebration time of Thanksgiving I am grateful for songwriters and their songs that help us ‘remember when,’ and teach and tutor us in a deep and soulful way about time, life, peace, country, love, and leaving no regrets. So… my simple thanksgiving wish for you and our troubled world, is a medley of favorite tunes that take us down memory lane, connecting the magical messages that connected my mind with my heart when I needed it most:
Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away, Now it looks as though they’re here to stay, Oh, I believe in yesterday – Suddenly I’m not half the man I used to be, There’s a shadow hanging over me, Oh, yesterday came suddenly – Why she had to go, I don’t know, she wouldn’t say, I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.
So I question: why am I fighting to live, If I’m just living to fight, Why am I trying to see, When there ain’t nothing in sight, Why am I trying to give, When no one gives me a try, Why am I dying to live, If I’m just living to die.
But then, every time: I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, Speaking words of wisdom, let it be – And when the broken-hearted people, Living in the world agree, There will be an answer, let it be – For though they may be parted, There is still a chance that they will see, There will be an answer, let it be.
So I’ve decided to: Imagine there’s no countries, It isn’t hard to do, Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too – Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can, No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man – Imagine all the people, Living life in peace – You may say I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one, I hope someday you’ll join us, And the world will live as one.
But until then, let us honor our Airmen, Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers who explain: I don’t do it for the money, there’s bills that I can’t pay, I don’t do it for the glory, I just do it anyway, Providing for our future’s my responsibility, Yeah I’m real good under pressure, being all that I can be – I can’t call in sick on Mondays when the weekend’s been too strong, I just work straight through the holidays, Sometimes all night long – And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price, I’ve counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice – No I don’t want to die for you, But if dying’s asked of me, I’ll bear that cross with honor, ‘Cause freedom don’t come free, When liberty’s in jeopardy I will always do what’s right, I’m out here on the front lines, Sleep in peace tonight – I’m an American soldier, who stands for good and right.
Which reminds us we should never take our freedom for granted, and to leave no regrets, so: I went skydiving, I went rocky mountain climbing, I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu – And I loved deeper, And I spoke sweeter, And I gave forgiveness I’d been denyin,’ So someday I hope you get the chance – To live like you were dyin.’
Which takes me back to: The memory of, The dance we shared ‘neath the stars above, For a moment all the world was right, How could I have known that you’d ever say goodbye – And now I’m glad I didn’t know, The way it all would end, the way it all would go, Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain, But I’d have had to miss the dance.
So I hope you’ll always: feel small when you stand beside the ocean, Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens, Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance, And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.
And that you’ll dance with me because: I think about the years I spent just passing through, I’d like to have the time I lost and give it back to you, But you just smile and take my hand, You’ve been there and understand it’s part of a grander plan – This much I know is true, That God blessed the broken road, That led me straight to you.
Which makes me say: When your legs don’t work like they used to before, And I can’t sweep you off of your feet, Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love? Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks? And, darling, I will be loving you ’til we’re 70, And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23, And I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways, Maybe just the touch of a hand, Well, me-I fall in love with you every single day, And I just wanna tell you I am.
And now that you’re gone I remind you: The wild and windy night that the rain washed away, Has left a pool of tears crying for the day, Why leave me standing here, let me know the way – Many times I’ve been alone and many times I’ve cried, Anyway you’ll never know the many ways I’ve tried – And still they lead me back to the long and winding road, You left me standing here a long, long time ago – Don’t leave me waiting here, lead me to your door.
So I proudly sing: If tomorrow all the things were gone I worked for all my life, And I had to start again, With just my children and my wife, I thank my lucky stars, To be living here today, ‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom, And they can’t take that away – And I’m proud to be an American, Where at least I know I’m free, And I won’t forget the men who died, Who gave that right to me, And I’d gladly stand up next to you, And defend Her still today, ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt, I love this land – God Bless the U.S.A.
Happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful for the power of beautiful words that make us think and feel. I am grateful to live in America – the greatest country on earth. I am grateful for you and my association with you – regardless if we are close or distant. I am grateful for our military troops who are fighting to give peace a chance and for their families who sacrifice because of their commitment to service before self. May God bless the poor and homeless and lonely and sad that they might find food and shelter and peace and unconditional love. AND… May God bless our beloved America.