(20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England)

The Old Days

WHEN I was but a little tad I used to hear my dear old dad
Tell friends about the good old days forever gone from him;
My dear old kindly gran'dad, too, explained the merry joys he knew,
When he was in his twenties, and could dance and run and swim;
The burden of their song always was this — the good old bygone days,
The days of thirty years ago, when all the world was gay,
And folks were always merry then, and men were bigger, better men,
And fun was funnier by far than what it is today.

When I was young I couldn't see, how such a state of things could be,
For I was having fun myself, and plenty of it, too;
And not so long ago I told — a sign that I am getting old —
About the good old days that once upon a time I knew;
I found that like my dear old dad, I thought about the joys I had,
And I was sure that times had changed and fun had ceased to be;
I often heaved a bitter sigh, and wished and wished for days gone by;
The old days were the happy days, or so they seemed to me.

But looking back in history, unto the time we call B. C.
I find that dads and gran'dads then were living in the past;
Old Julius Caesar, who was slain, once sat and sighed and wished in vain
Because the joys that once he knew were not allowed to last.
Before Noah built his famous ark, I'll bet some ancient patriarch
Beneath his vine tree sat and said the days of fun were gone,
That times were not as once they were, that joys had vanished from the air,
And fun and mirth and merriment somehow had wandered on.

And so today I've ceased to talk and ceased to let my thinker walk
Away back where the old days are — I've ceased to call them best;
I've got the notion that today is just as happy, just as gay
As any yesterday of mine, and just as full of zest.
Tomorrow will be just as bright, and just as full of rare delight
For those who follow me as were the golden days of yore;
And when I hear some croaker say, there's no such thing as fun today,
I get his derby, coat and cane and show him to the door.

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