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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Saluting Roy Clark

"The next chance you get, do somethin' nice for somebody - say 'good day,' hold a door open - and don't wait around for a thank you... you don't need it." — Roy Clark

Three-time Country Music Association "Entertainer of the Year" and "International Friendship Ambassador" for his worldwide tours and support of numerous causes, especially on behalf of children, Clark died this week at the age of 85.  He leaves us with a lasting legacy as both a musician and a poetic writer.   Inducted into the CMA Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, he is one of the few musicians to have an elementary school named in his honor – primarily in recognition of his lifelong support for the needs of children around the globe.

Co-host of the long-running TV show “Hee Haw,” he also became the first musician to found a performance venue when he opened The Roy Clark Celebrity Theater in Branson, MO, a move that helped Branson toward its current status as a Midwestern entertainment mecca.  While he wrote, produced and sang numerous country hits, he might be best known for his worldwide pop ballad hit, the beautiful and heart-rending “Yesterday When I Was Young.”  For Saturday’s Poem, here are the words and link to that song. 

Yesterday When I Was Young
Seems the love I've known has always been
The most destructive kind
Yes, that's why now I feel so old
Before my time.

Yesterday when I was young
The taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue.
I teased at life as if it were a foolish game,
The way the evening breeze may tease a candle flame.
The thousand dreams I dreamed, the splendid things I planned
I'd always built to last on weak and shifting sand.
I lived by night and shunned the naked light of the day
And only now I see how the years ran away.

Yesterday when I was young
So many happy songs were waiting to be sung,
So many wild pleasures lay in store for me
And so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see.
I ran so fast that time and youth at last ran out,
I never stopped to think what life was all about
And every conversation I can now recall
Concerned itself with me and nothing else at all.

Yesterday the moon was blue
And every crazy day brought something new to do.
I used my magic age as if it were a wand
And never saw the waste and emptiness beyond.
The game of love I played with arrogance and pride
And every flame I lit too quickly, quickly died.
The friends I made all seemed somehow to drift away
And only I am left on stage to end the play.

There are so many songs in me that won't be sung,
I feel the bitter taste of tears upon my tongue.
The time has come for me to pay for
Yesterday … when I was young …

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