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How Do I Know

  • (Anon / Pete Seeger / ad. Iain C. MacKintosh / Hamish Imlach)

    How do I know my youth is all spent
    My get-up-and-go has got up and went
    In spite of it all I'm able to grin
    When I think of the places my get-up has been

    When I was young my days were so full
    Football and fun every day after school
    Then I was older, the nights had no end -
    Wine, women, music and friends
    Now I'm old, I've had my fling
    I huff and I puff, I can't do a thing
    Never you laugh, I don't mind at all -
    I'd rather be huffing than not puff at all

    Old age is golden so I've heard it said
    Sometimes I wonder as I crawl into bed
    With my teeth in a cup, my hair in a drawer
    I hope my glass eye doesn't roll on the floor
    As sleep dims my vision I say to myself
    Is there anything else I should lay on the shelf
    Perhaps I should climb up and sleep there instead
    For there's more of me there than there is on the bed

    I wake up each morning, lift up my head
    I pick up the paper, when it's all read
    If we're not mentioned we know we're not dead
    So we eat a good breakfast and we go back to bed

    (as sung by Iain MacKintosh & Hamish Imlach)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1964:] I came across these verses in a Wisconsin hash house, and have since learned that they're known in almost every old-age home in the country. [...] Only the last couplets of the first [see above] and second [not included] verses are mine. (Seeger, Rhymney 104)

  • [1993:] It was around 1961. Singing in Wisconsin with my younger brother and sister, Mike and Peggy, I found the verses [of this song] on the back of the menu of a roadside diner. I had never seen them before except for the first two lines, which I had once seen scrawled on the door of a public toilet. When I put a tune to it and added a couple of lines, I wrote to the hash house. I had stolen their menu. They told me they got the words from a newspaper column in a Milwaukee paper. I wrote to the columnist; he couldn't remember who had sent it to him. I have since found that the poem has been widely reprinted in different versions. Nobody knows for sure who originally wrote it. [...] Probably sometime in the late 19th or early 20th century. I heard from people who remembered it from before WWI. It's sometimes titled I'm Doing Quite Well For The Shape I'm In. All I contributed besides the melody were a couple of lines and the idea of repeating the first four lines as a chorus. (Seeger, Flowers 245f)

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the leaving of Lothar Mathäus ; Bayern München - Real Madrid 4:1
 Sammlung : Susanne Kalweit (Kiel)
Layout : Henry Kochlin  (Schwerin)

aktualisiert am 08.03.2000