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Old White Men — Vance Gilbert © 2011 Disismye Music ASCAP

I was such a strange boy
Forty years or so back then
Fat with big thick ol’ glasses
Trouble making friends
Cruising thru my neighborhood
Could easily have come to no good end
Till I stumbled into the workshops
Of old, white men

“Call your mother, you can stay”
That’s about all they’d ever say
Then they’d lift the top
Off some old wooden box
Where inside lay some gem
Made of string and springs
And wood and glue
Right then and there I’m sure I knew
Firsthand the raw ingredients
Of old white men

Old white men
Get teary eyed December 7th
Old white men
Salute every flag they see
Old white men,
Didn’t care how cool I couldn’t be
A drop of glue will do to
Help it mend
“Put the cap on when you’re thru” say
Old white men

It was all ball peen hammers, calipers
Dovetail joints and acetone
Tubes and printed circuits
Screws and spokes and wheels
The difference tween truth and opinion
When you’re old enough, be sure to vote
And never trust a woman
Wearing more than 3 inch heels
Old white men
Living crosscut, chainsaw lives
Old white men
They don’t talk back to their wives
Old white men, thanks to them
I can sharpen your kitchen knives with this stone
Some times when I’m alone
I wonder what became of
Old white men

Do they synchronize their watches
As on and on time marches?
Do their belts need extra notches
As their waistlines grow big & ‘round?
I call their wives up often
And I carry their husband’s coffins
As these grey hairs of my own
Chase me down

Over the years I outgrew
My awkward situation
Went to college, joined a cause
Became the Black Man I never was
And over the years I learned to view
Old white men with suspicion
I’d heard the world was run to ruin
By old white men

Last Thursday I was hunched over
My Briggs and Stratton mower
Trying to adjust the carburetor
When this kid come bendin’ my ear
Always bugging me when I’m working
So I say “Make yourself seem useful, son
Clean the carbon off that sparkplug
Wipe it down and hand it here.”
Old white men
Look me squarely in the eyes
Old white men
They looked right past my skin
Old white men,
I can hear them oh so clearly
“Are you gonna just stand there
With that sanding block, son
Or make it so the pieces fit again??”


Vance - guitar, vocal