This Good Old Man

This Good Old Man

Ch: This good old man / is gone.
This good old man / is gone.
The last good-bye / ‘s been sung.
This good old man is gone.

1. He left me well / well-worn tools.
He taught me how / to use.
I drive his car. I drive his pink Ford car
Can’t wear those great big shoes.

2. Who’ll make the calls? … the house calls now?
Whose ear will read / the pains?
Whose hands will be / so wise?
Some holes won’t soon be filled.

3. Horses to pull / the plow.
Great boats to sail / to war.
Babies to fill / the town.
Decades to bloom and fade.

4. He scattered corn / each day.
The backyard’s full / of ducks.
The neighbor’s dog / romps through.
His world was full of joys.

5. The winter wind / was cold
We stood beside / that hole
And raised a hymn / of old
I took a flower to dry.

6.  His shining day / is done.
There’s none to guide / us on.
It’s up to you / and me.
Come let us make this world.

Words and music by Bret Hesla.
© 2013 Bret Hesla.  All rights reserved. Use with permission, please.
Licensed via,  Contact:

In memory of my father Inman Hesla (1922 – 2013), who grew up on a small farm in South Dakota, got an education on the GI bill, became a small town doctor in Austin, Minnesota, and who little things still remind me of every day.

Not long after my father died, I led a community sing in Austin, along with my colleague Mary Preus. After the singing, I was chatting with an older couple. The woman told me that my dad had delivered all four of their children. This would have been back in the 50s or 60s. She said that when their son was nine-months old he got spinal meningitis and had to be taken by ambulance to Rochester. She said Dad told her afterward that he rode along in the ambulance and held the baby all the way, and that he prayed for it the whole time.

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