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My Grandfather’s Clock.

My Grandfather’s Clock.

Lyrics – Late American Civil War composer and songwriter Henry Clay Work (1832 – 1884).
Vocals – Late American country singer-songwriter John R. Cash. (1932 – 2003).

According to folklore this famous song ‘My Grandfather Clock’ was inspired by a clock at The George Hotel, in the village of Piercebridge, latter located in the borough of Darlington in County Durham, England.
The hotel in past times was a wayfarers’ inn and was owned and operated by two Jenkins brothers.
In the lobby of the Inn was a longcase tall weight driven pendulum clock, which kept perfect time, until one of the brothers passed away.
Following his passing the clock began to lose time at an increasing rate, despite the best efforts of a local clockmaker to repair it.
When the second brother died, the clock stopped suddenly and completely, never to work again.

It is understood that in 1875 the songwriter, Henry Clay Work, visited the George Hotel, and having listened to the tale of the clock from various employees and locals, he composed this song ‘My Grandfathers Clock’.

We also learn from folklore that the clock appears to recognise both the good and bad events in this grandfather’s life; it rings 24 chimes when the grandfather brings his bride into his house, and near his death it rings out an alarm, which the family recognize as meaning that the old grandfather is near death, and so they gather around his bed side. After the grandfather dies, the clock suddenly stops, and never works again.

My Grandfather’s Clock

My grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor;
It was taller by half, than the old man himself,
Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.
It was bought on the morn, of the day that he was born,
And was always his treasure and pride,
But it stopped short, never to go again,
When the old man died.

Ninety years without slumbering, his life seconds numbering,
It stopped, short, never to go again,
When the old man died
.

My grandfather said, that of those he could hire,
Not a servant so faithful he found,
For it wasted no time and had but one desire,
At the close of each week to be wound,
And it kept in its place, not a frown upon its face,
And its hand never hung by its side,
But it stopped, short, never to go again,
When the old man died.

It rang an alarm, in the dead of the night,
An alarm that for years had been dumb,
And we knew that his spirit, was pluming for flight,
That his hour for departure had come.
Still the clock kept the time, with a soft and muffled chime,
As we silently stood by his side.
But it stopped, short, never to go again,
When the old man died.

Ninety years without slumbering, his life seconds numbering,
It stopped, short, never to go again,
When the old man died.

[Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick……..]

END

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