I come from a time when all fire engines were called Dennis
And yoghurt was a special guest star on supermarket shelves,
An era when opinions arrived in a trickle and then drained away,
When you needed Vaseline for your jaw as it banged on the floor
While you watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon – the moon!
I come from a time of The Lone Ranger and William Tell, and the excitement
Of a burning map of Nevada, a dan-da-da-da theme tune and four cowboys
Riding in from distant mountains and pines, from the edges of my imagination,
A time of simple ambitions like Mose Harper’s in search of a rockin’ chair,
When women in strait-jacket aprons would scrub and polish front doorsteps.
I come from a time when most people got on with earning a living and living
A life that they hoped would be decent, trouble-free, blessed by God and quiet,
A time when neighbours knew each other and community glue was gossip,
Black and white, when coal was delivered in sacks and milk arrived in bottles,
When kettles hardly stopped boiling and pots of stew simmered all day long.
I go back that far into nostalgia, to Doris Day’s whatever will be, will be
And what did we think the future would be? Simple? Complicated? Strange?
We harrumph that they were better times, better than now, a better era,
The good old days sandpapered of all their rough edges and smoothed down,
So that we can caress memories and hug them for comfort at those moments.