Like a Rock

Growing Up Boomer is not a blog committed to a broad, sociological study of what it has meant for an entire generation to mature over the past 57 to 75 years; rather, its tagline indicates that the blog represents “one man’s journey” … my journey … over the past almost 74 years.

I have a small sign in my Lewes, Delaware, study that reads: “Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened!” That about sums up where I am at this moment in time, and there is a Boomer poet–Bob Seeger–who has written lyrics to a few songs that touch the heart of that younger person inside of me.

I was never a huge fan of Seeger’s work back in the day–although the only time when I did not get up off my ass and dance to Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll was when I was driving–but when I turned 60 and signed up for Pandora, I remember hearing–really hearing–what Seeger was saying in Night Moves, and that was it. Ever since, I’ve been a devotee of his brilliant, period poetry.

Of all of his work, the one that brings tears to my eyes is Like a Rock … the YouTube video follows … and the lyrics follow that. If you’re a male Boomer, give the younger person inside of you the freedom to internalize his performance; let that young soul read the lyrics and absorb the power of a Boomer poet trying to figure out what the hell happened …

Lyrics: Like a Rock

Stood there boldly
Sweatin’ in the sun
Felt like a million
Felt like number one
The height of summer
I’d never felt that strong
Like a rock

I was eighteen
Didn’t have a care
Working for peanuts
Not a dime to spare
But I was lean and
Solid everywhere
Like a rock

My hands were steady
My eyes were clear and bright
My walk had purpose
My steps were quick and light
And I held firmly
To what I felt was right
Like a rock

Like a rock
I was strong as I could be
Like a rock
Nothin’ ever got to me
Like a rock
I was something to see
Like a rock

And I stood arrow-straight
Unencumbered by the weight
Of all these hustlers and their schemes
I stood proud, I stood tall
High above it all
I still believed in my dreams

Fifty years now
Where’d they go?
Fifty years
I don’t know
I sit and I wonder sometimes
Where they’ve gone

And sometimes late at night
Oh, when I’m bathed in the firelight
The moon comes callin’ a ghostly white
And I recall
I recall

Like a rock
Standin’ arrow-straight
Like a rock
Chargin’ from the gate
Like a rock
Carryin’ the weight
Like a rock

Like a rock
The sun upon my skin
Like a rock
Hard against the wind
Like a rock
I see myself again
Like a rock
Oh, like a rock!

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The featured image was taken by Roger Wagner, my friend, “big brother,” and rock since the Summer of ’69 …