opriginal lyrics

Old Man Dan

© Richard Ridley

Old Man Dan was a mean old man
His house was on the hill
We used to play in his woods close by
And paddle in the ghyll
But when Dan came by and he saw us there
He'd fetch his big shotgun
Although he'd never shot a soul
We would all turn tail and run
But we had a camp that we'd built in his woods
And a swing from his highest tree
To us his land was a paradise
So wild and clear and free

Now the new road runs right through his field
Where my old gang used to play
And some dark nights you can see his ghost
And the spirit of our childhood days

Old Man Dan was a mean old man
Well that's the way it seems
We used to sneak right through his fence
Steal apples from his trees
One day whilst I was up a tree
The old man came my way
I didn't think that he'd seen me
So for a while I stayed
But I got scared and jumped to the ground
And ran for half a mile
If only I had turned around
I might have seen him smile


Old Man Dan was a mean old man
All the children would agree
But I am older and wiser now
And I think at last I see
They took his land his pride and joy
It made him very sad
It was his life and with his wife
It was all they'd ever had
But the builders came and they tore it down
Every tree every bush every stone
Now I look at a road through a building site
And I'm sad the old man's gone

Chorus x 2

The story is true. "Dan" was a real character actually called Kit who lived in the house over the hedge at the top of our garden. I nearly called the song "Old Man Kit’" I had number of suggestions for rhymes with "Kit" hence the fictional "Dan".—Richard

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