Frank Dowling, Hannah Batley – Francis Dowling (The Hardest Part of Growing Old)


Frank Dowling – story source
Malcolm Brooks, Hannah Batley – musical sherpas
Pauleen MacDougal – historical consultant
 
Hannah Batley and Meredith Batley – vocals
Malcolm Brooks – guitar, bass
Nathan Hillman – viola
Sophie Davis – violin
 
From a recorded interview at the Maine Folklife Center, Orono, Maine
 
I am Francis Dowling, born in 1889
I went picking blueberries in the bright sunshine
That was the last time for me
 
Knowing you won’t ever get back
To the places on the rivers
Is the hardest part of growing old
 
I was a surveyor and I snowshoed every day
I would rise up early and be
Nothing but the rivers and me
 
Knowing you won’t ever get back…
 
I can still see those places in my mind
 
I lumbered in the winters in the days so cold
They landed lumber on the ice and the ice would hold
Oh, that was something to see
 
Knowing you won’t ever get back
To the places on the rivers
Is the hardest part of growing old