Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Alan Brown: Music

LAST ONES ON THE ISLAND

(Alan Brown)
(Our own world will be a poorer place if we allow ourselves to forget the songs, tales and traditions of the past)

On the day they left the island and the ship sailed from the shore
I stood and waved and watched them go until I could watch no more
And the sea was dark and angry and the rain blew in my face
And I wondered how a boy like me could have stayed in such a place

And I turned back from the harbour to the houses made of stone
And I hated what they stood for, though the only life I’d known
And I looked out on the ocean and I wondered what I’d done
I was on a dead man’s island, they were sailing to the sun

But someone has to stay behind, someone has to go
Some are sure the day they’re born
Some take a lifetime till they know
The waiters and the watchers are the ones who’ll always be
The last ones on the island, the keepers of the key

For they told me all their stories and they told me all their rhymes
And they sang the songs I love to hear of the brave and bitter times
Of the mists upon the mountain, of the wind upon the waves
The shieling fires of summer and the gold beyond the graves

As I look back down the ages, the vision now is clear
The life that meant so little then is the life I now hold dear
I’m the last one on the island, nearer sunset than the dawn
And when I die, who will sing the songs they’ve handed on?