Old Billy Fly


I worked as a domiciliary carer and a carer for realtives so this song is based on true stories of those losing loved ones to dementia: 

    Day after day – the lines crawl across his face

    Memories keep him warm – by the unlit fireplace

    The bills lie in the hallway – as the bailiffs come and go

    The shadows at his front gate – always stop to say hello.


     He doesn’t know what to say

     His words set sail and drift away

     So he smiles and nods his head

     At all the things he could have said.  


     Until at last the children cry:

     “Cross my heart and hope to die

     Our mothers taught us not to lie

     But today’s the day we saw Old Billy fly.”


     Well, the town got its bypass – and another round his heart

     He’s standing on the landing – feeling torn apart

     So he walks into her bedroom – to see what he can do

     But she screeches like an owl: “just who the hell are you?”


     So Billy cries and goes downstairs

     To rearrange the kitchen chairs

     As there’s nothing new on his TV

     He makes her carers cups of tea.


     Until at last the children cry:

     “He kissed the girls and made them sigh

     Our mothers just won’t let this lie

     But today’s the day we saw Old Billy fly.”


     [He leafs through the old photo albums 

      as an odd melody plays softly on the radio

          it stirs a memory steeped in sepia:

      … she laughed as they danced to the Wurlitzer

             on Brighton Pier…. a kiss… ]    


     So he smiles and locks the door

     And takes the lift to the thirteenth floor

     Somewhere a blackbird sings

     He feels the wind rise beneath his wings.


      Until at last the children cry:

     “We seen Billy touch the sky

      But our mothers taught us not to lie

     ‘cause today’s the day we saw Old Billy fly.”


(c) Paul D E Mitchell 2016 PRS Registered and Protected

old man at window


© mitch 2023
Views: 3330
critique and comments welcome.
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Hi Mitch,
My goosepimples came out all over, a sure sign of having been deeply affected. I am aware of the terrible pain of dealing with someone with Altzeimers. The arrangement, the chorus, pure genius.
My fav one of yours to date. just fab writing!
One for the antholgy. and into favs
WO x

Loved the audio!


This is excellent. Loved the audio. It seemed very John Lennon to me. And I love John Lennon. Nice work old bean!


Fantastic song and superb execution. Loved it to bits, Mitch.

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