Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Jack Brown: Music

Seeds (live -- from Folkstage)

(Jack Brown)
July 1, 2010
Jack Brown -- music and lyrics

Recorded on Rich Warren's Folkstage/Midnight Special on WFMT, live national broadcast, Saturday August 28, 2010.  True story about my father, Francis Oakley Brown.  Listen to the CD version (on "The Road To Happy") for a killer cello part by my dear friend Katherine.

    SEEDS
    © Jack Brown
My father was an old soul, the first-born of seven.
Had to get a job when he was only eleven.
Delivering papers in old Selma-town.
Thought his feet would always be stuck to that ground
Till he saw his first airplane — he just had to fly.
He begged that barnstormer to take him up in the sky.
Well, he lost that old job before he’d even landed
But he didn’t care ‘cause his wish had been granted
And a seed had been planted.

He grew up the same ways that most young men do —
Working odd jobs, baking bread, selling shoes.
Finished high school full with the knowledge
That work and the depression would keep him from college.
Through marriage and children and war’s rising tide,
He still reminisced about that first airplane ride.
And after Pearl Harbor, he did as commanded —
He learned how to fly, just like Uncle Sam said.
It was another seed planted.

So he made it his life — a career Air Force man
Even though that was not the original plan.
And when I came along, he encouraged my schemes
to take chances, make wishes, and dream a few dreams.
To live out a life that he never could,
To fly up to heights where he never would.
And somehow my life turned out just like we planned it.
I only wish I hadn’t taken for granted
The seeds that he planted.

So we go through our days
Scattering seeds ‘round every which way
And sometimes they take root and sprout up and grow
Bearing fruit we can’t possibly know.

Well I still see Dad’s eyes in cool Kodachrome
Hangin’ from two or three walls in my home.
But I see those same eyes and a trace of his face
More and more when I look in the mirror these days.
And I peer in my son’s eyes, I see him there too.
An impossible blending of ancient and new.
And I think of the seeds by my father sown
I look back on all of the seeds of my own
And I pray that someday on this poor messed-up planet
My boy will find joy in the world he’s been handed
By the seeds that we’ve planted.