In Memory of Sam McAllister

Sam was the groundskeeper
of the estate; his wife was the housekeeper.  They lived in a cottage next to the stable where I was employed as part-time stablehand.  I had occasion to help Sam on the grounds, and he and his wife often invited me in for a cup of tea.  

One morning I arrived, and learned that Sam had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.  

As I was doing my morning chores, I could see his wife, red-eyed, in the kitchen window, sitting at the table where, so often,
we had shared tea.  I imagined what she must have been feeling, and put it in a song.
words and music by Tony Provencher - 1968
Vocal, Twelve-string Guitar, and Recorders - Tony Provencher
Album: The Jealous  Sea - Part II - Folly
She sits at her window and stares outside.
Her eyes cannot see.

Her eyes can only see
Visions of days in the past.
She lives in the past

Long ago when she was young
She met a fine young man
Who smiled and held her hand,
Who ran with her through wooded paths,
Who held her close and whispered
Tender words into her ears.

She cannot hide her tears.

She could not hide her tears,

Long ago her happiness
Welled up deep inside;
Her tears she could not hide.
He asked her if she'd marry him.

They married in the church
And lived together thirty years.

She cannot hide her tears,
As she recalls the years,

Daily they sat at the table
And conversed over cups of hot tea,
And evenings he sat in his favourite armchair,
Smoking his pipe and reading his paper,
And she sat and knitted -- maybe a sweater --
She never did finish it over the years.
Maybe she never had meant to.

Now she'll wake every morning alone in her bed
And stare at the pillow that he used to sleep on,
And she will remember he's gone.
At breakfast she'll set him a place at the table,
And then she'll remember he's gone.
She'll sit at the table across from his chair.
She cannot believe that he's gone.
And evenings she'll turn to his favourite armchair,
And she will remember he's gone.

She cannot hide her tears.
They lived together for so many years,
And now she is living alone.

So now at the window she sits, dressed in black,
And stares at the world outside,
But her eyes can see only the vacuum he's left.
So she closes the album and cries.

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