Old Man At The Bar

Load me up with a barrel of woes,

I'll raise a drink to fallen foes,

And another one for my friends,

And toast each one 'til the bottle ends.


And a shot for each love so hot,

'Cos it would be a sin if they were forgot,

All the times that we would spend,

Rattling the bed 'til glories end.


Slip me another shot of "Jack,"

I'll drink to em all 'til I'm on my back,

'Til my consciousness expends,

I'll raise a glass to all the absent friends.


True I'm sat here on my, "Jack Jones,"

But don't for one second think I'm on my own,

The ghosts of the past sit on every chair,

It's just I'm the only one that knows their there.


Now don't go feeling sad,

I've seen a lot of things both good and bad,

Too many for me to pretend,

So I'm gonna raise a glass to absent friends.


Life gave me all she'd ever said,

A bunch of stuff to fill my head,

And every seed I've ever sown,

Means least I'm not drinking on my own.

◄ As You Walk The Road

Battles and Wars ►


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Jason Bayliss

Fri 19th Apr 2019 10:58

Thank you all, Chelsea, Dorothy and Frances. To be honest it was written with the rhythm of a particular song that got stuck in my head, although if you heard the original it's so much better, that's probably why it scans like a song. Chelsea, I too have spent many hours talking with people at the bars I used to work in and you're totally right, they were some of the most interesting people I've ever spoken to, especially the, "eccentric, strong personalities," I'm really pleased that you like talking to them too.

J. x

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Frances Macaulay Forde

Fri 19th Apr 2019 08:51

I love it too, Jason. I particularly liked you human approach to the old man... looking deeper into him.
Good stuff. ?

<Deleted User> (21487)

Fri 19th Apr 2019 08:34

I do love this and I agree with Ray - it is a folk song - just waiting for a guitar and a bar stool.


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Chelsea Crossman

Fri 19th Apr 2019 08:04

Jason- I love this entry. Brutally relatable. A “piano man” feel. I work as a bartender at a hole in the wall dive bar where the majority of those I serve are regulars that have been going there longer than I’ve been alive. Each with their own reason to sit with me and “forget about life for a while” (a gold mine for me from a poetic standpoint). Inevitably, they are home to many passages of mine and for that I am grateful.

jennifer Malden

Thu 28th Mar 2019 18:15

Lovely - really evocative - one can see him sitting there with the ghosts of the past on every chair!


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Jason Bayliss

Thu 28th Mar 2019 00:08

Thanks Ray, Heart, and Mae. We used to run pubs and I've known so many characters like this, they're usually by far the most interesting to talk to. Heart, you are right, whenever one in particular used to talk about the old days, he was so descriptive I could almost see the people he talked about. And Mae, you are also right, I just can't get that rhythm out of my head?.

J. x

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Wed 27th Mar 2019 20:32

Nicely expressed thoughts and perfectly in place in a den such as you describe Jason. The whole idea has a sort of folky feel that should be set to music I reckon.


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Mae Foreman

Wed 27th Mar 2019 19:49

Set in quite a Tom Waits-type of atmosphere dear Jason!
But more than that steeped in the classic Jason Bayliss wisdom.

"Load me up with a barrel of woes,

I'll raise a drink to fallen foes,

And another one for my friends,

And toast each one 'til the bottle ends.,"

Haunting words Jason!
Thank you for them ?

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Heart of Lead

Wed 27th Mar 2019 19:13

What a tribute to memory. Beautifully written as always. "The ghosts of the past sit on every chair." Surrounded by conjured up illusions based on living and dead. Quite profound and lovely. Always a pleasure to read your poetry.

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