They're sending the old man home
Back where the buffalo roam
Out in Pacific they say he was the best
Now he's in his "civies" headin' home like all the rest

He'll never forget Rosa Lee
Or sleepless nights he fought upon the sea
He'll only have the memories
Or great books by James Jones
`Cause they're sending the old man home

Far away
Far away
Another life so very far away

They'll tear down the officers clubs
And write off the overdue subs
So let's drink to their memories
Our heros and our pals
To those crazy navy flyers
To those swell Hawaiian gals

The sailors will dance in the street
Then they'll mothball the whole damn fleet
We'll only have the picture books
Of land and sea and foam

`Cause they're sending the old man home

He'll only have his memories
Or great books by James Jones
`Cause they're sending the old man home

Lyrics submitted by EnjOy IncUbus

Sending The Old Man Home song meanings
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    General CommentThis song is pretty straightforward. It is about the nostalgia and bittersweet happiness of an admiral retiring after World War II. In the liner notes to the Bars/Beaches/Boats/Ballads Box set, Buffett said that the ideas to this song came to him while laid up with his third broken leg, watching (in a painkiller haze) the movie The Gallant Hours with James Cagney as Admiral "Bull" Halsey. He kept flashing between the movie and memories of his grandfather and the Officers Club at Pearl Harbor.

    I would love to know exactly who Rosa Lee is suppposed to be, though. Somebody from the movie maybe?
    rpresseron April 02, 2009   Link

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