From the recording The Old Man and the C Chord

I’ve lived in Toronto my whole life. The experience of re-emerging after the pandemic felt a bit like running into a good old friend that had fallen on some hard times. There seemed to be more troubled and seemingly abandoned people out on the streets. There was an undeniable air of desperation. I felt like every time I went out I saw something that was some combination of heart-breaking, disturbing, and even occasionally threatening. To add to that, there were so many businesses that had either gone under, or that seemed to be barely limping along - neighborhoods felt like they’d lost some of their previous spirit. And finally, so many friends had moved on – in many cases because of the untenable housing situation, and high cost of living in the city. Although these problems are complicated and will require a lot of clear thought and empathy to address, I couldn’t help imagining the simple image of a parched landscape waiting for a long gentle rain to bring it back to life.


i passed a man on the street today
he was all alone, but he had a lot to say
I guess he must have lost his way
along the line

I looked at him, but not to stare
just so he’d see that I saw that we were both there
seems like I see him everywhere I go
these days

It’s hard times in this town of mine
you’d have to be asleep not to feel the change
all those wildflowers in among the grass
waiting for the rain

I walked farther down the road
to a part of town where we used to go
just to let the good times roll
back in the day

All the joints were boarded up
They tried to hold on
but I guess they had to give up
I sure hope they get some better luck next time

It’s hard times in this town of mine
it’s not the end, it’s just a shame
all those those green pastures where we used to
run and play
waiting for the rain

I met a friend that I had not seen
since before this time where we all have been
we both used to try to make the scene
back in the day

She told me that she was moving on
couldn’t make ends meet, and would soon be gone
headed east to sing her song
in another place

It’s hard times in this town of mine
the good seeds can’t afford a place to stay
so they just dry up, and blow away
waiting for the rain