To Will Rogers
There’ll come a day and you’ll make a list of the greatest men of time
You’ll choose them well and place them where their merit seems to rhyme
Perhaps not first and still not last but somewhere ‘long the line
You’ll name Will Rogers, a friend of yours, of “The King of Kings”, and mine.
For he met all men on equal terms and thus he met all things
From the deep despair of oppression’s glare to the halls where freedom rings
And if he ever shook your hand, my friend, ‘tis a summer’s touch he brings
For he’d hold your hand with no less warmth than when he held a king’s.
Over wing-born trails and roaring rails, o’er the ocean-sweep and swirl
To a foreign land but to meet a man and a friendship there unfurl
For his words came light as the dancing flight of the lariat he twirls
And it flew from his hand like a lightening strand to capture the heart of the world.
Let his sage advice be counted twice though he said it with a grin,
“You can never stand against the common man, there’s too dog-gone much of him.”
And if my memory serves me well and good, I still can hear him say,
“There is no man that I don’t like who ever passed my way.”
As I gaze on a world into tension hurled, I’m reminded constantly
Of a smile long lost in the frozen frost but what a wondrous thing t’would be
If his laughing ways like the sunny days from an inexhaustive store
Were the crowning part of the common heart to live forever more.
So the whimsy of his smile remains as the rolling years descend
And his voice springs up from the northern lights to the far-flung trails of men.
From Claremore to the distant poles or follow the west-wind’s wend
And you’ve never met his like before and you never will again.
(Read by Wayne Austin.)
This song was never commercially recorded.
For permission to record Bob Nolan's poetry and music, contact: The Songwriter’s Guild of America