No Way of Knowing

This is the ninth song I have written for Sean. Please click here to hear it: No Way of Knowing 2


I sit at my desk on a bright April day
With a tune in my head that won’t go away
And work to be done though the weekend is here
But I struggle to get my brain into gear

This life is a mystery and we can’t be sure
Of which parts fade away and which parts endure
But we hear the faint notes of a sweet melody
That chimes with our inklings of eternity

Sometimes the truth must be told
It’s no use to haggle for what isn’t sold
Fast and slow, coming and going
I hope I’m doing the right thing, but have no way of knowing

On the saddest of days we saw what remained
Of all that you ventured and all that you gained
But though you’ve departed, your spirit lives on
You won’t be forgotten long after you’ve gone

We have no excuses and nothing to prove
We have nothing to hide as we keep on the move
We feel that your passing was just meant to be
And we know that the apple falls close to the tree

And so we continue the game
With one fewer player the rules are the same
Work and play, reaping and sowing
I hope the crop will be good, but there’s no way of knowing

Your life was a triumph, your life was a dream
A small glimpse of glory in the grand scheme
You took your best shot, as a man or a child
You were known to be headstrong, you sometimes were wild

But you also were gentle, you also were kind
You’d a sensitive soul, an inquisitive mind
There was no malice in you, no wish to do bad
You made a great son; you’d have made a great dad

We’ve never been bitter, we’ve never been cold
We’re sure that good fortune will favour the bold
Up, down, toing and froing
I hope you like all my songs, but there’s no way of knowing

This world is a veil and the truth that’s concealed
Is waiting within us to be revealed
We look straight at life without blinking an eye
But your songs of redemption can still make us cry

You made the best of your life in so many ways
In your seven thousand and twenty-one days
Perhaps you had sensed there was no time to waste
As you lived with such zest and such passionate haste

And hope is the cure for the heartache we feel
Hope that life is unending and death is unreal
I’m filled up to overflowing
With the pangs that arise when there’s no way of knowing



Filed under Death, Ireland, Music

15 responses to “No Way of Knowing

  1. papaguinea

    Once again Brendano, I am going to savour the words first without listening to the song. I do like many lines, particularly “and we know that the apple falls close to the tree”. I hadn’t heard that expression before – I take great comfort from those words (even hearing the “chimes” of eternity)! Brendano, up, down, toing and froing, God be with you.

  2. Dave

    I like it Brendan, very much! Melancholy but catchy and upbeat in places! These are my favourite lyrics to date of those you’ve posted I think!

    Take care

  3. Shermeen

    The honesty of this song is cathartic in more ways than your other tributes. It is a moving piece and it has promise of hope.

  4. Hello Shermeen … I’m glad you think so. Yes, there is always hope. Thank you.

    Six months tomorrow since Sean died.

  5. Shermeen

    Wish you peace today. You have traversed a very long passage in the past six months, facing crushing reality head-on with complete dignity and equanimity. God bless you and yours.

  6. Shermeen

    Martin Luther King said:
    ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’

    You have passed this very real and very fierce test of time.

  7. Hello Brendan .. ‘ blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted’ … the wonderful thing aboutlove is that it opens the besieged heart to hope ..

    A beautiful song ..
    my love and best wishes to you all,

    Marya xx

  8. I find it heart breaking to look through these pages, I can not imagine how you feel.
    May he rest in peace and may God grant you the strength to cope with the pain.

  9. papaguinea

    I have got up early this morning and chanced upon these song words again (randomly selecting a song to read). You have forged so many good lines in tribute to Sean; these lines are bright and fresh, and full of hope. I pray that beyond hill and vale, there is a bumper harvest.

    • Thank you very much, PapaG. As it happens, I listened to this a couple of days ago for the first time in months. I was pleased with it (I’m pleased with them all … I think they all have something worth while about them).

      A simple tune and a lot of words, somewhat in the style of Bob Dylan around 1964, though of course I wouldn’t compare myself with him. A true expression of my feelings at the time.

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