Thursday, January 26, 2012

Song to My Father


My father's birthday is coming up in March. He would have been 94 years old. I wrote a song (lyrics below) and uploaded it on YouTube. Geoff Martyn of Scotland wrote the music and sings the vocal.

Corporal Al Friedman, 11th Airborne Division
Happy Birthday, Dad!

My father was a veteran, a World War paratrooper
In the Pacific Theater, he fought like Gary Cooper.

When he returned he married, my mother looked like Grable.
They settled in the suburbs and lived the post-war fable.

First Tom was born in fifty, then me, the baby, Sally.
Our house was always crowded with activists and rallies

My Dad, he always taught us, to care for people weaker.
The disenfranchised, homeless, would always need a speaker.

He marched for rights of others, protested war and violence.
He told us he respected opposition more than silence.

My father worked a day job; he also worked a night shift,
Yet he was always present, his presence was his best gift.

He sent me off to college in search of something finer,
I learned to be a writer; I am a data miner.

I married just like Dad did, he cradled my two daughters.
We taught them social justice, baptized them in those waters.

No man can live forever; smoke takes its final fee;
His ghost is stale tobacco curling up inside of me.

For decades Dad’s been gone now, and life has lost its daring.
It seems when he departed the world became less caring.

We carry on his causes, the poor still need defending.
Their ranks are growing daily. No use in us pretending.

My father was a veteran, a World War paratrooper
From New Guinea to New Jersey, he fought like Gary Cooper.
Alfred William Friedman, March 30, 1918-May, 29, 1995


  1. Absolutely beautiful! I watched the video before leaving for work this morning. I actually watched it twice...... and thought about it all day. What a tribute! Lovely. Thank you for sharing.......

    1. Thank you. It came from the heart. I'm glad you liked it!

    2. PS: If you like the video, please share it with others. Thank you!

  2. I just watched the video, then found your blog by googling the lyrics. It is a beautiful tribute to your father, and perfect for this Memorial Day weekend. Made me think of my own Dad, another NJ-based World War II veteran who drove his kids to peace fairs and protest rallies and taught them to do the right thing.

    1. Thank you for your kind comments. We were both truly blessed.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. That was really a sweet tribute to your father. I think your song is a great way to honor all the veterans and their efforts to defend the nation. Isn’t it great to have a hero for a father; one that taught you values and respect as you grew up? Anyway, thanks for sharing!

    Victoria Pierce @ Fight for Vets