Sending The Old Man Home

by Jimmy Buffett

from the album Volcano


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 heroes 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

Jimmy’s Note:

This song literally came out of the blue. I was in traction on the top floor of Cedars Sinai hospital with my leg broken for the third time, wondering what else could go wrong. I mean, I had done a few bad things, but nothing to deserve three broken legs. That’s when the earthquake shook the hospital as if it were a cardboard box. I ordered more painkillers and drifted off. There was a movie on TV called The Gallant Hours starring James Cagney as Admiral “Bull” Halsey, and I flashed between the movie and images of my grandfather and the Officers Club at Pearl Harbor. The collage of images stayed with me the next day when I checked out of the hospital and flew home to Alabama where the ground was flat and didn’t move. There I wrote this song. It is still one of my favorites.