Old Folks

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Fun, high-energy, with a valuable message: every human life is a worthwhile one.


“Old Folks” imagines a world where growing older doesn’t mean growing irrelevant. It’s fun and upbeat, is suitable for children and adults, and will have listeners of all ages tapping along and thinking about its message.

The recording comes from “Go Out in Joy,” Beged Kefet’s 2nd album (1991). Beged Kefet (1982-2009) was comprised of: Rabbi Les Bronstein, Rabbi Billy Dreskin, Cantor Ellen Dreskin, Cantor Riki Lippitz, Cantor Benjie Ellen Schiller, Beth Sher and Cantor Leon Sher. As you will hear, we worked hard to produce tight harmonies. And this was before you could tune things up afterward. Audio verité, you might say!

Listen to the studio recording here:

“Old Folks” is available for voices and piano, or full instrumental ensemble (keyboard, 3 vocal parts, oboe, clarinet and bass clarinet).

All proceeds go to The Jonah Maccabee Foundation (jonahmac.org) to support needed arts, social activism and Jewish life for young people.

Read more about “Old Folks” at https://www.billydreskin.net/old-folks.

Grown-ups like to sit down to supper
and open up a bottle of their best Italian wine.
And if the label on the bottle
says the wine is really old then grown-ups say, “It’s divine.”
Lots of stuff in the world seems to get better with age,
while other things get yanked right off life’s stage.

Friends are something special,
They have a way of making each day a little brighter all around.
But if you’ve got something called “an old friend”
others will say, “That’s a treasure you have found!”
Lots of stuff in the world increases value with time,
while other things aren’t worth a single dime!

Take a look and see
all the things we hold on to just ‘cuz we want to.
Age may be the key
but that key doesn’t fit too many doors.
How do you suppose
we decide what to keep and what’s garbage for the heap?
Is it common sense, or is it evidence
of our indifference?

We love going shopping for sweaters
and shirts and shoes and anything else we can wear,
but everyone knows old clothes fit best
being soft and familiar gives comfort to spare.
Lots of things in the world improve with additional years,
while other stuff just somehow disappears!

Most of us appreciate things well-seasoned,
and when we cast aside it’s usually well-reasoned.
But we wonder why it is so many old folks
are looked upon as hangers-on,
like busted wheels without spokes
or empty shells without yolks.

Take a look and see…

Being older doesn’t necessarily
mean it’s time to pack up and fade away.
We’re here to state, au contraire-ily,
a wealth of years in our book is more than okay.
Everything in the world grows old,
every what, which and who.
So if wine becomes first rate,
if friends appreciate,
and if clothing fits just great,
then we can postulate it’s got to be true
that old folks just keep getting better too!

studio recording released Dec 1991
music and words by Billy Dreskin (BMI)
vocal and instrumental arrangements by Billy Dreskin
performed by Beged Kefet
sound engineering by Skipp Tullen z”l (Tullen Sound Recording, Morristown, NJ)

Additional information

Download Format

MP3 Audio, Lead Sheeet (pdf), Piano-Vocal Score (pdf), Full Arrangement and Parts (pdf)


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