Earth Doctor / Climate Troubadour

The Better I Used to Be

Your wallet and watch, your belt and your shoes        G Em Am D7
The pen in your pocket and your cellphone too           G Em A7 D
They Xray it all. It’s a pain,                                               Em G7 C C#dim
But if you want to get on that plane …                             D7

You know, traveling used to be fun,                               G Em Am D7
Elections where people agreed who won,                     G Em A7 D7
When all of the weather seemed so benign,                 Em G7 C C#dim
And you didn’t spend your life on line?                          D7

The older I get, the better I used to be           G Em Am D7 G– G13

I remember when the sky was blue,                            Dm7  G G+5
And the trees, they were green.                                    Cmaj7/6 (2)    E7
You could plant a garden, grow some food,              A7—
Prettiest world that I’ve ever seen.                               D7

Before the neighborhood sank out of view,                 G Em Am D7
Miami, and New York, and Chesapeake too.             G Em A7 D7
Now we drive into town,                                                Em G7 C C#dim
To take a look at what’s going down.                             D7

The older I get, the better I used to be.              G Em Am D7 G– G13

Would you believe I once had hair down to here          Dm7  G G+5
Summertime was nothing to fear                                     Cmaj7/6   E7
We knew what was fake,  what was true                         A7—
We trusted our doctors, and our neighbors, too            D7 

And although my knees may complain,                      G Em Am D7
And I can tell you when it’s gonna rain                       G Em A7 D7
We keep tryin’, day and night                                        Em G7 C C#dim
It’s feels a little better just to do what’s right.              D7

                INSTRUMENTAL                                   G Em Am D7 G– G13
We may be little fish in a great big pond                       Dm7  G G+5
But it’s just a little planet that we’re traveling on         Cmaj7/6   E7
There ain’t nothin’ set in stone,                                              A7—
You never know when common sense might catch on.      D7

The older I get, the better I used to be                     G Em Am D (2)
The older I get, the better I used to be                     G Em Am D7 G– E7
The better,  better I used to be.                                  A7–  D7– G

©Doug Hendren 2022

The chorus to this song came from an elderly Hispanic man my wife Nancy was helping as he tried to get his shoes and things back on after going through the TSA line at an airport. It’s one of those songs that sort of wrote itself.

Recent years have been a challenge for us all, with an endless series of escalating fires and floods, mounting costs, obstructive politicians, and a shrinking window of opportunity, compounded by threats against our democratic institutions, compounded by uncontrolled platforms for disinformation.

As Americans, we have a deep love for freedom. But in times of national and global emergency, we will be wise to temper our personal freedoms in the interest of collective survival, rather than assert our freedoms at the expense of others.

As the great EO Wilson observed, “Our problem is that we have Paleolithic brains, medieval institutions, and godlike technology.” How coming decades play out is anybody’s guess. But I cling to hope – You never know when common sense might catch on!

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