Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

David Piper: Music

Once a Man

(David Piper)
August 21, 2005
Written by David Piper/Arranged by Keisuke Murao
When I was in college (Ithaca College, NY) I was part of an anthropological trip to a Bahamian island called Rum Cay. There was a man who lived there by the name of Cleveland Maycock. He was up in years by then and would sit on a wall in his yard and speak to anyone who happened by. He would insist that you sit facing the same direction as he, so as to be able to expound on similar horizons. Cleveland would say to me, in regards to aging, "Once a man, David.. Once a man, twice a child."
Please take me home,
Far out to sea when I'm gone
My name is Cleveland,
I've never been to that town
I hear they gotta a big lake, ships all around
I used to sail the Carribbean Sea
From Jamaica to the Florida Key, Oh yeh
Once a Man, twice a child
I once ran wild
Now my back's to the sea
That's all behind me

Got a donkey named Jim, fee him coconut bits
Got a wife Miranda, drives me to fits
I used to fish with a spear in hand
Thirty feet deep from the air to the sand, Oh yeh
Once a Man, twice a child
I once ran wild
Now my back's to the sea
That's all behind me
Once a Man, twice a child
I once ran wild

Once I danced in the full moonlight
With a Nassau girl and I held her tight
And we drank our rum til the sun come up at dawn
Oh but that was along time ago
I'm an old man now that;s how it goes
When you live this long, your time just comes around

Come sit with me and we'll share from the same point of view
Grab my machete, I'll cut a jelly coconut for you
Betcha I can that mailboat comin', two hours 'fore you it runnin', oh yeh
Once a Man, twice a child
I once ran wild
Now my back's to the sea
That's all behind me

Please take me home,
Far out to sea when I'm gone