Song 011 – Howard Nelson

By December 22, 2017Songs

Psalm 102 uses the music of this song about Dad. I do not remember who was living with me at 1307 Emerald Green (see Song 074 – 1307 Emerald Green) in March of 1999. After Marti left in 1996, the house became a serial half-way house for several folks struggling: a man going through a divorce; a youth struggling with drug addiction; and others. Even with others in the house, I was still alone (see Song 003), and must have been meditating on life on this Monday. I typically invited other single adults over for Family Home Evening on Mondays. Obviously – sometime on this Monday – I had an hour or two to write the song. Dad had died May 16th, 1996. The day I wrote this song was almost 3 years later. I was missing him and regretting not having been in Cedar to work with and be with him more. So, I decided to write a song about Dad. This song became one of my favorites. I cannot sing this song, at least for the first time after weeks or months or a year of not singing it, without shedding tears. Dad once told me his Aunt Sarah (Sarah Stella Nelson Mendenhall) took him aside when he was a youth and told him the Meadow Lark was singing “Howard Nelson’s a good little boy.” Dad’s song is based around this phrase and the familiar tune of the Cedar Valley meadow larks. The verses describe his life as a child, a youth, a student, a young adult, a college student, and a farmer. I’ve never known anyone who worked harder than my Dad. I’ve never known anyone who I thought was as honest. He struggled with managing money and his businesses of meat packing and farming. He stuck by Mom when she was beyond mean. He was a good man. I hope someone can feel about me with a portion of the positive feelings and love and respect I have for my Dad.

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