Retirement Poems and Songs.
Songs and Poems for Your Retirement Speech, Toast - or Card.Retirement poems and Retirement songs have many uses.
Or you could sing a song! I brought tears to the eyes of a colleague when I sang "The Way We Were" at her retirement party. (The sentiments I hope, not my singing!)
The following are my top ten favourite retirement poems and songs with my reflections on the challenges and opportunities of the life stage "fifties to retirement" and beyond.
For Retirement: If you read only one of my chosen poems let it be this one! The poet captures so many of the themes and stories I have written about in this web site. John ODonoghue, poet and philosopher, died suddenly at age 53 in January 2008.
Now is the time to enjoy your hearts desire,
Begin: In retirement one may experience the first signs of aging, and occasional depressive feeling, become a part of life. All the more reason according to Brendan Kennelly to Begin again!
Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
Thresholds: Retirement is one of lifes big transitions. What resources have you to enable you to cross this threshold? What emotions are evoked at retirement? What rituals must be observed - speeches, letters, parties, gifts?
John ODonoghue reminds us that no threshold need be a threat, but rather an invitation and a promise.
Going Back: One of the challenges of retirement is finding new ways to be young. I like the sentiments in Going Back, by Gerry Goffin and Carole King.
But thinking young
The Picture: Ive got a little black and white photograph, taken by my Dad in Youghal, County Cork, during that wonderful sunny summer of 1956, when I was 9.
It shows myself, my brothers, my cousin and of course, Smuggler my dog, playing in the sand near Claycastle beach. If I close my eyes and think about it, I can still feel the warmth and texture of the sand beneath my feet.
It really doesnt matter that you cannot see the photograph, because like Loudon Wainright, you have your own Picture.
But dad is dead and we grow old;
In retirement its important to stay in touch with family and friends because of loss of interest in making new contacts and friendships.
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Rock & Roll Kids: I remember an August night in 1965, sitting on the wall outside Pipers Merries in Crosshaven, listening to the music of the Dixies from the Majorca ballroom. Telling Joanne about my great plans the book, the travel, the big job, the money. And she was so gone in the head with love that night, she believed me!
And when I walked her home and held her hand and kissed her lips...the vinegar from the chips tasted sweeter than wine.
Teenagers in love, Rock &Roll kids, Life was so, so beautiful then. (Read- Life Is Beautiful)
The lyrics of Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan Rocknroll Kids; capture that memory perfectly for me.
"Jerry Lee was big and Elvis too
Forever Young: This is a wish from an older person to a younger person, but retirees might also strive to stay Forever Young.
"When the winds of changes shift
Cats in the Cradle: One of the challenges of the life stage fifties to retirement, is to establish adult relationships with ones children. This is when you hope to reap the rewards of having managed the potential conflict between family and career.
I've long since retired and my son's moved away.
When You Are Old: The sixties and later is a period of relative stability but fraught with concerns about running out of time. (Read - The Bucket List)
In this poem William Butler Yeats reflects on the occasional weariness of nodding by the fire, the journey from youth to age, and regret about a lost opportunity for love.
"WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep
The Station: R J Hastings uses the metaphor of life as a journey, on which our minds are focused on the final destination.
For some the long-awaited destination is retirement.
When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after! We are reminded that Life must be lived as we go along.
So - what are your favourite Retirement Poems and Songs?
Also See:Retirement Gift Ideas
Retirement Party Ideas
Stay in touch and subscribe to my monthly email newsletter, "Retirement Stories". It is full of new stories and tips on planning for and enjoying an active retirement.
New! CommentsHave your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.