A Child's View Of The Eisenhower Years

Album: Sparks of Ancient Light (2008)
Play Video


  • This is both an historical folk rock song and an autobiographical one in the same vein as "Manuscript," the first song of the genre which Stewart wrote nearly 40 years earlier, but unlike "Manuscript" and as might be deduced from the title, this is a witty, lighthearted number.

    Anyone who knows anything about the man will realize at once who is the child in question. Alastair Ian Stewart was born in Glasgow in 1945, and spent much of his youth at boarding school in the south of England, and later playing electric guitar on the south west coast with the likes of future BBC DJ Tony Blackburn.

    Dwight D. Eisenhower - Ike - was a distinguished US Army general who served as President of the United States from 1953 to 1961, the years in question. This is how a schoolboy growing up in England might have viewed the Promised Land, and certainly the way Al did. And not a few adults as well. It includes everything from baseball, Elvis Presley, the 1957 launch of Sputnik I which shocked the US and launched the space race, to the fascination of American cars, always so much bigger than British ones, and the paranoia of the Cold War.

    Al Stewart may not have experienced the United States during the Eisenhower years, but he visited New York in the Spring of 1968, as related in the song "In Brooklyn," and a few years later, immigrated to California, married late in life, and raised two young daughters as American as Mom's apple pie.

    Though "...Eisenhower Years" was written by a (relatively!) old man, it is recorded with all the enthusiasm of a footlose teenage rock fan, and Al has often performed it with his acolyte, and fellow (native born) American Dave Nachmanoff. (Thanks, Alexander Baron - London, England) >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles

Timothy B. Schmit of the EaglesSongwriter Interviews

Did this Eagle come up with the term "Parrothead"? And what is it like playing "Hotel California" for the gazillionth time?

Elton John

Elton JohnFact or Fiction

Does he have beef with Gaga? Is he Sean Lennon's godfather? See if you can tell fact from fiction in the Elton John edition.

Paul Williams

Paul WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

He's a singer and an actor, but as a songwriter Paul helped make Kermit a cultured frog, turned a bank commercial into a huge hit and made love both "exciting and new" and "soft as an easy chair."

Adam Duritz of Counting Crows

Adam Duritz of Counting CrowsSongwriter Interviews

"Mr. Jones" took on new meaning when the song about a misguided view of fame made Adam famous.

John Doe of X

John Doe of XSongwriter Interviews

With his X-wife Exene, John fronts the band X and writes their songs.


AC/DCFact or Fiction

Does Angus really drink himself silly? Did their name come from a sewing machine? See if you can spot the real stories about AC/DC.