The Things We've Handed Down

Album: The Rainy Season (1993)
  • Don't know much about you
    Don't know who you are
    We've been doing fine without you
    But, we could only go so far
    Don't know why you chose us
    Were you watching from above
    Is there someone there that knows us
    Said we'd give you all our love

    Will you laugh just like your mother
    Will you sigh like your old man
    Will some things skip a generation
    Like I've heard they often can
    Are you a poet or a dancer
    A devil or a clown
    Or a strange new combination of
    The things we've handed down

    I wonder who you'll look like
    Will your hair fall down and curl
    Will you be a mama's boy
    Or daddy's little girl
    Will you be a sad reminder
    Of what's been lost along the way
    Maybe you can help me find her
    In the things you do and say

    And these things that we have given you
    They are not so easily found
    But you can thank us later
    For the things we've handed down

    You may not always be so grateful
    For the way that you were made
    Some feature of your father's
    That you'd gladly sell or trade
    And one day you may look at us
    And say that you were cursed
    But over time that line has been
    Extremely well rehearsed
    By our fathers, and their fathers
    In some old and distant town
    From places no one here remembers
    Come the things we've handed down Writer/s: MARC COHN
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 5

  • Bob from York, Pa UsaThis is a haunting song. The part where he sings about the sad reminder of things we've lost along the way and "maybe you can help me find her in the things you do or say" paints a picture of a sad father to be awake alone at night, hoping that the birth of his child might heal a troubled marriage or repair a broken one. I sense his wife is gone, either literally or in spirit.

    His self-deprecating words speak to me of a husband who has poor self esteem and is accustomed to being the inferior partner in the marriage.

    This can be a hard song to listen to.
  • Volker from HamburgBesides the one by Art Garfunkel, other cover versions of "The Things We've Handed Down" by Anthony Miltich, Briana Corrigan, Carol Lang, Fester Spunk, James Steensma, Jeremy Sassoon, John Gorka, Susan Anton and Tommy Fleming can be found on Spotify – one more romantic and tender than the other.
  • Brian from Chicago, IlI love this song! It captured and added to my experience of expecting a new baby. It got me more in touch with the incredible thing it is to have your genes past on and from where these genes came from. I am even more excited for my new baby!
  • Brian from Chicago, Il"On August 7, 2005 Marc Cohn was shot in the head during a random attempted carjacking after a concert in Denver."

    I found the above tid bit on his website

    There is much more about him and his influences in his bio. I didn't want to post it for fear of some kind of plagiarism allegation.
  • Stu from Suffern, NyWhile the songwriter deserves much credit, a cover version by Art Garfunkel has Mark's version beat for smoothness and beauty.
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