White Haired Woman

(1995)

"White Haired Woman" is a song by Ricky Ian Gordon setting his own text. The song is part of Ricky Ian Gordon's songbook A Horse With Wings.

"One day, during rehearsals for Sweet Song, Fabrizio Milano (the director) and Angelina Reaux were discussing something as I stared off into space. I looked back at my music in front of me and thought I saw the words 'White Haired Woman.' By the time they were done talking I had the lyric and excitedly read it aloud. It ended up being about the sweet Irish woman with a brogue who seemed to stay primarily on the corner where I live and beg for change. But, somehow, in all the whiteness, including the cliffs of Dover, it is also about redemption."

--Ricky Ian Gordon

White Haired Woman
by Ricky Ian Gordon


White haired woman
Talking slow,
Doesn’t have a place to go.
People passing turn away,
Wincing when they hear her say,
“Mercy spare some change today.”
But, she asks them anyway.
White haired woman
Walking slow,
Has no home where she can go;
Keeping warm on sidewalk grates,
Eating scraps from cleaned off plates.
No one has the time to stop
But the lonely traffic cop.
Isn’t sorry. Doesn’t pray.
White haired woman doesn’t say
What she wanted yesterday.
White haired woman
Gasped for air,
Then that day they saw her there,
Scrumpled up old teddy bear.
Turned her on her side and found,
God, he took her safe and sound.
Praise Him! One day he’ll take me
From this pain and misery.
One last nickel, nothing more.
One last shut, or slamming door.
Better off now than before.
White haired woman, drifting slow,
Like a cloud off Mexico.
Angels can forgive all things.
Now she floats with golden wings.
Pro’bly happy. Pro’bly sings.


Audio PLaylist