The best song I know about age and ageing is ‘Birches’, by the American folk singer Bill Morrisey, which popped up on my iShuffle the other day.

It is a perfectly encapsulated moment; a three minute short story that Raymond Carver (or his editor) would be proud of, in which a disagreement between an elderly couple over whether to burn oak or birch in the stove becomes an exact metaphor.

There’s a performance by Morrissey on youtube, of course, at the top of this post, although it’s not as good as the version he recorded.  The words are here. There’s more recent work as you go into his current website.


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