The Measure Of A Man (Sláinte) video
#1325: YouTube video by Carl Winter
℗2013 ~ Used with permission ~

My father was a warrior
but not a man of war,
It was his driving sense of duty
that made him solid to the core;
Was it all part of some great design,
part of a master plan,
Or just a part of who he was,
the measure of a man.

How do we measure greatness,
if that's a fitting word,
Is it rated on some numbered scale,
or is that just too absurd;
Is it measured by our stature,
please tell me if you can,
What is the final judgement
on the measure of a man?

Do we count the money
that's left to share around?
Do we add up all the acres that
he claimed as his own ground?
Do we add up all the assets
of the companies he ran?
Is it written in a bank account,
this measure of a man?

Do we stand and look with wonder
at the structures he has made?
Do we count awards that he has won,
or the money he was paid?
Well, I hope I'm not mistaken,
I'll be sorry if I am,
I don't think these things add up at all
to the measure of a man.

For my father gave me simple things,
the proverbs he would tell,
Like if something is worth doing,
then it's worth doing well;
His values to his family,
like many a great man,
Was what he had to leave behind
as the measure of a man.

No, he never left me riches
or any gold in store,
But he left me truth and honesty,
how could you ask for more?
You see, he gave me everything he had,
he made me what I am,
And I'd like to think that I became
the measure of the man.

####.... Denis Sullivan of Sláinte, ©1997. All rights reserved ....####
Denis Sullivan wrote this song about his father, the late Robert (Rob) J Sullivan [1913-1980]. Rob Sullivan was a veteran of World War II (1940-1945) and the father of nine children, Denis being the youngest of six boys and three girls. Denis explains that while growing up, like most of the families around them, they didn't have much in material means, but they never went hungry and they had plenty when it comes to love and support from both his parents. His dad always laughed at fellows that were greedy and groundy as they called men that would fall out with a neighbour over putting a fence post two inches closer to his own land than he thought appropriate. After all, what do you end up with at the end of it all, eh? You're not taking any money or land with you when you leave this world, so why waste time fighting about it during the short time we have here. Denis was only 16 years old when his father passed away suddenly at the relatively young age of 66. While he never got to know his father as an adult, Denis says the many lessons that his father taught him in their short time together somehow seem more poignant as they echo through the many years since his passing. Denis says that while he started writing this song about his father (at the request of his mother Alice, and with the assistance of his wife Pam) he says the song became about many other people he has met in his life. You may even recognize one in it yourself.


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