My Grandfather’s Clock

Grandfather's Clock

Over the past several weeks, the passage of time has been in my thoughts. The speed with which time passes reminds me of those movie scenes where a clock with swirling hands is shown to symbolize either moving forward or backward in the space of time.

One of my latest works of art (shown above) was inspired by my recent thoughts and by the creative works of Trisha, who makes fascinating collages. I titled my piece “Time Waits For No One” because time doesn’t wait. Even when you’re having so much fun you wish it would or when life is not so enjoyable and it seems to drag-time is still marching ahead.

For this week’s Pickin’ & Grinnin’ In The Kitchen Spot, I have a song about a Grandfather’s Clock to share with you.

The song tells the story of a man who received a clock on the day he was born. The clock stayed with him throughout his life-seeming to mark the important events. In return for faithful service, the clock only asked to be wound once a week. After 90 years of keeping perfect time, the clock stopped short on the day the man died-never to go again.

The song was written in 1876 by Henry Clay Work. He wrote the song about a clock at a hotel in England. The hotel was said to be owned by 2 brothers by the name of Jenkins. The clock kept perfect time-until one of the brothers died. Local clockmakers tried to fix the clock-but all attempts failed. When the second brother died-witnesses claimed the clock stopped working completely.

Hope you enjoyed the song. I especially like the “chiming” of the guitar.

I’ve never lived in a house with a Grandfather Clock. The Deer Hunter’s Aunt Wanda has one-when I visit her at Christmas-I find myself listening to the ticks and the chimes. Aunt Wanda says she couldn’t imagine not hearing the clock-it just wouldn’t be right. Funny how we become accustomed to sounds never really noticing them until they’re gone.


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    September 10, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    What a great post. I love the song. My in-laws have a small grandfather clock and I love to hear the chimes. Love the collage.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 10, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Tipper, I love the collage and I love the thoughtfulness that went into it. I occasionally ponder on the concept of “time” also. It is a man made way of dividing our days. My grandmother, and all the old folks, lived more by the sun than the clock. She got up at day light and went to bed when it was dark. When I stayed with her as a small child I was not accustomed to going to bed so early. I can remember laying in bed in the next room and listening to her Big Ben clock tick, tock, tick, tock. It seemed so very loud when the house was so quiet!
    Yes, time waits for no one. The song is great with the post. Pap, Paul and the boys do such a nice job.

  • Reply
    trisha too
    September 8, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    tipper! your angel is wonderful! you added a whole other dimension with the collage.

  • Reply
    September 8, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Hey Tipper,
    I love your folk art work. You did such a good job on it. I also love Grandfather Clocks. I have one now but it is not an old one like I would really like to have some day. You are so right about time clicking away faster and faster. We need to slow it down a hair or too.
    I haven’t heard the Grandfather’s Clock song in so long.
    You have a great day!

  • Reply
    September 7, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    There is such a connection to the past with old clocks. To think that my grandfather’s father marked his day to the same clock–

  • Reply
    September 7, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Each time that we sing one of these old songs that I’ve heard all my life, it’s always neat when you dig up the author and the story behind the song. It’s amazing how a song can go on and on and on long after the writer is gone.

  • Reply
    September 6, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    My Mom has a lovely grandfather clock that belonged to her father that sat in the corner of our living room. It struck once on the half hour and once for each hour passed on the hour. It also “tick-tocked” twice as each minute passed. I suppose I paid no attention to the ticking as it was a part of everyday life … until the first time I returned home to sleep once I had grown and moved out. I went to bed and heard only the “tick-tock” amidst the silence of the night, and with every tick my heartbeat raced to keep up … until I could take it no more and crept across the living room, opened the glass door, and stilled the pendelum stopping the clock. From that day forward, everytime I came home for a visit, my mom would restart the clock each morning by swinging the pendelum, turning the hands to the correct time, and noting what time I had gone to bed the night before! 🙂 The clock still sits in the corner of my parents’ living room “tick-tocking” away.

  • Reply
    Helen G.
    September 6, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Mom and dad had a mantle clock that chimed every quarter hour and then bonged on the hour whatever hour it was… Dad usually was the one that wound the clock every Sunday evening. As we kids got older he’d relegate one of us to wind it if he wasn’t feeling up to par. That chiming clock was the comfort of home to me after I grew up and moved away. I’d come home for a visit and hear that clock and all the stress in my world would just melt away.
    My folks are long gone now but the clock is still in the family, although it’s not working now. I think the next time I go visit my brother I’ll bring it back with me and get it fixed, set it on a shelf in my home and wind it every Sunday night.
    Thanks for the memories.
    Helen G.

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    September 6, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Just noted “I cannot run like I did just then”; a line in
    “Younger Days.” Seems appropriate since we’re on the subject. Loved the story behind the grandfather clock at the hotel in London; the use of a grandfather clock, a recurring methapher for time going by. This is such a nolstagic piece! Lovely! And your collage with your angel is a beautiful representation. We never had a grandfather clock, but the cuckoo clock, and I loved waiting, watching, and listening to the bird when I was young. I knew I was home, when I heard it!
    So beautiful, Tipper! Thank you!

  • Reply
    September 6, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    This brings back wonderful memories. My Gram had a grandmother clock, and the ticks and chimes of the thing made me aware of time itself and the very beauty of each moment–because I loved being with my grandparents. The timepiece had a timeless beauty.
    I enjoyed the song as much as I enjoyed your collages. Wonderful stuff here, as ever.

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    September 6, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Hi Tipper, I loved this song and it brought back memories of my grandma’s grandfather clock. I’d love to have one of my own someday. Time…what a concept that’s so difficult to wrap my brain around! I love your collage!!

  • Reply
    September 6, 2008 at 10:08 am

    What a great collage Tipper and I loved the song – especially the way your son? can pick and still check out what’s happening on the television. 🙂 You gotta’ love the way kids can multitask. Unfortunately, with age I’m losing that ability! blessings, marlene

  • Reply
    Amy @ parkcitygirl
    September 6, 2008 at 3:04 am

    Love your art piece! Another great post – I always love coming here 🙂

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    September 6, 2008 at 2:04 am

    Tipper what a lovely piece you created and I like how the hand of the clock is pointing right at your name. Wish I had a creative muse like yours. 🙂
    Thank the guys for the way they presented the song. It flowed right along and my toes were just a tappin’, and my head was bobbing. And please tell Paul I am so impressed with the “spider fretting” as I call it. I am fascinated how he keeps it all together when he does that. It’s kind of like a dance on strings. xxoo

  • Reply
    Linda H
    September 5, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Nice collage…a good reminder to make each minute count. The song brings back special memories of my Uncle Ben who sang that song in his deep, rich voice. That was in another time…the early 50’s.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    I love the collage~and the idea behind it. Time does seem to fly by and sometimes I’d love to be able to reach out, grab it, and make it stop for a while!
    I’ve been wanting to do a collage on a half wall I have, but am just not ‘brave’ enough to tackle it, yet!
    I’ve heard that song my whole life and never knew the story behind it! How neat that it is a true story, of sorts! Thanks for sharing it and the recording with us.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Your art piece is lovely. It has a cozy feeling about it and makes me think of home.
    My Dad used to sing the song about the clock when we were kids. It’s one of my favorites, but rarely heard anymore.
    I do hope you picked up the Autumn Friends Award when you visited my Writing Nook. I consider you one of my blogging friends and are glad we met.

  • Reply
    The Texican
    September 5, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Mighty purty pickin’ Leona. I’ve never heard that done in bluegrass harmony, but it sounds good. Pappy

  • Reply
    September 5, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    My uncle stood in front of the grandfather clock that stood in the hallway when he was a little boy and ended up in a hypnotic state. No kidding. He was fine but he has no memory of it.
    My family has been visiting and I am terribly behind on my blog visiting. I’ve missed ya!

  • Reply
    noble pig
    September 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    You are so creative Tipper. What a beautiful collage.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    September 5, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Tipper: Very nice post and song for today. My mother always enjoyed the grandfather clocks and she always had several chiming clocks in the house. We kids bought her an Amish built Grandfather clock one Cristmas.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Lovely piece of art Tipper!
    I think we all realize the passage of time goes quickly but it isn’t until we stop and think about it that it hits us that it wasn’t just yesterday but two, maybe three years ago.
    Lovely post.

  • Reply
    September 5, 2008 at 11:58 am

    What an interesting post!
    As usual, I loved the guys pickin’ and grinnin’!
    My M-I-L had a clock that featured bird songs on the hour. When it quit working she missed it so much she had to buy another.

  • Leave a Reply