Shiny Bright Silver Dollar

my grandfather’s hands were so high strung
just like that old German wall clock I saw when I was young
and I remember looking up from the place where I would stand
at the shiny bright silver dollar in my grandfather’s hand

he was the first generation in the City By the Bay
raised up on the hard work and judgement day
and about the old country little much was said
you gotta leave it all behind sometimes if you want to get ahead

then came the Great War, America was fighting over seas
and his own son, my father, in the skies over Germany
back home you had to hide your ancestral seeds
you had to pledge allegiance to the shiny bright creed
you had to prove yourself over and over again

his first wife went crazy from the visions that she saw
his second wife was stronger, we called her Grandma
and maybe times were better then, and maybe they were best
he always drove a brand new car to prove of his success

and he held on to the dream when even it was jaded
and he wrapped himself around it till all his feeling’s faded
he never gave it up, even when it disappeared in smoke
and in a last brittle moment it broke

we never talked about the old folks much when I was young
it was pretty much a mystery for all that we’d become
but I’ll always remember though I may not fully understand
the shiny bright silver dollar in my grandfather’s hand