Some songs stick in your mind without you being conscious of allowing them to be stored there. For me, one of those songs is "The Last Thing on My Mind" by Tom Paxton. He was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1937 and was 74 on Sunday. A genuine troubadour, Paxton has sung of industrial strikes, social injustices and threats to the environment as well as of fatherhood, family life and romantic love. Here is at the age of twenty nine:-
And here he is with the legendary Irish folk artiste, Liam Clancy who died in December 2009. I'm not sure when this concert happened but I'd judge some time in the mid-nineteen nineties, thirty years after the first clip:-
In the very early sixties when Bob Dylan made his legendary journey from Minnesota to the coffee houses of Greenwich Village, Tom Paxton was already performing there. Some say that he was the real father of that "new folk music" and at first the young Dylan was very much in his shadow - perhaps taking note, becoming increasingly aware of the endless possibilities of self-penned folk song.
Are you going away with no word of farewell?
Will there be not a trace left behind?
Well, I could have loved you better
Didn't mean to be unkind, you know
That was the last thing on my mind