Goodbye to My Handhold
There’s snow on the mountains, the pitons are rusting
The ropes are all coiled up and hang on the wall
We’re all headed back to the grime of the city
To earn us some money, and go bum again.
     Goodbye to my handhold, goodbye to my foothold
     Adios to the cliff face, out comes the piton
     You won’t have a name when you hit the big glacier
     Never be rescued ‘cause you didn’t sign out.

My father’s own father climbed mountains with Whymper
Daddy still hangs on the Eiger North Wall
My brothers and sisters they climb in your mountains
Run up your cliffs ‘til they peel off and fall.
Some of us were dirty and most were unshaven
Our two weeks were up and we had to move on
The rangers are waiting to catch us for speeding
They’ll exhibit our bodies in the Ranger Museum
Is this the best way we can climb in the Tetons
Is this the best way we can make our ascents
To fall like dry leaves and rot on the glacier
And never have no name with no Climber’s Card
(Written 1960 or so, with Larry Arno, at Climber’s camp)

Tune: “Deportees”
Note: original was “Jules T. is” instead of “The rangers are”.
© 2022 Adrienne B. Ward. All Rights Reserved