Song: May of 1961.

by Robert Vanderwaall of Massachusetts, USA

1961 Natick, Massachusetts, USA –  The Vanderwaall Family, father Charles, mother Trudy, Jerry, Grace, Eddy, Robert and baby Hans

“May of 1961”


It was May of 1961
We arrived by boat from Amsterdam.
A voyage that my mind refuse to leave behind.
The voyage that changed the course of all our lives.

The Statue of Liberty is coming near.
From the porthole below deck I hear the cheers.
My family has arrived, to start a brand new life,
In a land that God has blessed from sea to sea.

Oh, won’t you hear the song I sing, of a time in early Spring
When our family sailed across the ocean wide.
To a land of the free, a new land for you and me.
America, my home today is where I’ll always be.

On a train from New York we traveled on.
To a town named Natick we called home.
Lynwood Rd. is where we stayed, the fields is where we played.
The Gurneys welcomed us with open arms.

Life was hard for my parents I could sense.
Mom made baseballs by hand for 30 cents.
I’ve seen her fingers bleed but we never had a need
Pop worked so hard but never did complain.

Oh, won’t you hear the song I sing, of a time in early Spring
When our family sailed across the ocean wide.
To a land of the free, a new land for you and me.
America, my home today is where I’ll always be.

Us kids adjusted quickly in this new land
We drove Chevy’s, got good jobs, worked with our hands.
Camping trips to Rangely, Maine, In this land we will remain.
To raise our children and watch our grand kids grow.

Brother Jerry fought a war in Vietnam,
Sister Grace looked after us all the time.
Brother Eddy, Hans and I had no worries at the time.

But Mom and Pop still struggled to make ends meet

Oh, won’t you hear the song I sing, of a time in early spring When our family sailed across the ocean wide. To a land of the free, a new land for you and me.  America, my home today is where I’ll always be.

Now they are gone, but forever in my mind.
And I talk to my siblings all the time.
But time is passing by and one day we’ll say good bye,
To each other and join our parents up above.

Oh, won’t you hear the song I sing, of a time in early Spring
When our family sailed across the ocean wide.
To a land of the free, a new land for you and me.
America, my home today is where I’ll always be.


Editor’s Note:  Robert wrote this song in honor of his parents and siblings.  Their first home was on
2 Lynnwood Rd., Natick, Mass.  Their neighbors were the Gurneys.

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2 Comments on “Song: May of 1961.

  1. I liked the words Bob. Things worked out pretty well I would say. Your parents had a lot of courage to make that move.

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