Somebody Else's Slides

Words & Music: Pat Drummond (4.24)

Dateline: The Aussie Markets, Kempsey, NSW. For the unknown, but lovely, lady in the slides,


On the highway out of Kempsey, to the north side of the town,

there's a trash and treasure market where the tourists slow down.

In a cupboard near the corner, where the cameras reside,

I opened a box filled with somebody else's slides.


I asked the man at the counter whose memories that they were

but he was new to the town and said he wasn't quite sure;

but he thought they belonged to a widow who'd died

and they came with the camera. They were somebody else's slides.


But they showed how she'd grown from a girl in her teens

to the bride by the side of the man of her dreams;

from the middle-aged matron to the widow who'd cried

and nobody wanted them. They were somebody else's slides.


Now I suppose that I was angered by the way she'd been cast aside.

so I paid for the boxes and I took them outside.

But it's often such moments when chaos collides and

I got more than I bargained for with somebody else's slides.


For there was one where she stood with a full summer tan

and "Runaway Grandma" written on the side of her van

It was the the Riverlands Festival in 1993

and I know that's when it was...

because the person beside her was me.


For in a crowd of a thousand she'd been one of those few

who had asked for a photo on the year I'd come through.

With my arm round this stranger and my eyes open wide,

I was staring out into my future from somebody else's slides.


I suppose, as we go from the hope of our teens,

every camera that's captured the call of our dreams

has bathed us in colour and has laid us aside.

You see we're all frozen moments in somebody else's lives.

And all these stories I've told you,

all these songs that I write,

they are just memories stolen from somebody else's slides.


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