Things come and they go, but of Momma 'n' Daddy songs there is no end. A man who has contributed richly to the tradition is Ricky Skaggs and today I bring you another of his: 'Can't Control The Wind'. As you will see, it records not only the singer's love for his old man but also a practical lesson learned from him for when life gets rough.
When I was a boy, Daddy was my guiding light
We'd take walks and talk about fishing, girls and life
He'd help me with my homework, cheer me up when I was down
Best friend that I ever had and I miss havin' him around
And he'd say 'Do the very best you can with all that you've been blessed
And if the load's too great for you, the Lord will do the rest
Keep one thing in mind if all else should fail
You can't control the wind but you can adjust the sail'
Daddy lost his job when the factory closed
Times were hard, bills to pay, he was troubled and it showed
But he said 'Son, don't worry, it's all to no avail
We can't control the wind but we can adjust the sail'
I think of his advice when life turns its back on me
There is no mountain I can't climb if I start down on my knees
I'll do the very best I can with all that I've been blessed
And if the load's too great for me the Lord will do the rest
I'll keep one thing in mind if all else should fail
I can't control the wind but I can adjust the sail
No, I can't control the wind but I can adjust the sail
I can't put my hand on my heart and commend to you the wisdom of this advice without qualification. True, one should do one's best in the face of difficulty or adversity. But sometimes even that fails. If there's no wind at all or if the wind blows your boat out of the water, adjusting the sail isn't to the point - or so I imagine. Parental advice often is mixed in this way.
[The Momma 'n' Daddy Archive, containing all the details of the series, is here.]