The Younger Son


Things had been building, and one day, they blew.
I said to Father, “I want what I’m due.”
So it sounds better, I tack on a thought:
“Men make decisions. Isn’t that what you want?”
So he breaks up his holdings, and I make mine cash—
then take it to go start my own life at last.

Now__ coins in your bag make a music that’s strong—
The country was diff’rent, but new friends were drawn.
Laughing, attractive folk gathered all right.
Our feasts and wine ran long through the nights.
We toasted each other, the inn, and that land…
far and free__ from my old man.

He’s funny, my father. …
My friends would agree he’s so far off.
I shrink as I think how he comes across.

Then, things got tighter. My friendships felt dead
when I had to ask for a flop or some bread.
“Employment with livestock” I heard of one day,
and I quickly took it, though outside our ways.
But, yes, it did offer me, fin’ly one laugh:
Feeding those pigs, I said, “Don’t squeal to Dad.”

He’s funny, my father. …
Most folk would declare him so far off.
I wondered how, there, he’d have come across….

Lean times got leaner as ev’ry month passed.
My life and money bag both remained flat.
Last week, I traded that bag for some food.
My company, pigs now, I call to them, “Soo….
Hey, piggies! Come get it! This slop looks fine,”
and maybe, I mean it. No humor. No line.

Then I say how servants, at Father’s, had food;
how, even a servant was always seen to.
If I went to Father, confessed what I’d done,
asked in as a hired man, no way a son….

So, I’ve stumbled homeward, and this far I’ve come.

There! It’s our homestead, but will my feet work?
Now Father comes running! It’s wrong! It’s reversed!
He holds me tightly, and weak is my speech.
But Father shouts, “Bring the best robe! Start a feast!”

(He’s funny my father) (no words this time)
It’s true, he’s astoundingly so far off.
It floors me still now, how he comes across.


This song is a dramatization of part of Jesus' well-known "Parable of the Prodigal Son," found in Luke 15:11-32.

In the Revised Common Lectionary, the reading comes up in spring of Year C.

Full Song:
(with thanks to Peter Leschke and Mike Cove)

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Musical Details:

This is set for a solo baritone-like voice, plus guitar, piano, bass, and percussion.

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