During the first coronavirus lockdown, Cornwall was inundated with tourists. It seemed there was quite literally nowhere else to go. Despite living within 300 yards of Penzance promenade, the place became a no-go area for us as we were still wary of being in crowds and possibly catching Covid 19. To escape from the crowds, we started going up to the Cornish hinterland and it was lovely. Blessed with wonderful weather (and we could still sea the sea from the hills, we went looking for all the local standing stones and it was wonderful.

Bruce Springsteen’s song, Born to Run has always been my wife Wendy’s song (it’s the only one she likes with her name in it…I even have it as her ringtone when she calls), so it felt right to rewrite the lyrics of this song to mark this strange period of our life. As grandparents, I thought “Gramps like us…” was ));:’mfdnmore appropriate (sorry Bruce!)

photo: newyorkupstate.com

FORCED TO RUN

In the day we’d head off out, round the streets

Or a stroll down the Larrigan stream

At night we’d binge through boxsets of Poldark

On DVD machines

Off to Camborne (Tesco) on the lone main road

Passing incoming traffic, each one with a heavy load

Oh, baby this town fills up front to back,

It’s a stop gap, on a staycation app

We better head out or we’re done,

‘cause Gramps like us, baby we were forced to run

Yes, girl, we were

Wendy let me in! (Forgot my key again!)

I want to guard your dreams and visions

Just stick those feet in your walking boots

And I’ll fire up the Peugeot’s engine

Together we will head for the hills

We’ll climb ‘til we drop, (maybe we’ll catch the bus back?)

Oh, will you walk with me out on the moors

‘Cause baby I’m just scared of coronavirus

I don’t wanna know how it feels

I want to walk out in the wild, babe

I want to know that peace is real

Oh, can you show me?

(sax break)

Beyond the station, family-filled drones

Crawl down the promenade

Folk fill the beach with all that glitters             

While their barbecues look so charred

The harbour car park is full until dark

Kids are huddled on a bench getting pissed

I wanna fly with you Wendy to some standing stones

For an everlasting kiss. (huh!)

1-2-3-4 The highways jammed with broke-down tourists

So, no chance for St Ives

Everybody’s out on the prom tonight

So, we best stay in and hide

Together Wendy we can leave all the madness

I’ll love you ‘til all the belted cows come home

Oh, someday girl, I don’t know when

We’re gonna get to that place

Where we really wanna go – walk the coast path again

But ‘til then, Gramps like us

Baby, we were forced to run

Oh, baby, Gramps like us

Baby, we were forced to run

Come on Wendy, Gramps like us

Baby, we were forced to run.

© gray lightfoot (and bruce springsteen)