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The sea was shimmer-bright that day --
I stayed to watch the small waves play.
And then the breakers rolling in
Their slow withdrawing surge begin.

Alone upon that lonely beach
I wept for love I could not reach.
For treacherous as the undertow,
You seized my love and let it go.

Now gull-like I would scream my pain
And on you head black curses rain;
In aging, that you would atone
By dying loveless and alone.


Thirsty again I was, I was --
Thirsty again for you;
Tuneless tunes I sang tunelessly --
Must give the devil his due.

And did I love too carelessly
Carelessly with you?
With never, never a care in the world
While you could never be true.
Tunelessly, tunelessly still I sing --
I gave the devil his due;
But he is gone to another love;
How could the devil be true?


Please explain to your children, dear,
Why it is you can't be here.
You're gone again, gone again, gone again, John.
Last week you came home just a little too late
To see your elder son graduate.
And you weren't here to celebrate
When Annie set that important date.
Our baby's no longer a baby; Mike
Long ago learned to ride his bike.
He's tall and slim and the other day
Annie baked a cake for his eighth birthday.
I no longer feel like your wife, my dear --
How could I?  You are so seldom here!
That I can stand, but when you abdicate
From fatherhood, I learn to hate!
Who will remember, when you're old and gray
That you were named Man of the Year today?
Tell me and your children your reasons, John --
Gone again, gone again, Gone Again John!

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