American Wake
Larry Kirwan
Open up the door, she's standin' there
With the smile in her eyes but the gray in her hair
Betrays the fact you strayed far from home
With your drinkin', your smokin', your whorin' around
Sit down by the fire, put your feet on the grate
Spend the night reminiscin' 'til the hour grows late
Always remember at the end of the day
You can always go home - you just can't stay

Then it's off to the pub for to see your old mates
Ah, they all look older, but nothin' has changed
And you drink 'til you're nearly out of your head
"Hey, what are yez all doin' snakin' off to bed"
Then you're outside her flat but she's no longer there
And the tears scald your eyes as you think of her hair
In the photo they sent you of her wedding day
You can always go home - you just can't stay

Then you see her at Mass with the kids at her side
And it all comes back in the blink of an eye
The tears and the laughter, the love and the lies
And that dress she wore the night you said good-bye
Then her husband says "it's good to have you back"
And she smiles for a moment and squeezes your hand
But you know what she's thinkin', she doesn't have to say
You can always go home - you just can't stay

And you swear to yourself time and time again
It was all in the past, she don't mean anything
Now your life is full of laughter and bars
What did you leave behind, just the sun, the moon and the stars

Then it's up in the mornin' at the crack of dawn
With your stomach churnin', she says "c'mon now, Sean,
You'll be late for the plane," but that crack in her voice
Betrays the fact that you made your choice
A long time ago, now there's no turnin' back
'Cause last night you had your American Wake
And the bells are still ringin', can't you hear what they say
You can always go home - you just can't stay

Say good-bye in the wind and the pourin' rain
One last drink at Shannon Airport, then we're outa here,
History around here, catch you again next year
Landin' at Kennedy, all you feel is the pain,
But it's too late, 'cause last night you had your American Wake.