Contact Al Dunkleman

Track 7—From When We Were Young (2011)

When We Were Young  

Al Dunkleman, Heartfelt Americana Music/ASCAP


Flow river flow, take me away

Back to simpler times, back in the day

When we rambled—when we were young


We thought we’d change the world

With our peace and harmony

But nothing really changed

Only you and me

As we rambled—when we were young


John Kennedy stood tall

He made us all feel proud

But when that shot rang out

Our country cried out loud

As we rambled—when we were young


We fought for Civil Rights

With Martin Luther King

Why was he taken down?

What was wrong with his dream?

And we rambled—when we were young


Free love and rock n’ roll

Woodstock in sixty-nine

Man walks on the moon

A leap for all mankind

As we rambled—when we were young


Our boys in Vietnam

To war they did go

Peace with honor failed

Four dead in Ohio

Still we rambled—when we were young


Nixon, Watergate

Roe vs. Wade

As we searched for life

History was made

While we rambled—when we were young


Flow river flow, take me away

Back to simpler times, back in the day

When we rambled—when we were young


Like most people in the 1960s, I got most of my information about the outside world from television and Walter Cronkite. “When We Were Young” could be described as a baby-boomer’s lament. During my youth in the 60s and early 70s, there were many heavy historical events that had a great impact on the shaping of America. During the ten-year span between age seven and seven-teen, I experienced everything from the assassination of a president to the impeachment of a president. I watched African-Americans in the South being washed off sidewalks with high powered water hoses. There was Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech and tragic death. There was the music, masses and mayhem at Woodstock. And there was the space race with the Soviets and the surreal “leap for mankind.”      


My oldest brother Dale left for Vietnam in 1969. I was thirteen at the time and didn’t understand much about the war or why it was being fought. Around six-o’clock each evening I tried my best to avoid hearing Dan Rather announce how many soldiers had been killed that day. President Nixon’s “peace with honor” mantra in 1968 never panned out. Although “peace with honor” failed, our service men and women did not fail. In Vietnam, it was our administration and society that failed our soldiers. The soldiers returning from Dessert Storm in the early 1990s came home to parades and marching bands. Due to a totally different social climate, the soldiers that returned from Vietnam were not given a hero’s welcome. 


Even after watching these dramatic historical events on television as a child, a minute or so later you could find me climbing into the tree house or out back playing in the “crick.” Now that I am older and have had time to reflect on the turmoil of the 1960s and early 1970s, I now realize the sobriety of these events and the impact they made on our country.