Tag Archives: Henry Clay Work

Grandfather Clock: Scribble Picnic

This week’s Scribble Picnic’s prompt – Grandfather Clock.

As I write this I am listening to the bong on our own grandfather clock chime the half hour. Hubby built the cabinet and assembled the clock a couple of years ago. He had plans spread out on our dining room table that would compete with house plans. Pages of details. So much detail I couldn’t even look at it. Our clock is a replica of a Mission Grandfather Clock.

grandfather clock

My first drawing of the clock was done – yes you guessed it – at 2 am. This is the poem I wrote at that time:

The Clock

There stood the clock
It bonged the hour
Time went by
Tick Tock Tick Tock

She could not sleep
But in the silence
She could sense
The stillness
Timelessness
Peace

Because of this prompt
I began to be interested in the history of grandfather clocks.

These clocks used to be called Longcase Clocks and were invented to keep better time with a pendulum rather than weights and springs.

The story goes that a man named Henry Clay Work in 1875 visited a hotel where there stood a Longcase Clock that had stopped.There had been two brothers who lived there. When the first one died the clock stopped keeping perfect time and stopped working as soon as the second brother died. Fascinated Work wrote a song called My Grandfather’s Clock in 1876 which sold over one million copies in sheet music (crazy number back then).

I recall hearing ‘My Grandfather’s Clock” from my school days.
Do you remember it? (tweet this)

Here is the first verse and chorus. To read all the verses click here.

My grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf, So it stood ninety years on the floor;
It was taller by half than the old man himself, Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.
It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born, And was always his treasure and pride;

But it stopp’d short – never to go again – When the old man died.

CHORUS
Ninety years without slumbering (tick, tick, tick, tick),
His life seconds numbering (tick, tick, tick, tick),
It stopp’d short – never to go again – When the old man died.

Because I write children’s books I couldn’t help think about Hickory Dickory Dock. My picture is based on that nursery rhyme. It’s done with watercolour pencils.

Grandfather clock

Join us at Scribble Picnic.

grandfather clock