≡ Menu

Boomer Recessionals: Don’t Let the Old Man In

Toby Keith Explains How Clint Eastwood Inspired ‘Don’t Let the Old Man In’  

Toby Keith knows a good hook when he hears one. And no one weaves a tale quite like Clint Eastwood.

That the two were sharing a golf cart last year at Eastwood’s charity tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif. is both a testament to their friendship and a stroke of good fortune. The encounter led Keith to pen the beautifully haunting song that lingers at the end of The Mule. The Eastwood-directed and starring film, in theaters now, is based on the true story of a WWII veteran in his 80s who takes a job as a courier for a Mexican drug cartel.

Out on the green, Eastwood shared that he’d be starting work on The Mule in two days, which also happened to be his 88th birthday. Struck by Eastwood’s relentless energy at an age when many are content to sit and reflect, Keith asked how he keeps going.

He said, “I just get up every morning and go out. And I don’t let the old man in,” Keith recounts.

Don’t let the old man in, I wanna leave this alone
Can’t leave it up to him, he’s knocking on my door
And I knew all of my life, that someday it would end
Get up and go outside, don’t let the old man in

Many moons I have lived
My body’s weathered and worn
Ask yourself how old you’d be
If you didn’t know the day you were born

Try to love on your wife
And stay close to your friends
Toast each sundown with wine
Don’t let the old man in

Many moons I have lived
My body’s weathered and worn
Ask yourself how old you’d be
If you didn’t know the day you were born

When he rides up on his horse
And you feel that cold bitter wind
Look out your window and smile
Don’t let the old man in

Look out your window and smile
Don’t let the old man in

[HT: To my cousin Mike, who turned me on to this.]

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Anonymous September 9, 2019, 12:10 PM

    God bless both of you

  • MMinLamesa September 9, 2019, 12:19 PM

    God bless both of you

  • ghostsniper September 9, 2019, 12:30 PM

    OK, I won’t.
    Now git off my lawn!

  • Terry September 9, 2019, 2:20 PM

    I am getting there. But the ‘Old Man’ will find me difficult to break. I have all sorts of wonderful memories now, that seem as though they were just yesterday. Even though they were over fifty years ago. And wonderful memories follow me right up to, yesterday. And with help from above, beyond today.

    From a comment by Robert Fink, below a music video by Rochell and the Candles:

    “Actor John Barrymore once said: A man is not old ’till regrets take the place of dreams.”


  • Matt Burchett September 9, 2019, 4:09 PM

    Nicely, nicely done. Shared with several friends who, like me, don’t always appreciate how lucky we were as young men to enjoy the sweetness of the world between the advent of the pill and the dark curtain of AIDS without losing our souls or taking more than was given. 1965-1985 RIP. Sorry, I was feeling melancholy. Toby did good with this one.

  • Matt Burchett September 9, 2019, 4:14 PM

    ghostsniper always slaps me back to my senses.

  • Casey Klahn September 9, 2019, 5:51 PM

    All of CE’s movies are top of the stack. I haven’t seen The Mule, yet, so I had to exit at mid video. Million Dollar Baby, The Unforgiven, Gran Torino. Pure gold.

  • ghostsniper September 10, 2019, 3:51 AM

    “All of CE’s movies are top of the stack.”

    Indeed they are.
    We’re gonna mount a CE marathon soon as we’re done with the JB marathon we’ve been on.
    Saw Skyfall last weekend so the end is near.
    (was disappointed it wasn’t about parachuting)
    Couple years ago we watched Rawhide – all episodes.
    CE in the early days, as Rowdy Yates. Go git sum.
    My fave? Josie Wales of course.
    “Dyin’ ain’t much of a livin’ boy.”

  • ambiguousfrog September 10, 2019, 6:36 AM


    “The Cowboys” I watched as a kid was a great one. I watched it recently with my own son. Bruce Dern was a bastard in that one. My fav is High Planes Drifter. Paint the town red and kill every last one of them. Pale Rider, meh. Unless looking for a good piece of hickory.

  • MarkInKansas September 10, 2019, 6:51 AM

    “The Mule” looks like a movie worth seeing. I’ve long-believed that Eastwood’s works carry an underlying theme of redemption and I suspect this one will too.

  • Rob De Witt September 10, 2019, 7:56 AM

    Need I point out that Clint Eastwood is not a baby boomer (and probably never listened to five minutes of rock in his life?)

  • Sam L. September 10, 2019, 10:52 AM

    You know the saying “it’s always good to wake up above the grass”?
    By my count (and guess), I’ve waked up below about 270+/- times .
    Military duty.

  • Montefrío September 10, 2019, 11:32 AM

    “The Mule” was fine. And I concur with “High Plains Drifter” as the favorite.

    I’m only 73, so the old man is lurking around the property but is (I hope) well away from the door.

    Thanks, Terry, for the Rochelle video, a new one for me!

  • ghostsniper September 10, 2019, 11:32 AM

    @ambi, Cowboys was a Duke flik. Yes, Dern was at his absolute best. A pleasure to watch him suffer in the end.

    What’s the deal with the whipped sheriff in HPD?
    One of my favs is one of the “Dollar” flix, can never remember which on, where Ramone says, “When a man with a 45 meets a man with a rifle, the man with the pistol is dead.”

    “The heart Ramone, aim for the heart.”

  • Gordon Scott September 10, 2019, 3:33 PM

    I just saw “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Quentin Tarantino is a jerk, but he can make an interesting film. One of the main characters is an aging star of westerns who feels his career slipping away, when he’s offered a chance to star in spaghetti westerns. His next door neighbors are Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate. I won’t spoil anything, but it kept my interest, even when the story lagged some.

    “Rick Dalton” is not quite a perfect match for Clint Eastwood, but you can see the parallels.

  • ghostsniper September 10, 2019, 5:44 PM

    Jeez Gordon, 2 hours and 41 mins.
    I’ll need to break that into 2 pieces.
    Too much TV watchin’ at one time.
    My limit is about 90 mins or so.