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"Mr. O'Reilly": A Musical Celebration of Neil Armstrong's Walk on the Moon

Steve Gillette
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Here are the lyrics for "Mr. O'Reilly."

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Well, I believe the greatest thing to happen in the twentieth century
Was the day that Neil Armstrong set his foot upon the moon.
He was the right man with the right stuff.
He was hangin' in -- he was hangin' tough.
When he declared "The Eagle has landed." It was never a moment too soon.

Well he stepped out onto the platform, he was as thrilled as he could be.
But he still had something special on his mind.
He said, "This one's for you, Mr. O'Reilly."
Then he said, "It's another small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

He said, "This one's for you, Mr. O'Reilly."
"It's for the guys like you, tried and true, that we struggle and we strive."
"This one's for you, Mr. O'Reilly,
And the hopes and dreams of every man alive."

You see, O'Reilly was our next-door neighbor back in Wapakoneta, Ohio.
And he and his wife were takin' a nap one Sunday afternoon.
I was playing ball with my buddies, when a grounder bounced between my legs
And rolled up into the ivy underneath O'Reilly's room.

Well I went on up to retrieve it, and my ears could not believe it,
I heard Mrs. O'Reilly shoutin' like a voice from some cartoon.
She said, "You want me to do WHAT?"
"Hah, I'll do that, when the kid next door walks on the moon!"

So, this one's for you, Mr. O'Reilly.
It's for the guys like you, tried and true, that we struggle and we strive.
This one's for you, Mr. O'Reilly,
And the hopes and dreams of every man alive.

You can hear it here.

* * * * * * * * * * *

The fact that the O'Reilly encounter did not happen does not lessen the impact of the sentiments expressed.


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