WHAT SHALL I TAKE?
Vietnamese Words & Music by Pham Duy
English Words & Arrangement by James Durst
1974 PhoeniXongs ASCAP

When my life is over and death I discover
Oh, what shall I choose to take with me?
When shadows fly o'er me as I start my journey
Oh, what will I choose to take with me?

I cannot take with me my fame or my fortune
I cannot take with me a loving companion
I cannot take with me the house or the garden
I cannot take with me a castle or canyon
But I shall take with me the smiles and the sorrows
Of children approaching mysterious tomorrows
And I shall take with me the eyes that are glowing
Reflecting uncertainty that comes with their growing

And so forth and so on, when Life's breath is all gone
Oh, what shall I choose to take with me?
When Death's date I'm keeping and with Fate I'm sleeping
Oh, what will I choose to take with me?

I cannot take with me my power or glory
I cannot take with me a goldmine or quarry
I cannot take with me a bagful of silver
I cannot take with me a mountain or river
But I shall take with me a knowledge of loving
Of having shared moments both tender and moving
And I shall take with me a portion of sadness
To bring to the next life to balance my gladness

As I wander my way down Death's darkened highway
My soul will have nothing beside it
As I take my last look at Life's dog-eared scrapbook
My soul will have nothing to hide it

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