Don’t let the old man in.”

I’ve never heard that expression before, but apparently it means facing down aging, holding death at bay, and here’s how that expression turned into a tender, gentle, and quietly elegant song for Clint Eastwood’s movie “The Mule.”

Eastwood and Country star Toby Keith were playing golf, when Eastwood revealed that he was about to turn 88 and that he was going to do another movie, which prompted Keith to ask “What keeps you going?”  Eastwood said “I get up every day and don’t let the old man in.”

That comment inspired Keith: “Over the three days of playing golf, he told us what the movie was about. I didn’t ask him if I could (contribute) a song, I just went home and wrote it, sent it to him, and hoped he would consider it. And he did.”

“The Mule” which includes this song, was a December, 2018, release. Sad to say, even a song as good as this one is only getting limited radio air-play, due to tight formats and exhaustive research.

Sunday is Oscar night, the 91st Academy Awards (ABC 5P ET/PT) –they are just a tad older than our star (who will be 89 in May) and a reminder of Eastwood’s wins- four  Oscars, one each for Best Picture and Director for “Unforgiven” and two more in those categories for “Million Dollar Baby”–and his cultural impact on Boomers.