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Updated: Aug 1, 2023

There’s nothing better than an old Cadillac

At least that’s what my daddy always said

When I see her sitting out in back

All the memories come back to my head

Everything it took for me to get here

All the episodes that I went through

The laughter, the love, the pain, and the tears

The sweat and all the hard work too

She’s everything to me

She’s all I really need

She’s all mine, my car named Freedom

She’s my liberty and independence

She’s my first line of defense

My free spirit in a car named Freedom

I bought her in a third-hand lot out on Highway 35

And fixed her engine up real good

I feel that power when I take her for a drive

She’s got a lioness there under the hood

Blasting down the interstates and the state roads

With the music cranked up real loud

No one can compete with her she’s unopposed

She’s the work of my hands and I’m proud

Forty days and nights in the garage

In desperate need of shower and massage

When I finished it was time to celebrate Freedom

I popped a bottle of champagne

And I gave her her name

It says it right there on the license plates: Freedom

I spent my teens and early twenties

In a land far away feeling sore

Three of those years in the army

Always on alert, always scared of war

I was hurting ‘cause the promise of a good life

Was snatched away before my eyes

The pain was so sharp it cut like a knife

And few people heard my cries

I was stuck to the place I was sitting in

The power to move had a limit

Defending the country I was living in

It was my job and my heart wasn’t in it

But there were two things I always kept in mind

The things I’d have once I came back

One was the girl I loved so fine

The other was the Cadillac

I waited for so long

And it was the dream that kept me strong

The dream that I’d drive a car named Freedom

She carries my dream on wheels

She makes everything real

There she is, my car named Freedom

©2023 The Hesh Inc.

1959 Cadillac at the Cadillac Ranch, June 22, 2003 (original photo by The Hesh Inc.)
There’s nothing better than an old Cadillac / At least that’s what my daddy always said ...

This dates back to sometime in the middle of my army service in Israel in the mid-1980s, when I felt about as far away as I could get (through no fault of my own) from my friends and the life I had known in the USA. I was missing all of them, and it, rather terribly, and I was looking for and grabbing on to any touchstones I could find that could reassure me that they would all be waiting for me when I finally got out. On one of the many times I returned to my base after a weekend back in the real world, the bus I was on was on its way out of Jerusalem when I spied an early-1960s–vintage Cadillac Sedan de Ville, gathering dust in a parking lot behind an apartment house. Cadillacs, while not unknown, are rather uncommon in Israel, and I took this as a sort of sign through the ether that I have something to hold on to and a reason to keep pushing ahead till I finally made it to the end. I daydreamt on that trip back to base, what it would be like to refurbish that Caddy and hit the road in it ... or, transposing myself across the ocean, finding one like it in a used-car lot and doing the same. Eventually, I finished my three years of service, and returned to the US not long afterward ... I never did buy or own a Cadillac, but I did drive one a few times. And, like my father really told me once upon a time, there's nothing better than an old Caddy.

As for the music ... I was very much under the influence of Bryan Adams' album Reckless at the time of this episode (for all I know it was playing on my Walkman as I daydreamt). Never recorded or performed ... just one of those that I wrote to get me through a difficult time.


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