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Seems the love I've known has always been
The most destructive kind
Yes, that's why now I feel so old
Before my time.

Yesterday when I was young
The taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue.
I teased at life as if it were a foolish game,
The way the evening breeze may tease a candle flame.
The thousand dreams I dreamed, the splendid things I planned
I'd always built to last on weak and shifting sand.
I lived by night and shunned the naked light of the day
And only now I see how the years ran away.

Yesterday when I was young
So many happy songs were waiting to be sung,
So many wild pleasures lay in store for me
And so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see.
I ran so fast that time and youth at last ran out,
I never stopped to think what life was all about
And every conversation I can now recall
Concerned itself with me and nothing else at all.

--- Instrumental ---

Yesterday the moon was blue
And every crazy day brought something new to do.
I used my magic age as if it were a wand
And never saw the waste and emptiness beyond.
The game of love I played with arrogance and pride
And every flame I lit too quickly, quickly died.
The friends I made all seemed somehow to drift away
And only I am left on stage to end the play.

There are so many songs in me that won't be sung,
I feel the bitter taste of tears upon my tongue.
The time has come for me to pay for
Yesterday when I was young...

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  • u
    UnregisteredFeb 2, 2014 at 7:25 pm
    We don't get a dress rehearsal at this experience called life. All too soon, we find ourselves at a age, where we ponder the choices that we made. Most of us did the best we could with what we had to work with. When we question our choices, many times we think that had we made other choices, we would have had better lives. I beg to differ. Not necessarily better, just different. Unfortunately the education doesn't come, until after the fact. I love the lyrics to this song. I am at that reflective age. But I bridge those sentiments with lyrics from another one of my favorite tunes, "Here's to Life", "I had my share, I drank my fill, and even though I'm satisfied, I'm hungry still. To see what's down another road beyond the hill, and do it all again. So to all of my life loving friends. It ain't over til it's over. Here's to life!
  • d
    David NordmanFeb 27, 2013 at 5:40 am
    Wow! This song really hits home. The haunting lyrics should be heard or viewed by today's younger generation. One of my favorite tunes of all time. Thank you very much Roy.
  • l
    Leslie TurbivilleAug 8, 2013 at 2:52 am
    Eddie Arnold did what I think is the standard for this song. His voice and phrasing are perfect. It is one of the few songs that make you.
    lay awake at night thinking about the message.
  • d
    David NordmanFeb 27, 2013 at 5:37 am
    Wow! This song really hits home. The lyrics are haunting and the song's message should be heard by today's younger generation. One of my favorite tunes of all time. Thank you very much Roy.
  • u
    UnregisteredJan 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm
    I actually got the opportunity to see roy clark perform at the ip casino & spa resort in biloxi, ms and when he performed this song, it reminded me so much of the life i was wanting and hoping to live compared to the life i am living now. I may have done some things in my life that i am now regretting but those are things from my past i cannot change anymore. This song really resembles the life i could have had versus the life i am living now. This song really means a lot
    To me in many ways. I was only still a youngster when roy clark came out with this song and i also remember him and buck owens from hee haw.

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