Red-eyes fly away from here every night
My intentions aren’t unfair or unkind
How else could I purge my heart of this pillowed dream?

Arctic wind will be washed from my hair
Trading the forest for the city
Things will be different for you
Things will be different for you

When you’re older, you’ll look back
As you grow you’ll understand
Why I left

All I talk about is you since that day
Remember when I cry into my soup
And you would say that it’s okay

So many things used to break my heart
I’d fall so easily
But you’re younger and smarter and harder than me

Things will be different for you
Things will be different for you

When you’re older, you’ll look back
As you grow you’ll understand
Why I left

I’m not comfortable in my own skin
Haven’t found my finest hour
I can’t dance, let alone sing
Before a crowd
Or write effortlessly what I can’t come out and say
When I do, I’ll be just like you

Trading the forest for the city
Finding my way down the mountain
Finding my way to the sea

When you’re older, you’ll look back
As you grow you’ll understand
You’ll understand


Lyrics submitted by skttrbrain

When You're Older song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentTo me this song is to my 8 year old daughter...the guilt I have over finally leaving her cheating father and how one day she will grow up and understand why I couldn't stay with him anymore.

    How she'd often catch me crying at the thought of her being affected by our divorce--and having her comfort me without fully understanding why I was sad.

    It's about how I know her headstrong personality will keep her from ending up where I was; manipulated for years by a man I was afraid to leave.

    And about being nervous about my entire life taking a different direction, but also hopeful for a new beginning.

    I know that's not what the artist intended, but that's what this song means to me. I'm overcome with emotion every time I hear it!
    Birdie10on July 14, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThat is such a powerful statement, Birdie. I'm so glad you had the courage to leave. As Kate herself is a single mother, I'm sure her pain can resonate when it comes to separation.

    This song, I find, is a message from the artist to her son. Her son is growing up in a new world, a different kind of world, an unordinary world... Things will be different for him, for sure. But she has all her love for him. She wants a better life for him, than what she may have experienced herself.

    It's such a beautiful and honest ballad. Raw. Organic. Folky. Wispy. This honesty is so widely felt.

    This song, to me (though probably not what the artist intended), is just about putting the past behind you and looking forward to what's to come "when you're older." As we're getting older, we're stripping ourselves of our innocence and childhood and younger years... It's so bittersweet. It's about leaving home, for me. About leaving the place where you feel most like you. Most in your element.

    "When you’re older, you’ll look back
    As you grow you’ll understand
    Why I left"

    It is to let yourself be free, go on and live on...
    rachelanncon October 25, 2014   Link

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