"When You Leave" as written by and Loudon Wainwright....
You left for camp
You left for school
Left for the coast when that was cool
Then you left women;
One a wife
To save your skin you wrecked a life
When there's kids, its not just one life you wreck,
you're on the run
You go to town to start anew
But those you left come after you

Its what you think
Its how you feel
Though who can say if its all real?

The darndest thing is kids grow up
One day some strange adults show up
The ones you left arrive in town
"That's nice", you say, "they'll be around
Perhaps they're just a bit bereft, but they'll forgive the one who left"
Sad stories can have happy ends
Perhaps now, you can just be friends

Its what you want
Its how you feel
What's more, you hope your theory's real

Who would've thought or could believe
Things go so badly when you leave
The skin you save is growing slack
And those you left don't want you back

Your power's gone
It was pretend
The wife you left meant more to them
Its not just that they side with her
You left and who knew where you were
The reason that they came to town,
was just to make the place their own
They realized your greatest fear;
you are so close but hardly here

Its what you think
Its how you feel
And what's worse is you know its real

Lyrics submitted by woodendogz

When You Leave song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentseems to be about a father leaving his family. They do not forgive him, it has lasting effects on everyone
    woodendogzon August 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is heartbreaking, especially seeing the lyrics in written form, as if it were a poem. I don't know the details of LWIII's personal life, but I think there's some autobiographical truth to this, as in many of his songs. He has a lot of courage to be able to write and sing with such honesty. And with such a wonderful voice. It's why he's one of my favorite artists.
    cnormanon January 07, 2011   Link

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