The first time that I heard that song was a time I well remember
It all goes back some 20 years to Mr. Ryan's classroom
One day he brought his old guitar and sang his favorite songs for us
And the single one that I remember most was "All My Trials"

Something in his simple singing touched my very 6th-grade soul
The harmonies he taught us are the ones that I still know today
The verse about the Tree of Life was wondrous to a 12-year old
And many times these twenty years I've wished that I could say

Thank you for the music, Mr. Ryan
The simple gift you gave that day is one I've treasured dearly
I'll always see you sitting up there singing "All My Trials"
You'll never know how much it’s meant to me

You'll never know how much it's meant to me

Went home to see my folks in June, the town that I grew up in
Three of us were sitting in the kitchen having coffee
I mentioned Mr. Ryan, how I'd wondered what became of him
When Mother said she'd heard that he's still working at my school

I grabbed my coat and ran outside, retracing old familiar routes
The shortcut through the playground and the echo of that hallway
And there he was in room eleven, wiping off the blackboard
I took a breath and cleared my throat and stepped back into time

We sat and talked for quite a while, I don't think that he remembered me
But I told him of my work and where I've been and what I've done
And finally he leaned back and said "It's amazing that you've come today
Just last night my mother and I were talking until one."

She asked me was I happy, I said, "Yes, I love my teaching
But I'm sad I never married, that I never fathered children."
"Oh yes," she said, "Oh yes, my son, you've fathered several hundred."
And now I look across my cluttered desk, and here you've come

Thank you for the visit, my dear child
The simple gift you gave today is one I'll treasure dearly
I'll always see you sitting up here filling in these 20 years
You'll never know how much it's meant to me

You'll never know how much it's meant to me


Lyrics submitted by bananahero

Thank You, Mr. Ryan song meanings
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