"You Had To Be There" as written by Casey Beathard and Kenneth Wright....
He sat down, picked up the phone
And said, "Boy, I'm your old man"
He touched the glass between the two
As if to shake his hand

The boy, he didn't budge
Not even so much as a blink
The man said, "Oh, come on
Better late than never, don't you think?"

He said, "I read it in the paper
Can't believe you're 21
Can't believe some son of mine
Could do the things I hear you've done"

He went on like some big hero
Who flew in to save the day
And the boy said, "If you're here
To steer me right, man, it's too late"

"You had to be there
And I'm talkin' from day one
That's the only time a man should talk
Through glass to his new son"

"And you'd have to go back
And teach me how when I was nine
'Cause my mama couldn't throw a ball
Even if she had the time"

"And I should have been learnin' how to fish
Instead of learnin' how to smoke
I bet if you'd have whooped my tail
I'd never thought it was a joke"

He said, "Sometimes the will
For doin' wrong is way too strong
For any Mama's prayers
You had to be there"

The man said, "Boy, I'm sorry
That you hate me like you do"
The boy said, "Dry it up, man
We ain't makin' this about you"

"It's about a teenage girl against the world
Who was left there high and dry
About a kid who might have stood
A whole lot better shot at life"

"But you had to be there
And I'm talkin' from day one
That's the only time a man should talk
Through glass to his new son"

"You'd have to go back
And teach me how when I was nine
'Cause my mama couldn't throw a ball
Even if she had the time"

"I should have been learnin' how to fish
Instead of learnin' how to smoke
I bet if you'd have whooped my tail
I'd never thought it was a joke"

He said, "Sometimes the will
For doing wrong is way too strong
For any Mama's prayer
You had to be there"

Before the boy hung up the phone
He said, "They say I'm out of time"
And it hit the man right there and then
"My God, son, so am I"


Lyrics submitted by nicoleeelove

"You Had to Be There" as written by Casey Beathard, Kenneth Wright

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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You Had To Be There song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about a 21 year old boy who grew up with only his mother and is now in jail and his father for the first time comes to see him. His father tells him that he's sorry that he hates him the way he does and the boy tells him this isn't about you this is about my mother who had to deal with raising a child by herself as a teenager and a "kid who might have stood a whole lot better shot at life" if only he had been there for him and taught him how to fish and throw a ball but instead he was out learning how to smoke because his mother prayers weren't enough to keep him from doing wrong. His mom had to work all the time in order to support the two of them so she wasn't there to stop him and he tells him that if he had been there to whoop him once or twice he would have understood the difference between right and wrong. The boy pretty much tells him its too late to come in and save the day because he has already done something really bad and he is in jail for it.
    faithtim4fanaticon April 27, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyou had to be there is a song about a boy who discovers his dad in prison and its his first time to meet his dad and they talk about how the dad made a big impact on the boys life so because the dad wasn't there for the boy he couldn't be a normal kid
    codywillis14on June 10, 2014   Link

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