"When You're Young" as written by Bradley Kirk Arnold, Marti Fredriksen, Christopher Lee Henderson and Matthew Darrick Roberts....
So far away from knowing where I am going
I am trying hard to find out who I am
They all see that I don't know what I am doing
I say they don't hardly understand

Why can't they remember
What I'll never forget
How these dreams can come undone
When you're young

You give what you give cause they make you
Trapped inside a place that won't take you
They want you to be what they make you
It's already over and done
When you're young

Everything seems perfect
Everything's okay
It will all get better now
At least that's what they say
But I don't see it coming

You give what you give cause they make you
Trapped inside a place that won't take you
They want you to be what they make you
It's already over and done

When you're young, things never seem wronger
They say it's better this way
I hope one day I am stronger than I feel
And I hope that it feels different than today

You give what you give cause they make you
Trapped inside a place that won't take you
They want you to be what they make you
It's already over and done
It's already over and done
It's already over and done
When you're young

Why can't they remember
What I'll never forget
How these dreams can come undone
When you're young


Lyrics submitted by pharmdoc299

"When You're Young" as written by Martin H Frederiksen Brad N Arnold

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, THE ROYALTY NETWORK INC.

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When You're Young song meanings
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  • +2
    My InterpretationI think it's pretty obvious that this song is about growing up.

    Maybe it's a harsh word, but until we can think responsibly for ourselves, we're essentially slaves to our parents. So we do what our parents want. We dress with the clothes they buy us, we eat the food they make us, we worship the religion they teach us, we live under the roof they provide for us, and WE DO NOT have a choice in any major decision. Simply put, we do not have an identity. We are extensions of our parents until we begin to rebel or until they let us figure life out on our own, whichever comes first.

    The first four lines of the song I think reflect the narrator's struggle to find his own identity. To find out who he is. Is he going to be a singer? Is he going to be a business owner? What's his role in life? When you're young, so many dreams are shot down by comments such as, "No. You can't do that. You'll never make it" or "You'll get hurt" or "You're too good for that" or whatever. I wanted to play football when I was in high school, but my parents were afraid I would get hurt, so they did not let me. I wanted to join the military when I was 18, but my dad did not want me to, so I was guilted into staying home. Etc. "They all say I don't know what I'm doing, but I say they don't hardly understand." I feel these lyrics. My early adult life was marked by my parents telling me what I could and couldn't do. They thought I was stupid/suicidal for wanting to serve my country. But I would tell myself, they just don't get it.

    The second stanza, "Why can't they remember..." etc, I believe he's talking about his parents. He's saying why can't they remember when they had dreams of their own? Why did they ruin my childhood dreams?

    The third stanza, part of the chorus, "You give what you give..." This relates to my first paragraph. Everything you do as a kid, you do it because your parents told you do. Don't talk during the movie. Don't jump on the bed. etc. The line "They want you to be what they make you" refers to his parents shooting down his dreams again. He's saying 'they'(parents) don't want you to follow your own nose--they want you to follow their advice. They want you to dress like them, think like them, etc. I know this in my personal life all too well. "It's already over and done when you're young." He's just reiterating that while trying to shape you in their image, your parents are suppressing your own identity, thereby shattering your chances at living your own dreams.

    "Trapped in a place that won't take you" I assume this means the "REAL" you. The you whose dreams have been suppressed. The world or perhaps the household won't take "you", so you pretend to be this other person that your parents want you to be...

    "Everything seems perfect..." I think this stanza just refers to the care-free lives we live as children. You are sort of OK with your parents making your decisions for you because they make your life so easy. They provide everything. but even though they said things would get better, things only get more complicated as you age.

    "Days really just seem longer..." I think he's saying he's not living the life he wants to live. He's saying the days (probably at work) are dragging, on and on, and they seem to take forever. And he hopes that it gets better.

    Thanks for reading. This song speaks to me on a pretty personal level.
    Phelly2on March 19, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionI think everybody can relate to this.

    "You give what you give cuz they make you
    Trapped inside a place that won't take you
    And they want you to be what they make you
    It's already over and done when you're young"

    More recommended songs about this feeling:

    Green Day - She:
    "Are you locked up in a world
    That's been planned out for you
    Are you feeling like a social tool without a use"

    John Mayer - No Such Thing:
    "So the good boys and girls take the so called "right track"
    Faded white hat, grabbing credits, maybe transfers
    They read all the books but they can't find the answers
    And all of our parents, they're getting older
    I wonder if they've wished for anything better
    While in their memories, tiny tragedies"
    "They love to tell you "stay inside the lines"
    But something's better on the other side"

    Gavin DeGraw - Medicate The Kids:
    "Tell 'em 'say no to drugs', 'substances make you dumb'
    Then you say 'give 'em some'
    Are you the victim of this experience, child experiment
    Teacher's predicament
    You're in the system, and if you don't walk the line
    You can walk the plank"
    "Why don't you just back off of us before we go crazy
    I'm gonna tell you 'no way, this ain't fair play, just don't medicate me'"

    Hoobastank - Escape:
    "We could be living how we wanted to instead of doing things we're forced to do
    With no one to tell us that we should be going through what they went through
    There has to be someplace that nobody knows, somewhere we can only go
    There has to be someplace that we can be all alone"

    And Jason Mraz - Love For A Child, kinda
    Guy1on September 15, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSong is about dysfunctional families, amoral people; crab mentality. It's about how difficult it is to be original, or relatively successful, to the dismay of others with low self-esteem. It's about the disillusionment of young adulthood.
    benj30a4on February 05, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionAlso, I have a correction.

    What they have as, "Why can't they remember, but I'll never forget."

    It should actually be, "Why can't they remember what I'll never forget?"
    Phelly2on March 19, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNot to late to join the military bruh. Did 5 years in the Marine Corps, loved it. Join up.
    gwamoon April 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song was used for the Tribute of Edge (Adam Copeland) who had to retire from wrestling. Excellent piece and great rock song.
    emnrenegade31on May 18, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationHonestly, while a lot of people are going the whole "suppressed dreams and aspirations as a child" route, I wanna go the whole "fading star" route. This may not have enough proof and as deep as the first, but I believe they are writing about why they tour everywhere and everyone knew them by name. "Why can't they remember what I'll never forget" may be referring to how they remembered all the fame and how they thought they made it, only to eventually fade into oblivion so that people don't even care too much and they never get any radio play too much anymore for their newer stuff. To further prove this, their hit song "Kryptonite" that came off their debut album that was so huge was about ten years prior to this song first being released. From their though, their album brought less and less attention each time they came out. Hell, look at their best of album, four of those songs are from their debut, three from their second, and only one from their third and fourth, and none, including this song, from their fifth album. And it has been said that it directly reflected on how popular those songs are.

    Of course, this is just my interpretation of it, and probably the other route is more accurate.
    seth100003on March 07, 2015   Link

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