The boy was taught to look away
He hid in his heart silently
And watched the others wait and wait, and he said
We are as fleeting as the day
And all this stuff, it covers us
So he scribble down a phrase

Say what you mean to say
and stay who you are
though all around are riches to be won
I came here to begin
and to hold on to the things this singing started from
and before I can stand I have to learn to run

The man hides away just like he's cursed
Or troubled by some lucky beast
That caught him at his worst – now it's reversed
running away, just like he’s lost
He found it was his dream to be
The thing we love but never see –

So say what you mean, this time
And stay who you are
But stick around and have a little fun
The soul you thought had left
Is not despondent or bereft, it’s only just begun
and before it can stand it has to learn to run

Grandpa had trouble trying to speak
The years had all washed over him
Heart strong, but body weak
Fought in the war, but now he wanted peace
And the last day that I spent with him
His eyes they spoke to me, he said

say what you mean, my boy
and stay who you are
bet you’d think I’d know bout this by now
The world’s been holding out its arms
trying to carry me from harm
I’m still learning to grow
and it’s only now I know, you’ve got to

say what you mean, this time
and stay who you are
and without counting, welcome in the dawn
we’ll all be blowing in the wind
until we’re barely there and all our hair is gone –
shout from where you're standing on
before we could stand we had to learn to run


Lyrics submitted by tristanrichards

Say What You Mean song meanings
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