"Away When You Were Here" as written by and Benjamin Scott Folds....
Dad I know you were sad when you died
And I was young it's the way I kept you in my mind
The mess that was left and my mother cried
And when she stood up she was nobody's mother I'd be fine

But I missed you then
And I miss you now
Liked you'd missed things I might say
You seemed lost in clouds
But I'm older now
I can see through lifting haze
That you were away even when you were here

Sometimes a phrase or a manner that's you
Comes through me, it goes in a flash
It's a frame, it's a blink like life
Oh and how much now should we pay for the past
'Cause you could age with grace if I freed you in my mind

But I loved you then
And I love you now
All the things I wished I'd asked
When I'm lost in clouds
I remember how
I was robbed and I was blessed
And you were away even when you were here
'Cause it's not about you, not you, anymore
It's about what I'd do with it all
And I, I'll never let you let me down

This morning I wake to be older than you were
Fresh white snow for miles, every footstep will be mine
You'd have lost that weight, you'd have gone so straight
You'd have made my wedding day
You'd have saved my youth from that bullet of truth
You'd have kept those wolves at bay
But you were away, you were away even when you were

Lyrics submitted by mike, edited by Vaskivo

"Away When You Were Here" as written by Benjamin Scott Folds Ben Folds

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Away When You Were Here song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationThis is a great song and, as a dad who is often sad, it hits very close to home when I think of my kids.

    The lyrics are quite emotionally charged, but also rather straightforward. This is about a person, the singer, whose father died when they were young. The father was sad when he died and, to me, this implies that he may have committed suicide. The singer has frozen his father in this place even as he has missed the singer growing up, the father has stayed the same in his mind.

    As the singer grows up he sees that his father was away even when he was alive. Most likely in the depths of depression or otherwise preoccupied. The singer realizes that his father is alive in him and he was robbed of a childhood with his father, but was also blessed because of how the death of his father has shaped his life or perhaps, another interpretation may be that he was spared his father's ongoing depression.

    He decides that he can't just keep his father frozen in his mind, he has to forgive his father for dying (also implying suicide) and allow him to age in his mind and not assume that his father would have always been "away" or depressed, he could've grown and changed and become more engaged. The singer has come to terms with the fact that he just doesn't know but chooses to not see his father as some sad guy who (likely?) killed himself, but he has to let that go. His father doesn't have to be a failure in his mind anymore. It's ultimately not about the singer's father, but about the singer himself and how he uses what happened to shape his present and future.
    jankouton March 07, 2017   Link

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