"20 Years" as written by John Paul White and Joy Williams....
There's a note underneath your front door
That I wrote twenty years ago
Yellow paper and a faded picture
And a secret, in an envelope

There's no reasons
No excuses
There's no secondhand alibis
Just some black ink, on some blue lines
And a shadow, you won't recognize


And if it means I'll be waiting twenty years
And twenty more
I'll be praying for redemption
And your note, underneath my door
And your note underneath my door

Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher, edited by MelTheMP449

"20 Years" as written by John White Joy Williams

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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20 Years song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI love this song- in my head, I see two young people in love and wanting to run off together, but something happens and one of them has to go away, but wants the other to wait and remember them, hence the photo. When they return, they aren't there or have moved on and the other person is still waiting, even after 20 years.
    tiffanytwilighton February 19, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTwenty years? A better title would be 20 Minutes, but only if a tree blocked the exit from the dwelling:)
    SweetCheeks2on February 19, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've pondered this and thought maybe it was a love song, but it didn't quite make sense. Now I think it might be about someone who gave their child up for adoption. It would make sense in the time frame they are referring to and an old note with a picture of the mother and child, or something along those lines. I would think the mom was too young to have the child, or ashamed, or whatever the situation. And now she is saying how there is no excuse for what she did, and maybe that note has her reasoning and apology. And that's why this person would be "praying for redemption" because she feels bad for abandoning her child. Also, waiting 20 years for a reply and possibly 20 more if the child never wants to have a relationship with her. However, I could be wrong. I love the mystery behind the song, I think it adds so much to it and it's definitely beautiful.
    ugogirlon November 29, 2013   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI think this song is about giving up a child.
    They wrote a note when they gave up the child for adoption but it was never delivered. 20 years later they finally deliver the note with a "faded picture" and a "shadow you won't recognize". A letter with a "secret" (possibly gave up the child to someone in the family, they have "no excuses, no alibis". They now pray for redemption and pray that they will receive a note under their door and will wait 20 more years if needed.
    jasonsaucieron May 06, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionFor whatever twisted reason the first thing that came to my mind when I heard this song was that Seinfeld episode where George burns down Susan's dad's cabin and they find these letters from his gay lover written years before haha :)

    Anyway... this song is spectacularly beautiful.
    jojoinpink54on March 18, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAccording to the band, this is about an old family secret. They won't say which one it is truly about. Song talks about redemption for what ever had transpired but it doesn't really speak of what happened.
    azmuzikon June 23, 2012   Link

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