"As Tears Go By" as written by and Keith Richards Andrew Oldham....
It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Smiling faces I can see
But not for me
I sit and watch
As tears go by

My riches can't buy everything
I want to hear the children sing
All I hear is the sound
Of rain falling on the ground
I sit and watch
As tears go by

It is the evening of the day
I sit and watch the children play
Doing things I used to do
They think are new
I sit and watch
As tears go by


Lyrics submitted by Zolin

"As Tears Go By" as written by Keith Richards Andrew Loog Oldham

Lyrics © Abkco Music, Inc., T.R.O. INC.

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As Tears Go By song meanings
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  • +2
    My InterpretationI think this song could also be about depression ("Smiling faces I can see
    But not for me") and ("All I hear is the sound
    Of rain falling on the ground"--> someone just sees the negative things in his life)
    DavyJones92on June 29, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbeautiful
    just_another_brickon March 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyep music dont get much better than that!
    Detectiveon April 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWritten for Marianne Faithful-not about her of course, but for her. She released it first. It is a nice little ballad I suppose.
    JumpyJackon May 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've never really understood why whomever would be crying watching children play? They lost their own child, regretting their childhood, wishing they had kids of their own?
    robmilleon August 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentrobmille...there is a sadness experienced by some, over the loss of innocence, and the realization that old age, death and taxes are the only things that we can be sure of, for the remaining half-century of our lives - if we live out the average life span.

    As Neil Young also points out, "you can't be 20 on sugar mountain."
    sirdonon February 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis was the first song Keith and Mick and wrote together. Their manager/producer Andrew Oldham locked them in a room together with a guitar and refused to let them out until they wrote soemthing. All the Stones were doing at the time were Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley numbers and Oldham new in order for them to have mass stardom, they would have to be a self-contained group and write their own songs.
    Nolesy101on March 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn her autobiography Marianne Faithfull says they wrote it from the point of view of an older woman. The lyrics can be taken both literally and metaphorically. Also, it was originally As Time Goes By but was changed to Tears to avoid confusion with another song.
    Cary Graniteon June 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthmm this song is very interesting... in my opinion I think that he is expressing himself through childhood experiences reflecting on himself now.. I think he realizes that back then you were so care-free and happy as a child, and it's pretty much corrupting and upsetting at the same time to know that as you get older- the same things you once enjoyed are pretty much meaningless to you. For example... kids laugh at things like bugs, being dirty. As an adult, majority of adults would be angered by such things. It's really neat to think about
    metaPHORyouon July 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo simple yet so elegant and true. The "evening of the day" is not literal.......this person telling the story is on in years of their life. "Smiling faces I can can see, but not for me" represents the attitude toward the aged and so forth. But the real clincher is "doing things I used to do, they think are new". this line says it all so simply. Chilhood innocence, once you havelost it you can never get it back.
    jbalanon August 02, 2007   Link

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