"Shades Of Gray" as written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil....
When the world and I were young
Just yesterday
Live was such a simple game
A child could play
It was easy then to tell right from wrong
Easy then to tell weak from strong
When a man should stand and fight
Or just go along

But today there is no day or night
Today there is no dark or light
Today there is no black or white
Only shades of gray

I remember when the answers seemed so clear
We had never lived with doubt or tasted fear
It was easy then to tell truth from lies
Selling out from compromise
Who to love and who to hate
The foolish from the wise

But today there is no day or night
Today there is no dark or light
Today there is no black or white
Only shades of gray

It was easy then to know what was fair
When to keep and when to share
How much to protect your heart
And how much to care

But today there is no day or night
Today there is no dark or light
Today there is no black or white
Only shades of gray
Only shades of gray


Lyrics submitted by Dempyrean, edited by WrySatyr

"Shades of Gray" as written by Cynthia Weil Barry Mann

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Shades Of Gray song meanings
Add your thoughts

7 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    General CommentPretty sure that's it's "It was easy then. . ." not "It was easier than. . ." i.e. "It was easy then to tell truth from lies,"
    pentalarcon September 13, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentYes, the lyric should be "easy then" rather than "easier than." This seems to me to be a statement on the experience of the Sixties, a time of massive upheaval and change, a time when people questioned authority, and "the old road rapidly faded." Ideas and mores that seemed so simple and so cut-and-dry about right and wrong and black and white in the Fifties quickly and stunningly were thrown to the wind in the Sixties. Only shades of gray remained.
    Bluewaveson April 13, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationAgreed. Hadn't thought of the 60's angle. For me it's always been a more general message about growing older - the simple black and white views of youth become less clear with age. There never seems to be clear cut issues - the truth is always gray. I think maybe it's both. Whatever - it's a great song.
    wildandfreeon May 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Lyric Correction"Easier than" should be "Easy then".
    wildandfreeon May 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd "live" in the third line should actually be "life."
    WrySatyron September 12, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationSad song about not being a kid anymore. When life events hit they shake you to the core and you realize life's answers aren't so obvious anymore. I got in touch with this song again when my father passed away and suddenly the man with all the answers wasn't there anymore.
    Diogeneson September 30, 2014   Link
  • -2
    General CommentI don't think so, I think the lyrics are "easier" not "easy."
    PencilNeckedGeekon September 20, 2009   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain