"Old And Wise" as written by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson....
As far as my eyes can see
There are shadows approaching me
And to those I left behind
I wanted you to know
You've always shared my deepest thoughts
You follow where I go

And, oh, when I'm old and wise
Bitter words mean little to me
Autumn winds will blow right through me
And someday in the mist of time
When they asked me if I knew you
I'd smile and say you were a friend of mine
And the sadness would be lifted from my eyes
Oh, when I'm old and wise

As far as my eyes can see
There are shadows surrounding me
And to those I leave behind
I want you all to know
You've always shared my darkest hours
I'll miss you when I go

And, oh, when I'm old and wise
Heavy words that tossed and blew me
Like autumn winds that will blow right through me
And someday in the mist of time
When they ask you if you knew me
Remember that you were a friend of mine
As the final curtain falls before my eyes
Oh, when I'm old and wise

As far as my eyes can see


Lyrics submitted by Ice

"Old and Wise" as written by Eric Woolfson Alan Parsons

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Old And Wise song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationHello all,

    I'm offering below what I think the author(s) of the song meant.
    I tried not to introduce personal extras, but is that possible anyway ?

    * Introduction: why ? / some context about me

    The sad side:
    An ex coworker died last yeas in a plane crash.
    My wife's mother also died last year.
    My godfather is dying of multiple cancers.
    There must be a reason why those events now remind me about this song.

    The good side: on top of that I've had troubles with neighbors which are calming down, but all those events actually taught me to enjoy life.

    Notice that I'm a fan of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
    This might have enlightened me or actually biased me, what do you think ?
    See at the end a link I make between this song and the book "The Little Prince".


    * My interpretation about the song, in one sentence.

    What's most important in life is friendship+relations.


    * My interpretation about the song, detailed

    > As far as my eyes can see
    > There are Shadows approaching me

    The author thinks about death approaching.
    The author is not necessarily old, thinking about certainty of death may happen at any age.

    > And to those I left behind
    > I wanted you to Know
    > You've always shared my deepest thoughts / You've always Shared my darkest hours

    The author keeps fond memories of friends, has a habit of thinking about them, especially in the most intimate thought (decisions ?) and in difficult times of life.

    > You follow where I go

    Even death will not dissolve relations, they extend between the people still living and the dead ones.

    > And oh when I'm old and wise

    This line may not be about actual age but metaphorical, see below.

    > Bitter words mean little to me / Heavy words that tossed and blew me

    Deeply thinking about death makes us realize how many things that hurt us actually aren't important.

    > Autumn Winds will blow right through me

    A metaphor of death: cold can flow through your body and that's no longer important.
    More poetically, after you realize what's important and what's not you don't care about things that come and go without important effects, like the wind.

    > And someday in the mist of time

    Not an actual moment in time. The previous lines describe a kind of permanent "frozen" state of the relation, like a museum of the past.
    Following lines describe the attitude that the author wants people to remember.

    > When they asked me if I knew you
    > I'd smile and say you were a friend of mine
    > And the sadness would be Lifted from my eyes

    This may be the core of the song: when you mentally represent an overview of your entire life, any sadness for any reason eventually disappears, what actually remains important is friends, relatives and the memory of friendship.

    > Oh when I'm old and wise

    May mean that the author is not there yet.

    (Then part of the song basically repeats the same except a few lines.)

    > When they ask you if you knew me
    > Remember that You were a friend of mine

    The persons are reversed here: in turn, the listener is invited to think about the author, making the link mutual, two-ways.

    > As the final curtain falls before my eyes

    Another metaphor of death. A curtain traditionally closes ("falls") at the very end of a theater play.


    * Back to the Little Prince

    Notice that if you put aside the idea of death, the remaining message matches the message from the fox to the Little Prince:

    > "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

    I hope you enjoyed this interpretation.
    I'd like to know if you agree, disagree, think about some refinement.

    Life timespan is limited. Go out, smile to the people, take occasions to live emotional moments with friends and relatives, be honest and true to them, forgive imperfections. Memories of those moments will be kept and shared in your hearts forever.

    Cheers!
    GLittlePrinceon March 26, 2015   Link

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