I remember when we had a lot of things to do
Impressed by all the words we read
And the heroes that we knew.
Climb on your your dream, a dream of our own making
To find a place that we could later lose
To whatever time would bring.

We were seventeen and the cakeman was affecting you
Moving you to greater things (in a lesser way)
You had to prove.
The clock struck summertime. You were going round in circles now.
Wishing you were seventeen. At twenty-one, it was a long time gone.
And now here you are. You're locked in your own excuse.
The circle's getting smaller every day.
You're busy planning the next fifty years.
So stay the way you are and keep your head down to the same old ground.
Just paint your picture boy until you find
A closed circle's better than an open line.

Yes stay the way you are. I got a circle that's the same as yours.
It may be bigger, but I've more to lose.
Who is the luckier man,me or you?

Lyrics submitted by Krendall2006

17 Lyrics as written by Ian Anderson

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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17 song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentgood song, I am 21 now and damn i wish i was 17.
    JacksHeadphoneson August 04, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of top 5 most underrated Jethro Tull songs. Not sure I have much to add on the meaning, other than the fairly obvious. A young man longing for the days of carefree non-assimilation and beginning to sense immortality and rules that have to be complied with. The "cakeman" is a reference that is lost on me.
    LRonHooveron January 19, 2019   Link

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