When I was young and dreams were new,
I loved a girl who looked like you.
I saw her face in mountains stream.
I lingered there and lost myself in dreams.

But we were young and tossed away
Our precious love along the way.
We parted strangers, thoughtless and free
And set our hearts to wandering aimlessly.

But looking back, somehow I see
How seldom love has come to me.
And I confess that now and then
I think of her remembering when

If I were young and dreams were new,
I'd love a girl who looked like you.
I'd hold her close if she'd agree
To love perhaps a boy who looked like me.

Oh...


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When I Was Young Lyrics as written by Jane Bowers Dave Guard

Lyrics © CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC

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Classic love story true to his western tx roots. One of my favorites as a story, but I think there are alot of songs that are amazing not even listed on this site. I guess I should figure out how to add them, because I have about 8 REK cd's.
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Like a lot of the other comments are saying, I think this mainly about voyeurism. If the song was about his girlfriend, then why would he use the word spy. If you are a spy it means you shouldn't be caught, that is kind of the whole point, and if you are a voyeur, the whole point of the pleasure you get from it, is the fact that the other people don't know you are watching them. See a bit of a connection there?
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The way this song speaks to me🥺🥺when I sing it I feel like I relate
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This song is def a twin to "Unfair" (a song she has been quoted as saying is about falling in love with someone who is already in a relationship) so it is presumably about the same person. Given the references to buying an apartment and not being able to see her love interest "after tonight," it's most likely that she's moving away and she'll "wait a day to break the bad news" (i.e. notifying him that she's leaving once she's already gone). And, of course, the fact that she sees in him a fellow "idealist" and "dreamer" (terms commonly given to people with the INFP personality on the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)) portends that she'll always be left wondering if they would've been perfect together.
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In regards to the meaning of this song: Before a live performance on the EP Five Stories Falling, Geoff states “It’s about the last time I went to visit my grandmother in Columbus, and I saw that she was dying and it was the last time I was going to see her. It is about realizing how young you are, but how quickly you can go.” That’s the thing about Geoff and his sublime poetry, you think it’s about one thing, but really it’s about something entirely different. But the lyrics are still universal and omnipresent, ubiquitous, even. So relatable. That’s one thing I love about this band. I also love their live performances, raw energy and Geoff’s beautiful, imperfectly perfect vocals. His voice soothes my aching soul.