The Living Years (song)

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The Living Years (song)

"The Living Years" is a pop rock ballad written by Mike Rutherford and B. A. Robertson, and recorded by Rutherford's English rock band "Mike + The Mechanics". It was released in December 1988 in the UK and January 1989 in the US as the second single from their album, Living Years. The song was a chart hit around the world, topping the US Billboard Hot 100 on 25 March 1989,[1] and reaching No.1 in Canada and Australia and No.2 in the UK. It spent four weeks at No. 1 on the US Adult Contemporary chart. Paul Carrack sings lead vocals on the track. The song, which addresses a son's regret over unresolved conflict with his now-deceased father,[2] moved veteran entertainer Rolf Harris to tears, live on UK breakfast television TV-am in December 1988.[3] It won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically & Lyrically in 1989,[4] and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1990. In 1996, famed composer Burt Bacharach opined: "'The Living Years' is one of the finest lyrics of the last 10 years." Source: Wikipedia contributors. "The Living Years (song)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 24 May. 2013. Web. 21 Sep. 2013.

Lyrics for The Living Years (song)

Lyrics and music © 1988 by Mike Rutherford and B. A. Robertson

Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door


I know that I'm a prisoner
To all my Father held so dear
I know that I'm a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years


Crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
I'm afraid that's all we've got


You say you just don't see it
He says it's perfect sense
You just can't get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defense


Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye


So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
It's the bitterness that lasts


So Don't yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different day
And if you don't give up, and don't give in
You may just be OK.


Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye


I wasn't there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn't get to tell him
All the things I had to say


I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I'm sure I heard his echo
In my baby's new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years


Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

Vidoes The Living Years (song)

  1. The Living Years Youtube video with band "Mike + the Mechanics" performing at the 1990 Grammy Awards.
  2. The Living Years Youtube video of an audio recording of the band "Mike + the Mechanics" performing the song. Lyrics included.