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  1. Years

From the album In The Booth - Download

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12. Years (Beth Nielsen Chapman)
This song made me cry when I first heard in it 1991, and it still chokes me up now (try singing like that!) Beth Nielsen Chapman is a phenomenal writer. As any soldier (sailor, airman, marine) will tell you, there is something beyond special about being able to return home, especially if it's been awhile. I know that when I took that exit off the highway, swung up over that bridge, and made that final turn onto my parents' street, I felt a sense of peace that is difficult to describe. The line about her mother being at the doorway hits particularly close to home: I'd lay on the horn (if the hour was reasonable) as soon as I hit the corner, and my mother would be on the front porch when I pulled up to the house. The saying is, "You can't go home again." and, with my parents gone, that is now all too true. But when I sing this song, I'm always just turning that last corner, reaching for the horn...

Lyrics

I went home for Christmas to the house that I grew
up in. Going back was something after all these years.
I drove down Monterey street and felt a little sadness
when I turned left on Laurel and the house appeared.
And I snuck up to that rocking chair
where the winter sunlight slanted on the screened-in porch.
And I stared out past the shade tree
that my laughing daddy planted on the day that I was
born.

And I let time go by so slow.
And I made every moment last.
And I thought about years -
how they take so long -
and they go so fast

Across the street the Randol's oldest daughter must
have come home.
Her two boys built a snowman by the backyard swings.
I thought of old man Randol and his Christmas decorations
and how he used to leave them up 'til early spring.
And I thought of all the summers
that I paced that porch and swore I'd die of boredom there.
And I thought of what I'd give to feel anothersummer linger
where a day feels like a year

And I let time go by so slow.
And I made every moment last.
And I thought about years -
how they take so long -
and they go so fast

Then the door flew open,
and my mother's voice was laughing
as she called back to my daddy,
"Come and look who's here"

And I thought about years....