Life teaches us many lessons in life, and unfortunately, many of them aren’t fully understood until we grow older. And then we wish we knew these things when we younger. Roy Clark’s song “Yesterday When I Was Young” captures what it means to look back at our lives with new knowledge.
I saw a meme on the internet that said, “Childhood is wasted on children.” The slow and sad lyrics of the song also convey that youth is a unique gift that the youth cannot process. Clark says, “I never stopped to think what life was all about and every conversation I can now recall; concerned itself with me and nothing else at all.”
When we are young, we think about what we want to do when we grow up. We think about the grand adventures we will have upon leaving home. The people we will meet dance through our dreams. But we rarely think of what will happen when we let our dreams die. “The thousand dreams I dreamed, the splendid things I planned; I always built to last on weak and shifting sand.”
The legendary Roy Clark, an older man, standing alone on stage, embodies his song’s words. “The friends I made all seemed somehow to drift away. And only I am left on stage to end the play.” As we get older, we try and pass this wisdom onto our children, but they cannot hear it. They are too busy “teasing at life as if it were a foolish game.”