through the years

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(On the way home from taking my daughter to confirmation, the song 7 Years by Lukas Graham came on the radio. I love the soulful intensity of this song, and when I got home I looked up the lyrics and found a rewrite of the original song sung by Leah Guest. I love Lukas’s version for its painful truth and jaded confusion, but I like Leah’s lyrics too for all the same reasons and because I hear in her the female version of faith, hope, and love.)

Once I was seven years old
and my mama told me to
be the kindest girl that I could be
Once I was seven years old

This is a scary world
I didn’t let that phase me
We put our brave face on
from the morning til the evening
And by eleven I’d learnt words
that hurt more than bruises
Life is a restless game
we’re trying not to lose it

Once I was eleven years old
my daddy told me my heart
had to be the prettiest thing about me
Once I was eleven years old

I’ve always dreamt so big
and I’m a keep on dreaming
and in a hopeless world
I’ve always kept believing
I’ve always kept on breathing
always kept achieving
Despite the sticks and stones
I will not be defeated

Soon I’ll be twenty years old
and my brothers told me to
hold the ones who love me most so closely
Soon I’ll be twenty years old

I wanna make a change
make this place a little better
We need to live within a world
where everybody matters
I don’t want to see
anyone’s sons or daughters
crying cause they don’t fit in
with what society has taught them

Soon I’ll be twenty years old
and my friends have told me to
keep my chin up when my tears are streaming
Soon I’ll be twenty years old

Soon we’ll be thirty years old
what will our lives hold?
Will I be satisfied with all that surrounds me?
Soon I’ll be thirty years old

No matter how old we are
age is just a number
It’s never too late to love
to reach or care for each other
to forgive a brother
or to find a lover
Life is a mystery
waiting to be discovered

Soon I’ll be sixty years old
My life will be story
where my children tell their children about me
I’ll watch a generation
rise up to change a nation
The past lays down foundations
for the future celebrations

Soon I’ll be sixty years old
Will I be all alone
cause I never valued what was all around me?
Soon I’ll be sixty years old

Soon I’ll be sixty years old
and God will show me
that he was by my side
through my every heartbeat

Once I was seven years old
and my mama told me to
be the kindest girl that I could be
Once I was seven years old

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