Sunday Open Thread: I’m Getting Older, Too.

The invaluable ggcolumn pointed me to a fascinating interview with Wynonna that ran in The Capitol Times, a newspaper out of Madison, Wisconsin. She’s one of those rare icons who is compelling whether they’re speaking or singing. This particular quote from the interview has been lingering in my mind since I read it:

I don’t know how old you are, but when you’re that young, you’re God. You think you’re in control of everything. You think it’s “I” and then somewhere between 35 to 40, you realize it’s “we.” At that age, you could have all the wisdom in the world, but the brain is only capable of so much at that age. I traded in my youth card for my wisdom and experience card. (Pause.) It would be nice to have both, but I don’t think that’s realistic.

I wholeheartedly agree with her. My early twenties seem like a lifetime ago, which always reminds me of the line “I still remember when thirty was old” from “Strawberry Wine.” Now, thirty is next June.

Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines once spoke of how she always loved the song “Landslide” but never understood it until she was 27. When she shared that with songwriter Steve Nicks, she learned that’s how old Stevie was when she wrote it.

In an era where music by and for teens is thriving everywhere, even on the country chart, I find myself seeking out music informed by the wisdom and experience Wynonna spoke of. Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “The Moon and St. Christopher” and Todd Snider’s “Age Like Wine” are two in that vein that I always come back to, as are Willie Nelson’s “Yesterday’s Wine” and more recently, Sugarland’s “Very Last Country Song.”

What are your favorite songs about time and the many changes it brings?


  1. I just got Lee Ann Womack’s album There’s More Where That Came From, and “Twenty Years And Two Husbands Ago” seems to fit the bill perfectly. It’s just an amazing song. I don’t think I really have to say any more…

  2. “In The Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)” by Dolly Parton is one of my favorite “time passing” songs. Dolly notes she wouldn’t give anything for the memories of the old days, but she wouldn’t go through them again. It’s a great antidote to sentimentality.

    And for sentimentality, I like Wynonna’s “I Just Drove By”.

  3. The two mentioned in the article “Landslide” and “Strawberry Wine” are nice ones. I’m 15 so I have yet to know what old feels like, actually I’ll take that back, I like to think of my life as Garth’s “Much Too Young” would say “And I’m much too young to feel this damn old”, I can always relate to that line. “Dreaming Fields” by Trisha is also a nice one that I’d consider time passing. Oh I almost forgot “Time Marches On” by Tracy Lawerence! lol. I’ll probably come back with more so be prepared to be more annoyed :P

  4. “When You Are Old” by Martina McBride has always been a favourite of mine. Reba’s “Moving Oleta” and “All Dressed Up (With Nowhere To Go)” are heartbreaking.

  5. “he told a good story and all of us kids listened ’bout his life on the border and the way it was then…”

    garth brooks “cowboy bill” from his debut album is a song packed with life, death, old and young, heroes and villains and a big texas sky. 4’28” have rarely been used better in country music. a real beauty, especially for those of us, who have ever dreamt of being a cowboy.

  6. Vince Gill’s “In These Last Few Days” always forces me to reflect on my relationships with people. I don’t want to reach the end of my life with unresolved issues:

    In these last few days, you’ve been on my mind.
    An’ we should get together an’ talk about old times.
    An’ put the past behind us before life slips away.
    I been thinkin’ ’bout you in these last few days.

    In these last few days, I have felt my age.
    I wish that I was younger, but time has turned the page.
    I sure miss the water and the rhythm of the waves.
    I’ve been feelin’ fragile in these last few days.

    Another song that makes me think of the passing of time is also from Vince, “These Days.” It just makes me think about how my life has taken turns that I wouldn’t have expected as a kid or a younger person, though I’m only 27. I like where my life is right now and I know that I’ve almost always felt that way. But it always turns out that I often think that “I’d take these days over any other days I’ve known.”

    On a less serious note, I also often feel like Jake’s choice, “Much Too Young to Feel This Damn Old.” It all depends on the day, Folks!:)

  7. As someone else said, I love Martina’s “When You are old.” I’m only twenty, but it makes me think of the (Hopefully) days when I’m old when the person I love. I also love Sara Evans’ “These Four Walls”, as she talks about how far she’s come from her childhood to now.

  8. Rosanne Cash was just mentioned in the ‘Say What’ thread above, so my mind is still preoccupied with thoughts of her and her music … But my favorite coming-of-age song (for me anyway) was her ‘Seven Year Ache’. Trisha Yearwood covered the song on her Inside Out album and that was released my senior year of high school – a major turning point in many people’s lives, including myself. So while I prefer Trisha’s vocals, the song is and always was Rosanne’s. And it just tells the real story of love I believe, the nitty gritty so to speak.

    You look so careless when they’re shootin that bull/Don’t you know heartaches are heroes when their pockets are full/Just tell me you’re tryin’ to cure a seven year ache/See what else your old heart can take

    This is the song that really made me fall in love with country music as a genre and seek out its rich history. I had already been a fan of 90s powerhouse artists like Garth & Reba. Leave it to Ms. Yearwood to start me down the right path towards great discoveries …

  9. I’m really into “The Story” by Brandi Carlile, a folkie singer. It starts out:

    All of these lines across my face
    Tell you the story of who I am
    So many stories of where I’ve been
    and how I got to where I am

    It’s being used right now as the soundtrack for the GM commercial during the Olympics for hybrid cars — not sure why, but who cares.

  10. “There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them.”

    From “Time In a Bottle” by the late Jim Croce

    That song really hits me harder now than when I first heard it 35 years ago. Funny, but today I think Croce would be considered “country.”

    I’m surprised his songs have not been covered more. There are several country singers who could have big hits with “Alabama Rain” or “These Dreams,” to suggest just a couple.

  11. “80s Ladies” by Kate Oslin rang true for a lot of women while “I Wish I Was 18 Again” by George Burns (and later Jerry Lee Lewis) carried a lot of meaning for many.

  12. Two recent songs that took my breath away when I first heard them…

    “You’re Gonna Miss This” – Trace Adkins
    “Don’t Blink” – Kenney Chesney

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.