Before it’s too late…

I never thought I’d see the day
when I can hear my husband say
“I wanna spend more time with my dad
and see him every day.”

He then gently sang out these verses
from the song The Living Years
As the lyrics pierced my heart
My eyes were wet as I melted in tears

The lyrics goes
*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

Half a decade of heartaches
from a father who always has his way
Never a tender word
Never a “son, you’ve made my day.”

Neither any affirmation
try as he might
All he gets from his dad is
You never get things right

But now lies his dad
as my husband sits beside his bed
plucking up all courage
to tell his dad all the things that need to be said

We don’t have a good relationship, dad
But I’m thankful for what I have
You’ve given me a good education, dad
You’ve given me all that you can

And so the conversations have started
for the first time in their lives
sitting beside the bed
where his weak and ill dad lies

Where Love is allowed to go
into the deepest hurts of your soul
It is there you’ll find healing
Wherever forgiveness flows

As Christ hung high up on the cross
Looking at the people below
Forgive them, Father, he said
For they do not know

And now that you know
where would you allow Love to go?
Would you let Love into your heart
Where forgiveness need to flow?

*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

Who do you need to forgive
What do you want to say?
Why don’t you let Love win
And say it before it’s too late

The Living Years
Mike & The Mechanics

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 defence

[Chorus]
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

[Chorus]

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

[Chorus]
*Lyrics from Genius.com

 

Mike Rutherford and BA Robertson wrote The Living Years about a year after Mike’s dad died. He shared in an interview, “As a teenager in the late 1960s, the last thing I wanted was to be like my father.” Read more

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