Once When I Was Young
by Si Kahn & Tom Chapin
2009 Joe Hill Music & The Last Music Co. (ASCAP)

'Twas in the year of plenty
I was first out on my own,
With no one to look after me
No money, car or phone.
I took a leap out in the deep,
Headfirst on the run,
Thick as a brick I could take a lick
Once when I was young.

I met you in a club downtown,
Do you remember when
Every night was a red light,
Every vagabond a friend?
I must have sounded pretty lame
As I tripped over my tongue,
But maybe you were awkward too,
Once when I was young.

In the halflight of a streetlamp
Your beauty shone like day.
When you took me to your room
I could not turn my eyes away.
You put your lips against my lips,
Tongue against my tongue.
I thought my heart would blow apart
Once when I was young.
Sometimes I dream in silver,
Sometimes I dream in gold.
Sometimes I dream of you, my love,
To keep me from the cold.

Then you got me crazy frantic
When you finally turned away.
I couldn't sleep at all at night,
I stumbled through the day.
I was lost, tossed, double-crossed.
I was stranded. I was stung.
I almost died of wounded pride
Once when I was young.
Sometimes I dream in amber,
Sometimes I dream in jade.
Sometimes I dream of you, my love,
And promises we made.

But promises are broken,
And yours was the first to go,
You married in the wintertime,
My heart froze hard as snow.
Your husband never challenged me
'Bout what he must have heard.
I worked beside him 20 years,
He never said a word.

I see you in the club tonight,
We nod just like old friends.
I look down at your wedding band
To break my heart again.
You lift your eyes and stare at me,
I see the ring is gone.
I follow you into the night,
Like once when we were young.
Sometimes my dreams are black and white,
Sometimes they're ruby red.
Tonight I dream of you, my love,
Beside me in this bed.

This song appears on Tom Chapin's Let The Bad Times Roll CD.

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