When I Was a Boy Lyrics - Dar Williams

Review The Song (10)

I won't forget when Peter Pan came to my house, took my hand
I said I was a boy; I'm glad he didn't check.
I learned to fly, I learned to fight
I lived a whole life in one night
We saved each other's lives out on the pirate's deck.

And I remember that night
When I'm leaving a late night with some friends
And I hear somebody tell me it's not safe,
someone should help me
I need to find a nice man to walk me home.

When I was a boy, I scared the pants off of my mom,
Climbed what I could climb upon
And I don't know how I survived,
I guess I knew the tricks that all boys knew.

And you can walk me home, but I was a boy, too.

I was a kid that you would like, just a small boy on her bike
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Riding topless, yeah, I never cared who saw.
My neighbor come outside to say, "Get your shirt,"
I said "No way, it's the last time I'm not breaking any law."

And now I'm in this clothing store, and the signs say less is more
More that's tight means more to see, more for them, not more for me
That can't help me climb a tree in ten seconds flat

When I was a boy, See that picture? That was me
Grass-stained shirt and dusty knees
And I know things have gotta change,
They got pills to sell, they've got implants to put in,
they've got implants to remove

But I am not forgetting...that I was a boy too

And like the woods where I would creep, it's a secret I can keep
Except when I'm tired, 'cept when I'm being caught off guard
And I've had a lonesome awful day, the conversation finds its way
To catching fire-flies out in the backyard.

And so I tell the man I'm with about the other life I lived
And I say, "Now you're top gun, I have lost and you have won"
And he says, "Oh no, no, can't you see

When I was a girl, my mom and I we always talked
And I picked flowers everywhere that I walked.
And I could always cry, now even when I'm alone I seldom do
And I have lost some kindness
But I was a girl too.
And you were just like me, and I was just like you"

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when i was a boy | Reviewer: jeafur | 12/1/13

i was very much a boy growing up but my mom tried shaping those characteristics out of me. she told me less basket ball shorts and more skirts. little by little she would throw out my shorts and swap them out. now im 15 and still very much see parts of myself as my young boyish self. beautiful song, i can really relate to it.

Love this song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/11/09

The first time I heard this song was in psychology class for a project we had to listen to a list of songs and figure out the psychological meanings and this song caught my attention I loved it so much I failed to listen to the other songs and ended up not passing my test because of this song. This song reminds me of my childhood back in africa playing in the sand and rain and the somple things without a care in the world. Although I never had any gender issues and am very much masculine..this song always makes me remember my culture and my roots.

when I was a boy | Reviewer: Twila Casper | 3/25/09

I was definently a boy. I still am in many ways. i climb trees, i can't stand tight clothes and never used to wear a shirt in the summer. at such a young age, who cares, you really don't have anything to hide! ;)

One of my favorites | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/8/09

Shared this song with my mother (who played sand lot ball when she was a boy), a friend (who had her implants removed), my husband (who cried when I read "Love You Forever" to our kids) and my son and daughters. When I'm learning traditionally male trades I think of this song and enjoy hanging with the guys, but am always happy to get back with my sistahs.

When I Was a Boy | Reviewer: Olivia | 4/3/08

I remember listening to this song when I was in first grade and was very much 'a boy'. Now that I'm older this song has gained so many more meanings, but it’s still just as wonderful and poignant. Thank you Dar Williams!

when I was a boy | Reviewer: michael chew | 10/25/07

an truly beautiful song, it always brings tears to my eyes. how many of us have been trapped in damaging gender roles...?

when i was a boy | Reviewer: avery lou | 10/7/07

Dar Williams has such an amazing talent for writing songs where you listen to them and say "Hey thats my life!"
i grew up with 3 brothers who were often my only playmates so...I was a boy too!

Nice! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/16/07

Awsome song. Its so true; at that age, there should be no difference, life does not discriminate.

when I was a boy | Reviewer: jessica bishop | 7/29/07

I've loved this song ever since the first time I heard it, it's one of those songs that just gets thru to your heart

When I Was a Girl | Reviewer: Jimmy Peterson | 2/26/07

This song should be heard by every young boy and girl... Dar Williams found the way through the walls in my penetratable heart and touched the most tender parts of my soul with her words. I cried and re-claimed a part of myself with the gift she gave me, this song.

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------ Performed by Dar Williams

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------ 08/29/2014

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