Song Lyric Sunday – Beautiful

The prompt from Jim:

Our theme this week is Alluring, Beautiful, Charming, Graceful, Seductive

So many popular songs immediately came to mind when I looked at this prompt. None of the  spoke to me. I walked away for a day and just happened to stumble on this song which really resonated with me.

”Back When We Were Beautiful” was written by American singer songwriter Matraca Berg. The song is about aging and the tug-of-war between the person we are inside and the physical face the public sees. I think we all feel young inside but age has a way of betraying us.

I did not find much written about this song other than the inspiration was taken from conversations with her grandmother and mother-in-law where both stated how they still felt young inside even though they were aging. (Source

It was difficult to find out when the song was written, but Matraca Berg recorded it in 1997, 1999 and again in 2008. The song was also recorded by Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell in 2013.

I love the enunciation of the lyrics performed by Matraca Berg, but I love the feel of Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell’s version. I am listing both videos here for you to enjoy.

“Back When We Were Beautiful”
Lyrics from

I guess you had to be there
She said you had to be
She handed me a yellowed photograph
And then said, see?

This was my greatest love
My one and only love
And this is me
Back when we were beautiful

I don’t feel very different
She said I know it’s strange
I guess I’ve gotten used to
These little aches and pains

But I still love to dance
You know we used to dance
But night away
Back when we were beautiful
Beautiful, yes

I hated when they said
I’m aging gracefully
I fight it every day
I guess they never see
I don’t like this at all
What’s happening to me?

But I really love my grand kids
She said they’re sweet to hold
They would have loved their grandpa
Those awful jokes he told

You know sometimes for a laugh
The two of us would act
Like we were old
Back when we were beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful yes

But I guess you had to be there

Song Lyric Sunday is hosted every Sunday by Jim Adams. If you would like to join in the fun, check out his blog for the rules and to take in all the other music posted by other blogers.