Young Men

Music: Tom Leighton   Lyrics: Marie-Lynn Hammond

they move as quick as flowing water
their manners are rough and their spelling’s worse
they laugh too loud, but it doesn’t matter
they’re an unasked blessing and a blessed curse

they throw stones at your window at two in the morning
you say it’s too late and you won’t come down
but they are full of the juice of persistence
they know they can make you come around

and even though you feel delirious
you know you really can’t get serious
not with those young men, that’s who I mean
young men, so young and green
are you shocked and surprised?
are you scandalized?
or are you, admit it, tantalized?

they ask me what it was like in the sixties
did I ever see The Beatles on LSD
one minute they’re making me feel so young
and the next as old as some redwood tree

they’re big on rap and bands like Sonic Youth
sounds just like noise to me if you want the truth
oh God, did I really say that?
I can’t believe I said that
I used to listen to The Fugs, and Hendrix
and Frank Zappa!

save me from those young men
young and strong
young men can dance all night long
are you shocked and surprised?
are you scandalized?
or are you, admit it, tantalized?

oh what would my feminist sisters think
if they knew I consorted with younger fellas
would they suspect me of reverse exploitation
while secretly feeling just a wee bit jealous

I called an older male friend and I cry
I say I’ve fallen for this wonderful guy
but he’s just twenty-three and it’s such a drag
the friend answers dryly, “Don’t brag!”

older men with young women never had a problem
it’s this other way ’round that’s all so new
I find myself doing pathetic arithmetic
when I’m forty-nine, he’ll be thirty-two
and when he’s forty-nine, I’ll be—oh God, forget it
I’ll be ancient and grey, I’ll be out in the cold
’cause he can get wrinkles and he’ll be distinguished
but when I get wrinkles, I’ll just be old

but still and all perhaps I shouldn’t complain
could be I’ll never taste such sweetness again
with those young men
they have no past
young men think love can last
no mistakes to forget
they aren’t jaded yet
young men they’ve got nothing to regret

young men are big on the big questions
why is there a universe?
why are we here?
I guess I too was like that once
but the answers never came clear
so then I switched from why to how
and lately how shares time with when
as in: oh God, how am I going to pay the rent this month?
and somebody tell me
when will I ever get lucky again?

so often these young men think I’m cynical
they can’t believe they’ll ever get that way
but sometimes their dreams rub off on me
if only for a day

nature’s unfair
he can have kids ’til he’s a hundred and one
but with me if I don’t do it now
well, of course it won’t get done

so he’ll leave me some day for a younger woman
he’ll have a family—a girl and two boys
and I’ll be an old friend he can’t quite explain
who drops round to visit with cookies and toys

and I’ll probably have put on some weight
I’ll need glasses for reading
and he’ll be older too, maybe losing a little hair
but when his wife leaves the room he’ll tease me and say
“I’m still younger than you, so there!”

and what will he see when he looks in my eyes?
will he remember his startled delight
decades and centuries and eons ago
when I laid him down so sweet and so slow
and the stars fell around us on that August night

maybe now, now that I know
I’ll find it in my heart to forgive
all those old December guys
who marry sweet May things
pretty young playthings
Picasso, Trudeau
Chaplin and Fred Astaire
’cause mostly it’s men loving younger women
though you could say I’m trying to turn that around
maybe love is just what you can get away with
so maybe love could be whatever we dare

oh young men
that’s who I mean
those young men
but always over eighteen!
oh young men
those young men