When I Was Your Age

from by Letitia VanSant & the Bonafides

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Addressing her potential future grandchildren (she doesn’t even have children yet), Letitia imagines the apology she may have to make about rising sea levels and extinct species. “I grew up going to my grandfather's house on the Chesapeake Bay. If we get a two-foot sea rise, that place may not be there for my grandchildren. As I was singing, the song seemed to become more and more real to me.” Though she usually performs with the Bonafides, Letitia also does the occasional show by herself, and that aspect of her music is represented by this track, where her piercing soprano is accompanied by nothing but her own acoustic guitar. The melody for this folk ballad is so remarkable in its wide-ranging contours that it doesn’t need more than minimal backing.

lyrics

When I was your age
We would play by the side of the bay
Made forts from the driftwood and pies from the clay
My mother would smile from a beach chair all day
When I was your age

But child you can't get there anymore
The bridge washed away long ago
The house blew to splinters in a terrible storm
Now it is driftwood on faraway shores
Oh child you can't get there anymore

When I was your age
There was snow on the mountains as pure as the rain
There were creatures by the millions, many more than I can say
No ark to save them they all died away
When I was your age

A fairy tale to you it must seem
I suppose that it might as well be
But I want you to know all these things you'll never see
I want you to know that I'm sorry
I'm sorry

They told us it was coming, it was coming very soon
They told us it was coming, I did not know what to do
Didn't know what to do so I wrote this little tune
I wrote this little tune, a prayer for you
Oh God bless you

credits

from Parts & Labor, released February 27, 2015
recorded by Nicholas Sjostrom at Clean Cuts Studio

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Letitia VanSant Baltimore, Maryland

Letitia VanSant & the Bonafides are a Baltimore & Washington, DC -based quartet that straddle the boundary between acoustic string band music, roots rock, and the confessional folk of a singer-songwriter.

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