If You Can Listen to Lori McKenna’s “People Get Old” Without Crying and Calling Your Parents– You Might Not Be Alive

Lori McKenna can capture feelings like no other songwriter before.

In 20 years, when someone asks me who my favorite songwriter is and who most accurately captures real family life and feelings, I will confidently proclaim– Lori McKenna.

You know Lori as one-third of the Love Junkies and as the GRAMMY-winning songwriter of Tim McGraw’s “Humble & Kind.”  McKenna also released the brilliantly beautiful The Bird & The Rifle in 2016 to just as much acclaim as song she’s ever written. After becoming the first woman to win ACM Songwriter of the Year in 2017, McKenna is back with her own new music and the first single, “People Get Old” from the album, The Tree, is a tender look at life with apt observation that, yes, people get old and things change. Like “Humble & Kind,” McKenna wrote this tune on her own sharing, “I love people’s stories about their families—the way they tic and the ways we’re all crazy and love each other. I hope my songs shine a little light on that for a second. Maybe our stories remind us of our families and what they give us. It’s beautiful, and sometimes we take it for granted.”

If you can even read the lyrics without calling someone you love, well– okay.

[Verse 1]
Someone said “Youth’s wasted on the young”
Spent every last dollar by the time that summer was gone
But Daddy had a Timex watch, cigarette in his hand and a mouthful of scotch
Spinnin’ me around like a tilt-a-whirl on his arm

[Chorus 1]
Houses need paint, winters bring snow
Kids come on in before your supper gets cold
Collection plates and daddy’s billfold
And that’s how it goes
Live long enough, people get old

[Verse 2]
I sat around beside him in the cabin of that truck
Goin’ thirty miles an hour down a side road talkin’ ’bout the fish we caught
And I’m older now than he was then
If I could go back in time, I would in a second
To his beat-up blue jeans and his t-shirt with the sleeves cut off

[Chorus 2]
Houses need paint, winters bring snow
Kids growin’ up and seekin’ out the window
Hittin’ every small-town dirt road
And that’s how it goes
Live long enough, people get old
Yeah, people get old

[Verse 3]
Daddy keeps busy in the aftenoons playin’ cards by himself
And he shouldn’t be shovelin’ that first snow, but you know he won’t take the help
For the pride and love, he don’t say too much [?], never did
And you still think he’s forty-five and he still thinks that you’re a kid

[Verse 4]
One day you’ll find yourself sayin’ the things that he said
You’ll be walkin’ down a hallway, turnin’ off every light switch
When you twirl your kids in your arms, before you know it
It won’t take too long, they’ll be runnin’ off makin’ a life just like you did

[Chorus 3]
Houses need paint, winters bring snow
Nothin’ says “love” like a band of gold
Babies grow up and houses get sold
And that’s how it goes
Time is a thief, pain is a gift
The past is the past, it is what it is
Every line on your face tells a story somebody knows
That’s how it goes
You live long enough, and the people you love get old