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Mike + the Mechanics’ “The Living Years”: Relish Your Relationships

Happy #SongLyricsSunday! Going to do a quickie as it is almost bedtime for me. This week’s prompt is to find a song with the words “Disgust”, “Embarrassment”, “Guilt”, “Regret”, “Remorse”, and/or “Shame” in it, as suggested by Melanie aka Sparky. I was going to use the song “Shame” by the 90s R&B duo Zhané, but I already used that. My next thought was “The Living Years” by Mike + the Mechanics. When I was listening to this song, I think about my relationship with my relatives a lot more and how we don’t have to fight over our differences and be bitter. Embrace the differences and just live in that moment!

Say It Loud

“The Living Years” was written by B. A. Robertson and Mike Rutherford for Mike + The Mechanics in 1988. Mostly everyone knows Rutherford for being the bassist, songwriter, and guitarist for Genesis. B. A. Robertson is a British singer-songwriter who was known for quirky lyrics in the 70s and 80s. He has written songs for the fifth season of Baywatch as well as for artists like Pete Frampton, Cliff Richard, and Christie Allen. He won a Razzie Award in 1983 for the Worst Original Song for the movie The Pirate Movie. I think he may have turned a new leaf and started to write more serious things when he started to collaborate with Mike + The Mechanics.

What inspired the pair to write “The Living Years” was the death of their fathers in 1986 with Robertson losing his twelve weeks before the birth of his own son. Robertson wrote the first verse before his father’s death, the second verse was conceived a little after, and the final verse wasn’t written until right before the song was recorded. It was a true reflection of Robertson’s relationship with his father as it captured his feelings before and after his father’s death. Yet, the song also touches on the regret of unresolved conflict with a now-deceased relative. If we could only turn back time and fix it…

The song was nominated for four Grammy awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, and Best Video. But, it didn’t take any of those awards. It did win the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically in 1989 as well as the band’s only hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It also hit number one on the charts in the UK, Canada, Ireland, and Australia.

What do you like about “The Living Years”? Let me know in the comments!


The Rules for #SongLyricsSunday

(This challenge is currently hosted by the generous Jim Adams.)

Anyone can participate in #SongLyricsSunday, even if you aren’t a music blogger! If you want to participate, here are the rules:

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not.
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
  • Pingback to this post will eventually work, as long as you are being patient, but you can also place your link in the comments if you don’t like to wait.
  • Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
  • Feel free to suggest future prompts.
  • Have fun and enjoy the music.

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Mike + the Mechanics' "The Living Years": Relish Your Relationships

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Luna S

    Great tune, I always look forward to seeing what you’ll share next as I often find songs I haven’t heard or known about.

  2. Jazmin Williams

    This is such a great song! I love learning more about music and the history behind it.

  3. Fransic verso

    This is interesting challenge and I wish I have the time to pariticipate and join the fun. And the song is awesome as well.

  4. Jessica Lathrop

    Wow I didn’t know all of this- but I loved learning the history behind such a great song! I’ve heard of Mark Rutherford but didn’t know all of the backstory involved. Great post, thank you for sharing this with us!

  5. Chrissy

    I have listened to ones song they have via my brother, they are nice but not my genre. Now, with your share? I get to know about them 🙂

  6. Knycx Journeying

    I love your choice about this song and it love the soothing and comforting beat, it’s a great song to play in the morning, thanks!

  7. You ALWAYS have such good taste in music. I love everything you share since I am always looking for new music. I added this to my playlist.

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