Song of the Day #5,042: ‘How You’ve Grown’ – 10,000 Maniacs

‘How You’ve Grown’ is a standout track from 10,000 Maniacs’ gorgeous 1992 album Our Time in Eden. Between the ongoing 1994 “Decades” posts and this weekend’s random selections, the early 90s is really getting a workout lately.

This is a song about the fleeting nature of childhood, the way we see our children morph into adults before our eyes. Merchant was a decade away from motherhood herself when she wrote it, and the line “I’ll never be more to you than a stranger” suggests it was written about the child of a friend or relative.

That line aside, this song hits home as a parent of two young women who have certainly grown up much faster than I ever dreamed.

“My, how you’ve grown.”
I remember that phrase from my childhood days too
“Just wait and see.”
I remember those words and how they chided me, when patient was the hardest thing to be
Because we can’t make up for the time that we’ve lost, I must let these memories provide
No little girl can stop her world to wait for me

I should have known
At your age, in a string of days the year is gone
But in that space of time, it takes so long
Because we can’t make up for the time that we’ve lost, I must let those memories provide
No little girl can stop her world to wait for me

Every time we say goodbye you’re frozen in my mind as the child that you never will be, you never will be again
I’ll never be more to you than a stranger could be
Every time we say goodbye you’re frozen in my mind as a child that you never will be, will be again

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,042: ‘How You’ve Grown’ – 10,000 Maniacs

  1. Amy says:

    Could she be talking to her childhood self? That’s sort of what it seems like to me. Another iteration of Swift’s “Mirrorball” if you will. The adult version of yourself is a stranger to your childhood self, and you can only hope to hold on to the memories.

  2. Dana Gallup says:

    I kinda like Amy’s interpretation, but, either way it’s a beautiful song from a wonderful album.

  3. Peg says:

    Love the lyrics ❤️

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