Tuesday, March 8, 2011

When I Was a Boy (the "F" word, continued)

Check out this beautiful video of "When I Was a Boy" by Dar Williams--about the freedom, for a girl, of pretending she is a boy (lyrics at the bottom of this post):

And the final verse reminds me of this quote:

"We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters." ~Gloria Steinem


"I won't forget when Peter Pan came to my house, took my hand

I said I was a boy; I'm glad he didn't check.

I learned to fly, I learned to fight

I lived a whole life in one night

We saved each other's lives out on the pirate's deck.

And I remember that night

When I'm leaving a late night with some friends

And I hear somebody tell me it's not safe,

someone should help me

I need to find a nice man to walk me home.

When I was a boy, I scared the pants off of my mom,

Climbed what I could climb upon

And I don't know how I survived,

I guess I knew the tricks that all boys knew.

And you can walk me home, but I was a boy, too.

I was a kid that you would like, just a small boy on her bike

Riding topless, yeah, I never cared who saw.

My neighbor come outside to say, "Get your shirt,"

I said "No way, it's the last time I'm not breaking any law."

And now I'm in this clothing store, and the signs say less is more

More that's tight means more to see, more for them, not more for me

That can't help me climb a tree in ten seconds flat

When I was a boy, See that picture? That was me

Grass-stained shirt and dusty knees

And I know things have gotta change,

They got pills to sell, they've got implants to put in,

they've got implants to remove

But I am not forgetting...that I was a boy too

And like the woods where I would creep, it's a secret I can keep

Except when I'm tired, 'cept when I'm being caught off guard

And I've had a lonesome awful day, the conversation finds its way

To catching fire-flies out in the backyard.

And so I tell the man I'm with about the other life I lived

And I say, "Now you're top gun, I have lost and you have won"

And he says, "Oh no, no, can't you see

When I was a girl, my mom and I we always talked

And I picked flowers everywhere that I walked.

And I could always cry, now even when I'm alone I seldom do

And I have lost some kindness

But I was a girl too.

And you were just like me, and I was just like you" --Dar Williams


  1. Thanks for posting this, Marie. As the mother of a marvelous, long-haired, pink-wearing, flute-playing BOY I struggle with his pain when they call him a girl at school. But he's just himself. And I hope that he doesn't change just because someone tells him he shouldn't be that way.

  2. I'm glad Jeffrey feels comfortable in being himself...most adolescents are not comfortable in their own skin. Good for him!