Four and twenty years ago, I come into this life The song of a woman and a man who lived in strife He was tired of being poor And he wasn't into selling door to door And he worked like the devil to be more
A different kind of poverty now upsets me so Night after sleepless night, I walk the floor And I want to know- why am I so alone? Where is my woman can I bring her home Have I driven her away? Is she gone?
Morning comes to sunrise and I'm driven to my bed. I see that it is empty and there's devils in my head I embrace the many colored beast I grow weary of the torment, can there be no peace? And I find myself just wishing that my life would simply cease
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Scottsol from Evanston, IllinoisThe song was written in 1969 and Stills sang it on the Dick Cavett show right after Woodstock when he was, in fact, four and twenty years old. This song, like Suite:Judy Blue Eyes, was inspired by his love for singer Judy Collins. Stills may claim this is about an old man, the lyrics say otherwise.
While the first stanza mentions his father, the song then shifts to and stays about Stills and Collins.
“A different kind of poverty now upsets me so”
“Why am I so alone? Where is my woman, can I bring her home? Have I driven her away? Is she gone?”
Pedro from BrazilWhen was the song exactly made? Stills was 25 when it was released, on 1970. If the song was made a little bit earlier, when he was 24, it would be too crazy thinking the song is about Stills himself?
Rich from PhillyI’m reading the book that just came out about Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young and it says that Stills gulped in a moment of emotion between “I” and “embrace the many colored beast” while doing the first take and redid the track to correct it and his bandmates convinced him to keep the original in there as it was raw and real. I always noticed the pause there but never realized why it happened
Rebecca from MassachusettsI believe that the 2nd line of 1st verse should read: The son of a woman and a man who lived in strife. [with no g after son] (fixed, thank you - editor)