Younger Me

Younger Me
Songwriters: Kendell Marvel / John Osborne / Thomas Osborne

Younger me
Made it harder than it had to be
Trying hard to dodge my destiny
Would get the best of me

Younger me
Way too young to pace a bedroom floor
Always dreamed of kicking down the door
What were you waiting for

Younger me
Was as reckless as he should have been
Close calls and downfalls and getting back up again
And doing it all again

Younger me
Overthinking, losing sleep at night
Contemplating if it’s worth the fight
If he only knew he’d be alright
Yeah, younger me

Youth ain’t wasted on the young
These trips around the sun
I needed every one
To get where I’m standing now
It’s an uphill road to run
For my father’s son
Keep it together
It won’t be that way forever

Younger me
Hanging out but not quite fitting in
Didn’t know that being different
Really wouldn’t be the end
Younger me (yeah)

Yeah
Yeah, oh
Yeah

Youth ain’t wasted on the young
These trips around the sun
I needed every one
To get where I’m standing now
It’s an uphill road to run
Yeah, for my father’s son
Keep it together
It won’t be that way forever

Younger me
You got me where I am today
Got a few things right along the way
You’ll see, just wait
Younger me

About the Song

T.J. Osborne publicly came out as gay in an interview with Time on February 3, 2021. Following his coming out, Osborne wrote “Younger Me” as a letter to his younger self. Like many of us who have come out, Osborne said, “I’ve always wished I could speak to my younger self, give him a hug and show him who he’d become and what he’d achieve. Once I came out, that feeling was so overwhelmingly strong that this song was born.”

One of the things that makes country music so popular is that it is relatable. “Younger Me” blends that relatable country storytelling with a bit of a pop anthem. The song is a refreshing take on country music nostalgia. Often, nostalgic songs look back fondly on the songwriter’s childhood and simpler times, and the present is either presented as hard or having lost its innocence along the way. “Younger Me” is a different kind of story.

The song perfectly encapsulates a more compelling kind of nostalgia that does not rewrite the complexities and confusion of childhood: “Overthinking, losing sleep at night / contemplating if it’s worth the fight”. The lyrics are crisp and vital, evoking specific details (“To pace a bedroom floor”), and are wonderfully free of cliché. For Brothers’ Osborne, the future hold both threat and possibility, and the past contains both hurt and experiences from which to learn and grow. 

Brothers Osborne’s music has always had a broad appeal amongst pop and country fans, and “Younger Me” perfects this balance. This is a dazzling pop anthem if ever I heard one, yet the sharp storytelling proves that Osborne is a bona fide country songwriter too. 

T.J. Osborne is gay and proud with this song and shows that it is possible not only to be queer in country music, but also to celebrate these aspects of ourselves. “Younger Me” is the perfect embrace that a queer kid might need, a Pride anthem for country music fans.

Thank you, Dylan, for introducing me to this song.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

2 responses to “Younger Me

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