Kenny Roger’s Had a Lesser Known, But Very Moving Song, “Water and Bridges,” About a Man with this Painful Secret in his Past

Kenny Roger’s Had a Lesser Known, But Very Moving Song, “Water and Bridges,” About a Man with this Painful Secret in his Past

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Kenny Rogers, Grammy-winning songwriter and performer with such hits as “Lucille,” “Lady,” “Islands in the Stream,” and the sing-along classic, “The Gambler,” died March 20th 2020. He was 81.

There is a lesser known song that tells the story of loss, one we rarely hear addressed in song:

Rogers told CNN at the time the song was released that “Water and Bridges” was not about his own personal experience, but was “really about choices you make when you’re young that you pay for when you’re old.”

“It’s an interesting — it starts off with a young couple who have an abortion,” Rogers explained. “And the guy says, ‘If a father could hold his son, I could undo what’s been done, but I guess everyone is living with water and bridges.'”

Not only are the lyrics poignant, but like many of Rogers tunes, its a great song.

Rogers sings:

We could all go crazy from…Things that only time can dull.

But time can’t really “dull” this loss. Its too deep and personal. There are some things we learn to leave in the past, and not look back. Abortion is not one of them.

As I wrote in my book on men and abortion, Tears of the Fisherman:

Abortion, rather than being an issue best left buried in the past, is one that is very much impacting men in the present.  It is touching every aspect of their lives. 

If you’re a man or woman touched by this song, and have been “living with water and bridges,” maybe its time to make peace with yourself, and with God. You can find someone to correspond or speak with, and healing programs here.

Water and Bridges

By Craig Wiseman, Tim Nichols

I was young, so was she.

Life didn’t stay a mystery for very long…

We could do no wrong.

Then she called, said she was late.

So we took a little drive upstate an’ took care of that…

Yeah, just took care of that.

But now I’m longin’ back at some of my decisions,

Now that it’s much too late to change…

How a father could have held his son.

If I could undo what’s been done,

But I guess everyone is living,

With water and bridges.

Now my old man, he had it rough,

‘Cause like his Daddy, when he drank too much,

He’d get mean, an’ take it out on me.

So with angry words, I was gone.

I never even tried to go back home, the night he died.

Momma said he apologized.

Now I’m longin’ back on some of my decisions,

Now that it’s much too late to change…

How a father could have held his son.

If I could undo what’s been done,

But I guess everyone is living,

With water and bridges.

We could all go crazy from,

Things that only time can dull.

I guess that’s why everyone is given,

Water and bridges.


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