“When We Were Young” by Architects

Dan Searle’s explanation of “When we were Young” is a lot easier to understand than the lyrics themselves. But in defense of Architects’, this is pretty weighty, existential subject they decided to tackle in aging. But it’s as if they tried to cram too many different philosophies, outlooks, spiritualism and poetic language into a three minute track.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Architects's When we were young at Lyrics.org.

That said, what is discernible is that the vocalist does not have the same optimism now, as a mature adult, that he did when he was younger. As time has progressed, he has come to realize something like life being “a losing game”. Or at least that’s how he understands aging as being generally perceived.

Seemingly, what he is alluding to is a concept like the finality of death. That’s the impression given when the narrator asserts that “everybody’s so afraid to die”, but contrastingly they don’t fully appreciate the life they’ve been given. Or something like that.

Resorting back to Searle’s explanation, apparently that is supposed to be the ideology behind this song, that instead of growing pessimistic or self-interested as we get older, our focus should rather be more on appreciating the fact that we actually exist. But again, you’re probably not going to be able to derive that idea from “When We Were Young” solely via the lyrics. Instead, they conclude more along the lines of depicting the average person as someone who, we may falsely with age put themselves under the impression that they have the game of life all figured out.

Architects, "When we were young" Lyrics

Dan Searle explains the Meaning of “When We Were Young”

According to Dan, this is a song which recognizes the gains and losses we make “as we get older”. He stated that we naturally “lose our innocence” the older we get – a condition that can give rise to “fatalism and cynicism”. However, we naturally start moving our attention towards showing gratitude for the precious things we are blessed with such as the fact that we are alive and the existence of our loved ones in our lives.


All in all, it is apparent that Searle is positing that as humans, we should learn to exhibit more gratitude instead of being grumpy as we age.

Who are Architects?

Architects is a band which, since the mid-2010s, has consisted of these musicians:

  • lead vocalist Sam Carter
  • guitarist Josh Middleton
  • guitarist Adam Christianson
  • bassist Ali Dean
  • drummer Dan Searle 

Architects have been in the game for a minute, with the earliest entry in their discography being a 2005 demo album entitled 2005 Demo.  Honestly, by the looks of things the crew did not experience much success early on.  However they’ve proven to be late bloomers, as their ninth studio album, 2021’s For Those That Wish to Exist, not only marked the first time the band made it onto the top 10 of the UK Albums Chart.  But it also topped said list.

Credits and Release Date of “When We Were Young”

All five members of the band credited with writing “When We Were Young”, which was released on 20 April 2022. 

Additionally, Middleton and Searle produced the track. And lastly, Searle also directed this song’s music video.

When we were young

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